Temple of Unobtainable Expectations: An Interview with Kristal Light

Our community has known Kristal Light for a long time. She exemplifies the Burning Man 10 Principles through the artistic gifting nature of her personal lifestyle, and over the years she's volunteered to work First Aid at more regional Burning Man events than we can keep track of. If you've been to a Midwestern or Southern regional Burning Man event in the past 10 years, chances are good you've met her! She also became one of Kentucky's first official Burning Man Regional Contacts, and was one of the founders of Reclaimation, Kentucky's first official regional burn.

Currently living in Lexington, Kentucky, Kristal received a Large Art Grant to bring her vision for The Temple of Unobtainable Expectations to life. She was kind enough to answer a few questions for us, and sent us a few pictures of the work in progress (but nothing too specific, she's not going to spoil the secret!)

How did you first get involved in all this Burning Man business?

My first burn was Transformus in 2005, but I heard of Burning Man years prior from an article published in Wired back in 1996. I moved from my birthplace of Louisville, Kentucky to San Francisco in 1998 and attended some fundraiser parties for Burning Man, thought hadn't yet made it out to the actual event. It took finding community in the woods (at Transformus) to inspire my first journey to the desert. My first actual Burning Man was in 2008, and like with so many others, it radically changed my life. Finding others who are inspired by large art, blank canvases, and vision, I started to make big art of my own for regional burns, not to mention participating in Burning Man's first historic C.O.R.E. (Circle of Regional Effigies) project in 2011. The project was called the F-N Bourbon Barrel and was a 16ft tall by 16ft wide Bourbon Barrel that housed 350 individual art pieces from people here in Kentucky and some native kids in Canada.

Would you mind telling us a little about your project for Mosaic Experiment?

I'm building a temple for Mosaic called The Temple of Unobtainable Expectations. The vision for this art piece came to me while doing 108 days of mantra meditation earlier this year. I wanted a way to help myself and others to let go of the expectations of others so that we can be free to feel more joy and love.

I was inspired by my meditation , my job and my life to make this project. I wanted to use recycled materials from my workplace in a way that dresses them up from their original use. I also wanted to show the art that anyone can make if you make the time to do it.

Our families and friends think they are helping us when they tell us we will be judged by others around us. Sometimes, we are filled with these expectations by friends who want us to do more and more for them. It's when we realize our truths and let go of these expectations holding us back that we can be free to be whatever we choose to be.

The art is very personal for me as I work through the thoughts and ideas that have held me back over the years. I just hope this project helps others to know even well-meaning expectations can be harmful to the psyche and transmutation is the way of freedom.

I look forward to seeing the reactions of others as they interact with the piece and hope we are all healed as this burns at dawn Sunday morning.

This sounds like a profoundly deep project for you. May we ask how much time you've spent on it so far?

Wow.....good question there.....I started with the vision in February this year (2015) and started the work in March. I knew I wanted to bring this piece to Mosaic all along and I'm grateful that I'm getting closer to making my vision a reality.

Are you collaborating with anyone on this you'd like to mention, or working primarily alone?

I've been working on this piece alone, for the most part. I did consult two friends on the building/spiritual parts of the piece, but this has been a single person build all along. The Sacred Grove camp has taken me in as a member this year and have offered to keep sacred space around the piece when I need a break.

Have you run into any unexpected obstacles while building / designing this Temple or has everything been going to plan?

My main challenge has been making sure I collected all the recycled materials to make the project. Luckily, I have done that, and now my only challenge will be muscle help on site to help me lift pieces while I put it together/break it apart.....want to help out? I'd love volunteers.

Would you mind sharing any advice or wisdom to other participants considering a major project like this for a future Mosaic Experiment?

Dream big! Don't be afraid to try something out of your league. It's just a new thing you've not tried yet. Don't give up on yourself or your art. Anything is possible when you have dreams!

One last question: Mosaic's theme for 2015 is "Defying Gravity." How does your Temple defy gravity?

I've decided to look at the world differently than before, and part of doing that is baring my soul for all to see. This project is a sort of therapy for myself dealing with loss, depression, and abuse. As you walk into the project, you'll see several phrases in negative tones. Those words are from the heart and I cried as I let the pain come through me and be placed into the wood for you all to see. Likewise, I have positive phrases inside the heart of the piece to show the healing that has taken place in my life so that it helps others to not suffer as much. We have so much in common and yet we forget that we all hurt, cry, bleed the same. Life is a terminal illness. It's time we fly beyond our faults and embrace our beauty in those differences. Letting go is the hardest part. Dream big and believe in yourself.....that's how true miracles happen.

I hope this temple helps someone not feel alone, ashamed or afraid of those dark things inside. I hope this temple is the vision of beauty I've seen in my meditations. I hope this temple helps heal others as I know it will help heal me.

Remember, this isn't magic, this is your life. Your game, your rules. You can change those rules you've set for yourself if they hold you back from your highest potential. Don't give up on yourself. Don't stop believing. Never stop dreaming.

Thank you, Kristal, for sharing your vision and gifting of yourself with an art piece we can all participate in. The Temple will burn on Sunday morning, October 4, 2015. We look forward to sharing this experience together.

Are you ready for Mosaic Experiment and all the beauty and creativity you'll experience? Be sure to come prepared so you can fully enjoy it! Check out our Weather Preparedness & Self Reliance post, and of course, don't forget to read the Survival Guide.

Weather Preparedness & Self Reliance

flyaway#BRRegional burns expose us to all types of weather. Burning Man faces the unique challenge of camping in the desert -- Mosaic Experiment challenges us to be prepared for October camping in Ohio. What can you expect? Anything. That means sunny days and chilly nights, light rain, heavy rain, wind, hail, cold. One day you might be happy running free in a tank top. That night, you might be wrapped up in a sleeping bag with three layers of pajamas cuddling for warmth. One thing most burners have in common: we're proud of our ability to survive unpredictable weather, outdoors, without trips to the local store for last minute items -- and we do so with style while having a great time. Showing up prepared (and the process of getting prepared) teaches us how to take care of ourselves responsibly, so that we can make the most of our time burning together.

How can you up your Radical Self-Reliance quotient? Plan ahead for everything. Anticipate dramatic changes. A good question to ask yourself: what kinds of things do you pack beyond the obvious "umbrellas, sweatshirts and raincoats"? How are you planning to prepare for wind? Do you have good stakes for your tent and shade structures? Do you have an extra tarp? How will you survive a cold night if temps drop into the 30s?


Rain at MosaicIn 2014, we thought it would be helpful to start a thread on our Mosaic Facebook Group asking our community to share the ways in which they prepare their art, theme camps, tents, and selves for the inevitable October rain in Ohio.

Here are some of the best recommendations our community members responded with:

  • Good solid rain boots
  • Have a SPARE pair of rain boots
  • How to waterproof your boots with wax: http://youtu.be/htyNHX6afQM
  • LOTS of warm socks!
  • Pack your clothing in a Rubbermaid container.
  • Pack an extra outfit inside a Ziplock bag in case your tent floods. Pack bedding in trash bags if it's raining on arrival day, so it doesn't get wet between car and tent.
  • Waterproof your tent and clothing (the spray can stuff from Shoe Carnival is said to be good enough.)
  • PREVENT TENT LEAKS: When you leave your tent, make sure nothing is touching the sides. Anything touching the tent sides creates a place for rain to gather and enter the tent rather than roll off. Pull all crap toward the center!
  • Put a ground sheet or tarp under your tent and ensure it doesn't extend past the sides of the tent. If the tarp is sticking out around the sides, it will gather rainwater and pool under your tent.
  • Better yet, put the ground tarp inside the tent under your bedding.
  • Have lots of tarps and rope!
  • Don't build art projects out of cardboard for events when it might rain. 
  • Warm cocoa, hot cider, miso soup. YUMMY during cool rainy camping adventures.
  • For cold rain and damp nights, use a light weight sheet or blanket to cover air vent under rain fly and then tarp away!
  • Vitamin C! Airbornes!
  • Extra tie downs and stakes for your tarps!!!
  • Wool, fleece, warming clothing
  • Rain suit! Something like this
  • Check out this article with tips from engineers: Storm Proofing Your Tent


Rain isn't the only likelihood. You should also prepare your structures for wind. When high winds pick up, EZ Up shade tents that aren't staked down can go flying and become dangerous. Are you bringing a dome or other large shade structure? Make sure you've researched and planned how it will stand up to wind. Some tips:

  • Make sure you secure your tent to the ground in a way that it will not come loose. Buy higher quality stakes than the simple metal ones that come with your tent.
  • Wind over time will cause your tent to move up and down and side to side, therefore your ground stakes need to be checked frequently to see if they are working.
  • pegProperly angle your stakes and guylines. If wind is up-rooting the pegs, use longer ones, and remember to hammer them in so that the point is closer to the tent than the head.
  • Keep in mind that anything lying around your camp that is not secured down, like garbage, plastic bottles, paper, art or anything else, will get blown during high wind. It is your responsibility to take back everything that you bring in, from the largest structure to the smallest bottle cap or cigarette butt. Keeping everything secured means you won’t have to spend time searching for it later.


moon-tree-wind-d-fr-mtpmcg911-sm-1413It's possible that we might experience cold weather at Mosaic. If it's cold and damp, body chill is even more likely. How to not just survive, but thrive?

  • Cold Weather Clothing: Make sure you pack the basics: long sleeve shirts, long pants, a hooded sweatshirt, parka jacket, warm socks, gloves or mittens, a beanie. Layer your clothing so you can add/subtract insulation as needed.
  • Avoid cotton materials as they trap and hold moisture close to the body, reducing any insulating value. Undergarments of polypropylene are ideal for wicking away dampness, while over garments should be made of wool. If you layer, it's easier to adjust your comfort level as temperatures change.
  • Air mattresses trap cold air underneath you. Layer a fleece or wool blanket on top of your air mattress to insulate your own body heat.
  • If you are hanging near a camp­fire, make sure that your outer layer of cloth­ing is less likely to end up ruined if struck by an errant ember.  Wool is one of the best, most fire-resistant nat­ural mate­ri­als and is great for this.
  • Hydrate, then hydrate some more: You may not feel thirsty in cold weather, but staying hydrated is just as important in cold weather as it is in summer. Drink water (warm or cold), hot tea, or hot chocolate—the latter also provides high-calorie fuel for your burn adventure.
  • Be ready for condensation: As you breathe in a warm tent on a cold night, condensation will form on your tent, even if it's a four-season model. There's not a lot you can do about condensation, but the next morning be sure to dry out your sleeping bag before using it again. To minimize condensation, you can vent your tent at night—it won't hold in heat as well, but it will stay dryer.
  • The old wisdom of stripping down before you get into a sleeping bag doesn't make sense. Put on everything you brought before you turn in for the night. And if the campfire is still going, heat some water, pour it into a heat-proof water bottle, and snuggle into your bag with it.
  • Hot Hands and Mylar Blankets are a quick lifesaver on a cold night. Open a pair of Hot Hands, shake them, and throw them in the bottom of your sleeping bag. Cover your bag with a mylar blanket. You'll sleep like a baby all night long.

rainbowtentThe key to enjoying Mosaic Experiment is to #BurnResponsibly. This means taking action before you arrive to be prepared. The time is now to get ready!

Have a comment on this list or another suggestion we should add? Let us know at info[at]mosaicexperiment[dot]com.

2015 Art Grants Awards

Photography by Levi Kill


Mosaic Experiment’s Art Grant Committee is pleased to announce the following 2015 Art Grants awardees. Thank you all for your hard work, participation, and vision. Giving out funds for art is probably the best job around!

As you can see, most grants were not funded in their entirety. Help our fellow artists out! Click the donate button next to any description to donate directly to that project. If you’d like to donate to ALL the projects (your donation will be divided evenly), donate here:

Donate Button Our temporary home in the cosmos of Reclaim is being built slowly, art project by art project … we can’t wait to see the magic you all create.


DEFIANT PHOENIX by Joel Lam Defiant Phoenix will represent a bird, a symbol of “Defying Gravity”. The bird will be more of a skeleton, with straight sticks of wood representing its feathers. It’s wings spread wide, as though emerging from the flames and beginning it’s ascent to the heavens. This installation is a reminder that we can soar high above the challenges of life. This phoenix is defiant; she burns brightly, gives warmth, follows her own path, and soars higher than anyone says she should. She’s also a constant survivor. Budget: $1,000 | Granted: $550

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REFLECTIONS by Jaime Robbins R DrawingReflections is a swinging pergola. This structure accomplishes this feeling of weightlessness, happiness and flying while being safe for burner participants to hang out on and reflect. Hanging from the roof of the pergola will be many small mirrors medallions reflecting the light from the LEDs that will also be added to the structure. The effect should be something similar to floating around in space, staring up at the stars. Budget: $970 | Granted: $550

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TEMPLE OF UNOBTAINABLE EXPECTATIONS by Kristal Light Temple of Unobtainable Expectations highlights the fact that expectations are all around us and in our daily life. We really do take for granted that things will always be the way they are now and they won’t be. Each moment in time is different than another. There is no going back, only forward. So, why not go forward with a new direction? The direction of healing. The artist’s goal is to help transmute the energy of guilt of expectation into a loving remembrance of who we really are. When we free ourselves of expectation, we make more room to express more love and joy. This art project will be a structure you walk into and experience the messages the project has to show through the well thought out art. Able to be walked into in small groups. Budget: $679 | Granted: $300

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CLOUD CITY P.O. by Bill Fisher CCPO DrawingCloud City P.O. allows the Mosaic community to live outside the box, “Defying Gravity”, by creating a mailbox from which they may mail postcards to their future selves. Participants will be able to create a personal message they will mail to themselves to be delivered in the future. Participants can be as creative as they want with the postcards. They will be able to draw, color and write whatever they wish. If a participant does not want to include their address or does not have an address, they can address it to the universe. It will still be mailed out, so it is delivered in the eyes of the participant. This installation hopes to inspire the Mosaic community to think about where they are in the world, with themselves or with others. To look within themselves and take notice of the aspects they would like to see evolved. To set small goals for themselves. Or even to simply say hi to their future selves and put a smile on their faces.

Preprinted postcards, pens, crayons and markers will be provided. Names and addresses will NOT be used for ANY other purpose. The mailbox will be participatory 24 hours a day. It will be lit up on the inside and the outside at night by battery powered E.L. Wire. The postcards will be mailed out at a time no longer than one year later. Budget: $330 | Granted: $250

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CAMP FYS BURNER SURVIVAL TINS by Jaime Robbins Camp ‘Fix Your Shit’ is offering up Burner SurvivaFYSST Picturel Tins made out of recycled Altoid tins. The outside of the tin will be spray painted to look like a miniature galaxy/starscape and will say Mosaic 2015. Anyone can visit our camp and build a tin, which includes first aid supplies, sewing supplies, ear plugs, mini lights, nail trimmers, mylar blankets, etc. It’s a little bit of functional art for participants to take with them to use again and again. Budget: $300 | Granted: $175

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TAKE MY HAND by Katelin Fisher Take My Hand was inspired by incredibly fond memories of one participants dad walking into a room with a tune or hum on his lips and spontaneously twirling her mom or one of the kids around and sharing a dance­ be it a swing, slow, bluegrass, funk­ and then letting it end as quickly as it came on with zero awkwardness. For about 60­ -120 seconds at a time, they were engaged with one another and having fun, no preamble, no time limit, but definitely smiling. At burns, participants often hope that they will be able to share the same kind of sentiment in their interactions with new friends and old family alike...spontaneous moments of meaningful engagement. Take My Hand intends to create a space that facilitates these interactions. Imagine as you are on one of your walking adventures to check out what Mosaic is doing, with a person you are happy to have in that moment­ a friend, a lover, a parent/child/brother/sister, a new acquaintance, a crush, a recent stranger­ and you frolic across a stand alone space where you can sweep in and out of a dance at both of your wills. Maybe it makes you nervous, and maybe it gives you butterflies, maybe it feels like the most natural thing in the world... sway back and forth all night or until the end of the song.

Take My Hand, either we’ll tether each other to Mosaic or we’ll float away together. Budget: $191 | Granted: $175

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THE OFFICE by Robert Kolb The Office is an experiment in alternative realities, perceptions, learning, and interpersonal communication through highly interactive experiences. The Office is a replica office setting from 1972 complete with file cabinets, desk, phone, water cooler, and more. The concept is blending the burner world with the default world, a world from the past. There will be board meetings, office parties, company picnic, and cutting edge industry discussions. Budget: $333.22 | Granted: $250

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TOAST & JAMS by Carrie Myers TJ DrawingToast & Jams is meant to be a fun activity to bring people together to bond over food and music. This will be a multi-session occurrence, each taking place for approximately 1 hour of toast making/eating and music appreciation. A small portable boombox will be used for playing music and will be quiet enough to encourage conversation. Lanterns and battery powered lights will be used for any night time toasts. This will not be a visually remarkable art project, but rather is meant to be interactive. Careful thought will go into the selection of food and music selective to encourage and provoke conversations. Budget: $270 | Granted: $150

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BROKEN DOLL MINUET by Highwire Broken Doll Minuet brings one burner’s joy and energy of hook suspensions to the burner community. Hook suspension helped the artist in some trying times, eventually turning her into the strong individual she is now and helped in her discovering the burner community & friends. She would love to share a hook suspension with the community at Mosaic Experiment and would love for this to be an experience that not only she enjoys. She wants to share the energy she feels is understood by others. Budget: $150 | Granted: $150

PACK PACK by Kat Pope BEWARE!!! A werewolf is on the loose at Mosaic! One ‘bite’ and you’ll find yourself transformed into a werewolf yourself. This lone wolf is looking for participants to become part of her pack at Mosaic Experiment.

PkPk Heads PicMoon Moon the lone wolf will be making at least 6 wolf heads and tails to ‘turn’ ordinary participants into moon howling werewolves that roam the streets of Mosaic (and beyond). It’s her way of expressing Immediacy, self-expression, and participation. Moon Moon wants to share her love of being a wolf and to embrace your inner wolfness, run around, and howl at the moon.

Ultimately, Moon Moon is hoping that her wolves will want to make other wolves and that someday she’ll go to a burn and meet a werewolf she doesn’t know. That would be epic. The process used to make these wolves has become fairly streamlined, and uses easily ­replicated patterns. Moon Moon is working on making an instructional video so that anyone can do this themselves, but for now she’s the only werewolf­ making person around. Budget: $125 | Granted: $125

UV PHOTO BOOTH by Josh Kaplon UV Photo Booth is an interactive shadow booth. It is an 8’x8’ screen covered in a UV reactive material. A custom built 100W UV light to charge the screen allowing participants to pose in front of the screen and take temporary silhouette photos. Props like hats and other things that can make interesting outlines will be provided. There will also be various UV flashlights and laser pointers available to draw on the outlines and add detail to the photos. Budget: $100 | Granted: $100


PICTURE PLANET by Miles Asselin PP DrawingPicture Planet is a round ball like you can crawl inside and draw things inside. But the outside is painted like a planet. And there are lights inside, with batteries for night that make it glow and you can do the art at night. You can draw things that fly on go in the air on the top and things that are on the ground in the bottom. One grown up or 2 kids can fit inside and use the markers to draw. My family will help me bring it there and make it work.

Parent’s note: We are planning on creating a sphere using multiple size rings of thin pvc pipe, then covering the structure with tarps that will be prepainted on the outside. Budget: $50 | Granted: $50 (FULLY FUNDED)

omg!OMG! Immediacy Grant: Anti-Gravity Elixirs by Helen Arth Anti-­gravity elixirs aim to challenge the force of attraction by which our bodies fall toward the center of the Earth. The consumption of anti­-gravity elixirs are the gates of which to enter an alternate world of possible impossibilities. By creating possible impossibilities, we enable ourselves to lose touch with the physical laws of attraction that bind us to reality, and unhinge fantasies of weightless existence of which evoke transformative change. Budget:  $230 | Granted:  $150

MOTHERSHIP LOVE: The Story of our Effigy

MothershipInterview"Mothership Love" is Mosaic Experiment's official effigy for 2015, selected by our Art Grants Committee because its design so perfectly fits this year's theme "Defying Gravity." Thaddeus "Osito" Micelli

This week we've been fortunate to get a few moments with Osito (Thaddeus Micelli), project manager/coordinator of the effigy team, to discuss the inspiration and efforts involved in making this artistic dream become reality. The effigy team is hard at work designing and prototyping what will soon be the final centerpiece we set fire to Saturday evening during Mosaic.

Where you living these days, Osito? Osito: Ypsilanti, Michigan

When was the first burn you ever attended? My first burn was Lakes of Fire 2013: Superstition. My wife Kyrie and I found out about the burner community from a friend who had gone the previous year to Lakes of Fire.


Tell us a little bit about your effigy project, Mothership Love: Mothership Love is a kinetic art piece that gives a peek into the wonder of space and the universe, and offers to teleport you away. We want to truly defy gravity and show the rotation of the planets. For years, we at Mothership Love have sent out a signal into the night sky, across all frequencies, and through all known languages, and we have finally heard back. For the first time, we bring visitors from another world to our planet’s humble surface.

What inspired you to build it? For me this piece comes from a yearning to continue creating art within this culture. It is very much a culmination of the past three years of my life and this adventure being a 'burner'.  After the Tree of Life, my wife and I started small with our first theme camp (Treasure Island), evolved into our first art grant/project (Snatch-n-Balls) and escalated to creating the effigy for Mosaic. This community continues to show what is truly possible when the right energy is put into this reality. I only wish to continue this tradition and inspire the next person to shoot for the stars.

How much time have you put into creating the effigy so far? It's really hard to put an exact amount of time. It all sort of starts to blend together. A number of hours have been spent just in group conversation discussing schematics, issues, organizing events, etc. Every weekend since we were granted the effigy has been spent at one of our build sites and will continue throughout the month of September.

Fundraising, although easy enough to set up online, takes a lot of time and energy to properly hype/advertise online. Big kudos to the Mosaic leads and volunteers that spend countless hours making sure we all know what's going on!


So we know you're not doing this all by yourself.  Who are you collaborating with and what are their roles? None of this would be possible without the help from my core team:

Aiyami (Spidermonkey): Skilled chemist by trade and Fire Lead for our effigy. Excellent knowledge of creating and burning stuff. Methodical burn designs will ensure this is one effigy you will not want to miss. One half of our mad creation team!

David Yates (Total Neglect): Design lead and engineering specialist. Brings years of experience with woodworking and fires. I'm 100% sure that this man could make anything work with enough time and tools. The other half of our mad creation team.

Kyrie Micelli (BrattyCakes): The yin to my yang. Community event organizer and overall human networker. A lot of our presence online and our fundraising event at Necto is due to Kyrie's help along with helping keep me organized and on track. Cannot thank her enough.

Although our core team is small we have been lucky to have others come to our assistance. Necto nightclub in Ann Arbor has been generous enough to offer their downstairs area (the Red Room) for our local fundraiser along with some excellent local talent. Mixtape, one of our DJs for the fundraiser, has also greatly contributed to Mosaic with his image designs and other media that will be released related to the event.

Also, our friend Jon: Our build site would not be possible if not for his generosity (and overall curiosity) of the Mothership Love effigy. The tools and space available have greatly helped in the completion/burning of the scale project and translating that to the main burn. I also have enjoyed an amazing meal or two at their place and I'm humbled by their generosity.

What kind of roadblocks and challenges have you run into so far? One of our biggest challenges is making sure that our burn effects work as we have initially planned. So far, we have successfully recreated this in the scale model and look forward to hammering out the rest. If you're coming to our Mothership Love-raiser, you'll get to see what we mean!

Scale panel (David Kyrie)Other challenges have been organizing people/time to make the builds happen, sourcing parts for the build at a reasonable price, keeping the community engaged and participating and making connects with people who can assist us with some of our harder components. We have been lucky enough to make all of these happen with a little luck and a good amount of hard work. Again, none of this would be possible without the help from the community.

Any words of advice for artists wanting to make their own project for a future Mosaic Experiment? I would definitely not take on such a large project unless you've worked on some other small ones first. The experience our crew gained on our first group project (Tree of Life, Lakes of Fire 2013) and our own personal projects since then have given us the building blocks to base our build and timeline on. It doesn't hurt to know how to use a power tool either.

Be ready to make changes. Things come up. Stuff doesn't fit or pan out. You're going to make a few revisions to your design before it gets burned. The board game Monopoly was revised over forty times before it was up to snuff. It's not a bad thing. It's just evolution. Roll with it.

Have fun! There's a lot of hard work involved in making your dreams a reality but above all make sure you and your team are enjoying what they're doing.

Got a link to your project you want us to send people to? Maybe the fundraiser page? Yup! Mothership Love Indiegogo Page

THAT'S IT, FOLKS! Osito had to go back to work!

For those wanting to help gift this project in either physical or financial ways, we highly recommend you attend the Mothership Love-Raiser this weekend:

MOTHERSHIP LOVE-RAISER Saturday, August 29, 2015 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Necto Nightclub (Red Room) Ann Arbor, Michigan

$10 gets you in the door, and you can meet the Osito and his project team in the flesh, discuss the project, offer to pitch in however you'd like, or just hang out, dance, and have a good time with burner friends supporting a project of burnerly love! Of course, if you can't make it to that, you can always donate your cover (or more!) to to the Mothership Love Indiegogo Page

Mosaic Experiment 2015: SOLD OUT

  MOSAIC MOONAs of Wednesday, August 19th, Mosaic Experiment 2015 has sold out! This is great news for those of us behind the scenes who planned wishlist budgets based on selling 400 Adult tickets. This year we increased Art Grants and Effigy budgets, upped our firewood stock for all, implemented a Low Income Ticket program, gifted Child tickets (12 and under), and now organizers are busy bees getting infrastructure ready to create our community village. How will you defy gravity? Time to prepare!

Did you miss getting your ticket? Check out the Mosaic Ticket Exchange & Rideshare Facebook Group. To transfer your ticket, we recommend calling Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006. They are super helpful and quick!

DefyingGravityballonsTICKET TRANSFERS INFO: Tickets may be resold through the Brown Paper Tickets network. If you need to sell or transfer a ticket, you must do so through the ticket vendor. Once your ticket has been transferred, Mosaic Experiment will receive notice of the transaction. Beware when buying a ticket from an individual. Only the first occurrence of a ticket code will be honored at the gate. We take no responsibility for tickets sold outside of Brown Paper Tickets.

FIND A TICKET? Awesome! NOW read the Survival Guide. You MUST READ to attend... there will be a quiz!

10 PRINCIPALSSELLING YOUR TICKET? Do your part and make sure the lucky person who buys it understands what they are getting into. It's everyone's job to spread our principles! Download the Survival Guide in PDF, or send them this link along with their ticket info.

WHAT'S NEXT? Start preparing! Get your tents and gear ready for Autumn camping in Ohio. Figure out how you'll radically express yourself - with costumes? Performance Art? Service to the community by volunteering? Start pondering the Ten Principles and how you can deepen your participation this year. What's that crazy creative idea for an impromptu art installation you had? Do it! Want to organize a happy hour, a wandering karaoke tribe, an interactive gravity defying game? GO FOR IT. The experiment only takes off when we all launch it together!

See you on the strip-mine playa!


Mosaic Experiment 

OMG! Immediacy Art Grant announced



Quick, quick! Think of best ART idea you can pull off with $150 by October 1st. (What is art? You decide!) The Art Grant Committee has $150 burning a hole in its pocket and we want YOU, clever procrastinating artists, to give us your last minute kinda mostly thought out art ideas for Mosaic.

omg!GUIDELINES: We like general ideas that are concretely doable. We like philosophical statements. We like pictures. We LOVE art.

PROCESS: Send an email to artgrants[at]mosaicexperiment[dot]com by Tuesday, September 1st. That's all you gotta do.

#OMG! #IMMEDIACY #MosaicEqualsArt

Mothership Love-Raiser: August 29

mothershiploveraiser[I N C O M I N G  T R A N S M I S S I O N]

MOTHERSHIP LOVE-RAISER Saturday, August 29, 2015 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

$10 gets you all this, all night

Necto Nightclub - Red Room 516 E. Liberty Street Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48104


DEZIGN | House, Classic Hip-Hop, UK House & Garage M I X T A P E | Cosmic Disco & Trouble-Funk / Soulful House EGGS BLACKLY | House & UK Garage

The Mothership Love crew is reaching to our friends and burner family to join us in a night of fun and dancing while supporting this year’s Mosaic effigy team. We will be beaming down to host an event in the Red Room at Necto in Ann Arbor pushing the boundaries of reality! We will also have our scale version of the effigy on site.

If you are unable to attend but still want to donate, please take a look at our Indiegogo campaign.

About the Mothership Love: The Mothership Love is an effigy project like no other! Using the power of FIRE we will make the fifteen foot tall effigy defy gravity in a multitude of ways. Utilizing science and ingenuity as our tools we aim to create a highly interactive and engaging experience before, during and after the burn.

2015 Defying Gravity Logo

websitelogobannerIntroducing the Mosaic Experiment 2015 Defying Gravity logo! Skennedy (Scott Kennedy) of Cleveland, Ohio gave his time and talent to craft this logo for use by the community. More on his process and inspiration:

I was asked to do my part in creating a logo for this year's Mosaic Experiment, based on our theme.

We talked about Defying Gravity, and Everyman made some suggestions for how that might look, and I ran with it.

The idea here is that a person with wings has leapt from a ledge, bridge, or tree into the air, surrendering themselves to the wind just before the incredible effort of flying, of resisting the irresistible.

Defying a force of nature is hard work, but there is a joy in that defiance, in controlling your own destiny for as long as you can, even if you know that eventually you will land, and have to start all over.

To me, that is what we do when we carve a space for ourselves to experiment with art and society - often walking a tightrope of regulations designed by the rest of the world to avoid risk and conflict so that we can embrace those things, together.

Without conflict, there can be no change.

And so the Defier pushes away from the cultivated, safe farmland for something stressful, intensely joyful, and all too brief.

Sound familiar?

See you at Mosaic.


This image is available for any creative project your burny heart desires. Ideas include screen printing, stickers, etchings, engravings... anything you can imagine!  Several file types available here.

2015 Tickets Announced!

ticketsDid you get the news? Ticket sales have been announced! Tickets for Mosaic Experiment go on sale on Brown Paper Tickets on Wednesday, June 3 at 12 pm. For adults (age 13 and over), tickets are $75, and child tickets (12 and under) are no cost, as a gift to the community. BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE: http://mosaicexperiment2015.brownpapertickets.com/

This year, your Mosaic organizers are intent on making our burn even more incredible. We’ve got our minds on sustainability of the event, not just for 2015, but for years to come. Since our February planning retreat, we’ve been thinking ahead, making goals, researching possibilities, creating budgets… all in the name of planning a safe, sustainable, well-organized event where creativity and community reign.

Take a look at what’s new and exciting for 2015:

  • A BIG INCREASE IN ART GRANTS! We’ve budgeted $500 for Youth Art Grants, $500 for Medium Art Grants (plus two fundraisers for even more funds, to be held in Cincinnati and Indianapolis this summer), and $2000 for Large Art Grants. A total of $3000 to support more art!
  • MORE FUNDS FOR EFFIGY: We previously announced a budget of $500 for the effigy (as we offered in 2014.) Well, hold on to your hats, y’all, because we’re increasing that budget by $500... for a total $1000.
  • INVESTMENTS IN INFRASTRUCTURE: Let’s face it. We need to safely shelter our fabulous volunteers from the unpredictable Ohio weather in October. firesafetyWe’re making sure that our front Gate has a shade structure that doesn’t fall apart, that our Greeters are sheltered from sun and sleet while hugging your necks, that our Fire Safety team has the gear needed to protect us, and that DPW (Department of Public Works) has the tools and supplies they need to create signage, lighting, and other common use areas. These tools, structures and gear have to be housed somewhere, and a central storage space maintained and inventoried by the organization saves individuals from taking on this financial investment and liability. It’s worth it, don't you think, to be able to reuse these resources year after year?
  • LEGAL FUNDS: We’ve taken an important step this year in garnering legal counsel to help us navigate sensitive situations that impact everyone at an all-ages burn, to further investigate fire safety laws in Ohio, and for general counsel as needed.
  • FIREWOOD INCLUDED FOR ALL: As you might know, our landowner prefers that all firewood be purchased from one approved source, and that no firewood be brought into Reclaim from across state lines (for environmental reasons). 2firepitThis presents a challenge. Last year, we budgeted $600 to provide firewood for everyone at the burn. Sadly, by late Saturday night we were all a little chilly… so this year, we’ve increased the firewood budget to $1000. Firewood will be freely available for pickup onsite to all campers with registered campsites.
  • GIFT TICKETS FOR CHILDREN: No cost for child tickets (12 years and under.)
  • LOW INCOME TICKET PROGRAM: Last but not least, this year we are implementing a low income ticket program. A limited amount of lower cost tickets will be made available, to help some of those who might have difficulty affording the increased ticket price. We love ALL of our Mosaic family, and are sensitive to financial issues. Please read all details & apply by June 17, 2015: Google Doc PDF

LK029_8144As our Experiment grows, we grow along with it. Each step we take towards responsible growth ensures that we burn brightly and safely together for many years to come. Want to get involved in shaping Mosaic Experiment's future? Check out our volunteer lead positions.

Interested in learning more about how planning, organizing and budgeting for a regional burn works? Want to read about last year's burn, and how we made some of these decisions? Check out the Mosaic Experiment 2014 Afterburn Report.

More questions about ticketing? Be sure to read the 2015 Ticket Information for all the details you need, and mark your calendars to buy tickets starting June 3rd at noon.  For questions not answered here, email tickets[at]mosaicexperiment[dot]com.

Mosaic Experiment: A burn for all ages

everyman's mother

I'm often asked why we fought so hard to make Mosaic an all-ages event, and it only takes remembering my mother to realize how important children are to the sustainability and health of our community. 

Despite it being Mother’s Day, not a day goes by without reflecting all the valuable lessons my mom taught me right up until her passing just over two years ago. I’m forever grateful because she not only allowed me to become who I am right now, but actively encouraged it. She taught me that if I felt strongly enough about something, to stand by it with all my conviction as she did with her own beliefs. Whenever I’m in great need for strength and inspiration, I need to look no further than the beautiful woman who gave me life and raised me.

At Burning Man, the greeters mantra is “Welcome Home!” When I first heard those words, I took it to mean “Welcome Home, misfit!” It was an island of misfits in the middle of the nowhere. My people were there. My weirdos! 


At Burning Man, everything you can imagine is there, and if it isn’t, it will show up years later. I ran into people in their 70’s and 80’s making art, gifting food, offering water, talking deep philosophy. I also found a village called Kidsville right next to the Alternative Energy Zone. After years of exposure to Burning Man, these children will grow up to be the future artists, greeters, rangers, First Aid workers, city builders, event planners, and event producers.

We’ve heard every argument why underage children shouldn’t attend burns, and addressed them all.

It typically comes down to Radical Inclusion vs. Civic Responsibility, instead of Civically Responsible Radical Inclusion. You can’t cherry pick one principle over another, they’re all supposed to be played in harmony.

Radical inclusion doesn't mean "everyone can go. "It means "non-discriminatory access for everyone, regardless of your skin color, sexual orientation, regional affiliation, religion, race, or age." 

Maggie, Alexa, Miles, Branden, and Trae

Civic Responsibly simply means basic infrastructure is put into place (portable toilets, event insurance, parking plans, emergency response protocols, etc.) Civic Responsibility does not mean “we are protecting everyone from danger!”

There is danger everywhere. It is the right of the parent to choose what they expose their children to, and the parent's responsibility to protect their children if they perceive danger.

Burning Man is a cultural movement, not an event. You can't change culture without breaking the traditionally accepted norms of what you expose your children to. You don't have to bring your children, but we shouldn't exclude parents who wish to.

Children will not be the future greeters, rangers, medics, gate people, and event holders if they are not included.

After last year’s Mosaic event, I saw some online discussion about the gifts we received at the event which “melted our souls.” It got me thinking of the most touching moment I had while attending Mosaic 2014. It was during the Saturday night burn, but wasn't the burn itself....it was this woman standing in front of me holding her baby. 

The woman was facing forward, fascinated by the huge burning effigy, but her baby was held over her shoulder, facing me...fascinated by the little glowing lights I had around my neck. I grabbed my lights and jiggled them which got the baby's attention. The baby looked up at me and smiled. I hit one of my light controller buttons making them blink, and the baby started laughing. Everyone was watching this gigantic beautiful art piece burn to the ground, but to this baby, there was nothing more fascinating than these little glowing lights.

Miles & Maggie (Mosaic 2014)

If that mother couldn't bring her baby, neither would have come, and I never would have had that beautiful simple sensation of entertaining the mind of a child with my little glowy $5 light string, making us both laugh, which made the mother laugh, joining everyone's laughter over the collective joyous experience.

These endlessly curious little versions of ourselves will soon replace us. Curiousness, fascination by everything, wonderment about how so many strange things are possible, how are they done, how can we make more, do more, build more, and BE more? I was moved to tears because I saw myself, asking "what is THAT??"

I mean, really, I want to know, what IS that?

That is a mother, with her child, and they're standing with you at a burn, that's what it is. The burn incinerated the childish, and nourished the childlike. Our community fought hard for that gift. Mosaic Experiment will continue to protect it.