"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."
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!
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.