Flocons is a series of large-scale ornament-like sculptures, imagined and built by multiple artists, suspended from 8 foot tall metal display hangers, to be displayed in a garden-like manner. Each sculpture consists of a metal hanger with a swivel hinge hook where an ornament, no larger that 4x4x6 feet in size, is suspended. The four-legged hanger bases are buried so it looks like each hanger is growing up from the ground. As participants approach the series, they will find a collection of large free floating pieces, each as unique as the artists who created them.
Flocons was inspired by ornaments adapted from designs by Frank Lloyd Wright. Our initial concept was to recreate similar objects on a larger scale: three dimensional snowflakes (aka flocons in French) suspended from tall metal hangers. As a result, we designed an easily replicable template for creating large-scale patterned 3D pieces out of plywood.
Oregon Country Fair Proposal (2016)
We wish to build 4 Flocons, each representing one of the four elements (air, earth, fire and water), to be displayed together, back to back. As participants approach the pieces, they will find a collection of large free floating symbolic representations, each as unique as the artists who created them.
Black Rock City Honorarium Proposal (2016)
We currently have a dozen artists interested in participating in the Flocons project for Burning Man 2016. Some of them have personalized our template, while others have explored concepts using different materials or designs. We will describe a few of their concepts below. Each has submitted a sketch to be included for consideration.
Kevan is sculpting a smoke cloud out of paperclips. Rachel and Casimus designed a dodecahedron star out of bamboo rods strapped together while centered off a woven root ball. Francis wants to build a sphere out of interwoven plywood and whittled natural wood, creating a nest inside a more mechanical wooden ring structure. Nickie created a plywood honeycomb internally lit with color changing LEDs. Crow wants to build a wind chime out of driftwood and copper tubing or a bird swing for people to sit, swing or spin around in circles.
Building from our plywood template, Mel wants to create a brightly colored circular homage to Buck Rogers, Sara and John will collaborate in making a traditionally shaped snowflake and Dan has proposed to build a falling raindrop as it splashes on the ground. Lucy will build a disco ball by covering a circular base with small squares of sheet metal.
In an attempt to fill the hanger space differently, and to explore different materials, we have started collecting bicycle parts to fabricate a mobile from framing, rims, gears and chains. We also imagine building one out of second hand garden tools and silverware. Another design involves threading 1×1 pieces of wood of varying lengths on a 6 foot long metal rod to create a strand of DNA that spins in the wind. Finally, we intend to explore motion within motion by building a spinning sculpture within a larger spinning sculpture made of plywood.
Flocons is a dynamic and evolving series of large-scale ornament-like sculptures, imagined and built by a variety of artists (including collectives, individuals, organizations and students). It is a community-driven and participatory project from concept to completion. We begin by inviting participants to imagine and build unique ornaments. We then review designs and provide materials needed to complete each sculpture. Artists are asked to work independently or collaborate with others in the execution of their artwork, while remaining aware of the other pieces being completed and helping each other. Everyone is invited to work jointly: brainstorming design concepts, drafting build plans, sourcing materials and tools, fundraising, building and exhibiting the completed pieces. Flocons is a shared creative experience in participatory art and it is open to individuals of all ages, regardless of competency. Each participant is expected to share their expertise with the others and work collaboratively to complete the project. We provide the framework and the community creates the art.
Critical Northwest (2015)
Grow Fourth: Portland CORE (2012)
photo by Vert Umnus
Burn in the Forest (2012)
Original Concept –
“By taking an everyday small object and expanding its size exponentially, we intend to engage the viewer’s sense of awe. We hope that people will examine the complicated geometry of these objects and explore the beauty of interlacing patterns. When the pieces burn, they will be suspended off the ground and free to spin.
By building multiple hangers, we mean to exhibit one self-made ornament and invite other local artists to create their own, therefore making this a community piece. The more hangers we build, the more artists we can invite to participate in the project, therefore creating a garden of three-dimensional hanging geometric shapes.”
Each individual piece will consist of a metal hanger where a wood ornament will be suspended on a swivel hinge. The three-legged hanger base will be buried so it will look like each hanger is growing up from the ground. The approximate height will be eight feet. Each ornament will be made from interlocking plywood sheets all cut with different geometric patterns (cf. sample images).
As participants approach the sculptures, they will see large free floating intricate geometric shapes that both rotate with the wind and can be spun. At night each piece will be lit with a spot light which will shine through the various patterns casting shadows onto the Playa.
Original Concept Design