SOAK*2016 Talented And gifted: Art grant resultS

(Cover: Age of Illumination by Miranda Rae Gorski, SOAK*2015)

On April 7, 2016, 8 volunteers from the Portland community met at the Burner Barn, as members of a peer review committee. 5 voting members chose 21 SOAK Art projects to receive funding from Precipitation Northwest.

These are those projects.

Tag voting guidelines


We fund: Interactive, Unique, Safe Art on Public Display.

(Zooplankton by Becca Priddy, SOAK*2015)

We fund: Artistic Merit &/or Skill that delights, thrills or inspires others. (*Bonus points for multiple Regional showings.)

(Thunderbridge by SOAK*CORE 2011)

We fund: *Art with a realistic timeline of completion for SOAK* attendance. *Art in alignment with the 10 Principles. *Art that leaves a lasting impression or impact combined with stellar LNT.

(MBS Melanie Rex aka "Burnasaurus" by DeadLetter & Mark Clark, photo: Wade Scribner, SOAK*2012)

We do not fund: *Corporations or entities.*Anything illegal. *Tickets.

(by Lillie Stinson & Josh Gambin, SOAK*2012)

We do not fund: Theme Camps. Art must be publicly accessible & independent if associated with a camp.

(Chromospheres by Jesse Banks, SOAK*2013)

THANKS to a generous, anonymous donation to Precipitation Northwest, TAG had $6,000 to allocate!

Juvenile Pyrosaurus by Martin Montesano, photo: Trystan Waters. Temple of the White Raven SOAK*2012, photo: Drew Warner. SOAK*2013 NEVER FORGET. Photo: Jessica Durett.
When you see a sparkle, it is time to turn the page. You can follow along with us in your slideshow.

Entrainment by smith

''When two people interact, it is not uncommon for their heartbeats to sync up in perfect rhythm. This phenomenon has been repeatedly scientifically proven, but since the effect is invisible, people often write it off as "hippy woo-woo" stuff. And it is. And also it actually happens, and no one knows why.''

"Entrainment is an art installation that explores the phenomenon of heartbeat entrainment. It uses pulse oximeters & micro-controllers to measure a person's heartbeat & translate it into flashes of light, visualizing the otherwise invisible phenomenon."
"Two people stand facing each other... & attempt to sync their heartbeats. When both heartbeats are in sync the whole structure pulses as one."

Chin Face Theater by Cunningham

"I'm a tuna guy (gal). A bunch of us are wanting to participate in soak this year..."
"Laughter is a glorious gift to give & receive."
"Chin face theater is a great load of fun for all ages & inebriation levels. It takes place under a 10x20 shade structure & consists of a decoration station, performance stage, & audience viewing area."
"Once decorated, people can take the stage to tell jokes or stories, sing a song, recite a poem... People laugh until their faces & guts hurt & still want more."

"tiny chin wigs"

*insert chime sparkle soundclip here*

March Von Krampusberg

"We are bringing some much needed darkness to Soak."
"This is a secret, seemingly impromptu parade [at SOAK]; our intended audience is whomever is around. Our materials include paper mache & paper clay masks, we will march to sounds of death drums & bells. [Last year] I brought a smaller version of this procession."

Sky Light by Pitzer

"...a piece of LED art that will shine light down from overlapping panels. It will be mounted above people (hopefully in the barn). The light patterns will be variable - sending colors out, symmetrically, through the shapes that make up the piece. It's going to be about 12 x 12 feet in size, with about a thousand LEDs."

"I'm hoping to build a controller so people can have a bank of buttons. Each button is a color, & pressing each button will send a pulse of that color into the piece, & that color will then be present for a while as it decays into the pattern of existing colors."

"Here is a rendering of an alternate way to mount the piece: "as a wall" that participants can walk up to & engage in front of them rather than above them.
*sparkle chimes*

Cosmic messenger by Page

"My project is a 9'6" Metal Pegacorn (Pegasus/Unicorn), with mosaic glass chakra's, LED lighting, with steel covered in chalkboard paint."

"'s covered in chalkboard paint so people can leave messages upon it, hence the name "Cosmic messenger". "
"You will know it is time to turn the page when you hear this sound *chime*"

MoltenSteelMan flame effects by Montesano & Peterson

"Moltensteelman will operate in collaboration with camp members from the Tuna Guys to increase geographical connections between southern & northern parts of the SOAK region."
"1. Twin Radiant Guardian Spears: freestanding propane fire torches designed to attract & warm a crowd. 2. Flamboni flame cannon (*mounted on raised stationary platform, NOT on Flamboni art car)."
"[All effects] operated periodically each evening & will be appropriately directed in accordance with all sound regulations, fire safety rules & laws."
(Spire & Flamboni with flame cannon)
3. Fantasy creature "Juvenile Pyrosaurus" flame effect: Compact-size version of Moltensteelman Pyrosaurus, shooting 2-6 foot flame.
*$parkle chime$*

Sunder egg by glaves

"The Sunder Egg is an deconstructable soft puzzle sculpture designed to provide solo & cooperative play, theatrical opportunity, quiet retreat, & transformative psychological space to participants. The overall form is a large egg, speckled with lights, with geometric cracks showing its deconstructable nature."

"The Egg is large enough to fit 1-3 people inside, with an approximate height of 6’ 5” & diameter of 5’."

"The interactivity goal for illumination is to use magnetically-activated Reed switches to have each fragment illuminate when snapped into place, providing visual feedback as the puzzle is assembled."


Web of dreams by randolph

"Web of Dreams is 60k feet of climbable rope doilies that is 100% interactive. We use 1400lb/square inch test nylon rope strung up on scaffolding. The beauty of Web of Dreams is that we can make it as many sizes & shapes or heights as we can imagine, scaffolding comes in a bunch of sizes! All of our rope panels are already done, so once we determine the size of the space we will have, we set up the scaffolding & stitch it together."
"Our concept for this year is to do a two story scaffolding structure inside of a dome. We will then crochet off of the dome on to the scaffolding."
SOAK*2014 , TWF

A Mad Science Fair by Wiz Labs

"A set of [8] interactive exhibits showcasing science, including: a 25 foot Foucault Pendulum, interactive laser spirographs, ferro-fluid, a gravity wave detector, a 6 foot DNA model, a Jacobs Ladder high voltage arc, a giant Newton's Cradle, & a dome that uses neuroscience..."
"At the ferro-fluid station, they use magnets to explore the bizarre behavior of this exotic material. At Newton's cradle, they pull back & release bowling balls to make them collide & demonstrate conservation of momentum."
(Laser spirographs at SOAK*2013)
"At the laser spirographs, visitors learn to operate controls to make the patterns move and change..."

Central Services Telecom Division: Public Phones by Mathis

"2015 we brought one tree-mounted telephone to the participants of SOAK...hidden from view but within earshot. Our Interactive phone systems have spent time both on & off playa...connecting camps & participants with each other (or random menus, voicemail boxes, & information)."
"Our project also stems out of a desire for there to be public 'call boxes' that can be used for reporting emergencies to on-site staff. This is a bonus feature we will include in our programming."

"Physical wired telephones are becoming a thing of the past & we're trying to remind folks of the potential if they dare to lift the receiver.."

Chymez Birches

Snow Crystal by Sebby

"My piece will be an approximately 4-foot snowflake in 3 intersecting layers. I intend to use plywood, white paint, & white lights. There may be glitter. It will hang from a chain & therefore be able to spin & sparkle. Support structure & chain will be metal."
"I do not plan to burn my snow crystal (it would just melt into a sad puddle)."
Please explode page...

Nancy Reagan Memorial Pathway & Voting Kiosk By Norvich

"This Mermorial day weekend let us gather and commemorate the death of Nancy Reagan by temporarily dedicating a pathway in her "Honor". Namely signs, a Ballot / Donation Box and a metal paperwork box for crowdsourced Ballots for various "elections, surveys and suggestions" "

"This installation also provides public utilities such as a phone charging station , bottle openers and lighters on lanyards and an ash can securely safety wired to the T Stake, It will be illuminated with down lit LED strip lighting at night."

"Gloriously, it will provide a point of gathering, democracy and utility."

Mothership Shuttle Stops by Herteg

"I am making (7) shuttle stops from reclaimed and new materials. (4-5) will have playatech loveseat benches as well. It will provide light, a meeting place, learning on the solar system, and inspire others to create more "junk" art."
"Truthfully it is useful EVERY year and I plan to bring it back with a different spin on the info signs according to the theme."
Chimey chime...

BoxFighter by Webb/Kelly

"It ...naturally synchs well with music and can be projected onto displays in the place of other trippy visuals."
"BoxFighter is a competitive 2-player video game, which BlackRock Gladiators has offered to host."
Funding will be used for "A sheltered, interactive environment to play and learn. Building the systems necessary to turn BoxFighter into a musical instrument. Building the infrastructure necessary to open BoxFighter character development to the SOAK community."
"[We will be] Gifting Copies of the game to play at home for anyone interested."
"Civic Responsibility: We use only free-range organic electrons in the execution of BoxFighter’s codebase, and rely on locally-sourced trigonometry for the rendering of its graphical displays."

Fungully by Brudowsky & Ramage

"Fungully is a magical interactive space of five glowing, singing mushrooms. Each mushroom cap has it’s own unique glow and responds to your touch with a harmonic sound. By touching all five mushrooms, an individual or group can create their own unique soundscape and light show."

"This fairy ring of light is a serene place to escape from all the stimulation and loud music of a festival, and connect with nature and others. It is a collaborative project between Ryan Ramage and Nickie B.""
"Each mushroom stands about 3.5-4’ tall, and the widest base is about 3’. The caps are made of cloudy white, semi-translucent resin, with a conductive copper wire spiraled onto the surface. Underneath the caps, you’ll find the “brains” which house all the electronics...Each mushroom also requires lag bolts, that secure it into the earth...throughout high winds and people hugging it."
Chimey page turniness...

Flamethrower Chandelier & friends by Ramage

"Perhaps the world's classiest flamethrower, “The Flamethrower Chandelier” is a 5-arm aluminum chandelier with LEDs and a bowl of fire on each arm."
"When pulled, a chain with a crystal handle can be ‘played’ in short poofs or long blasts of pyrotechnics to illuminate the landscape. Inspired by the gasoliers of the 1800s, but also incorporating modern technology, the Flamethrower Chandelier is part steampunk, part cyberpunk, and part percussion instrument, marrying mankind's oldest light source with our latest innovation. Proven fun for all ages!"
"For SOAK 2016, we intend to bring back all three of the [propane] fire pits, two NEW 40,000 BTU radiant heaters, and possibly, hopefully, a new arty/sculptural people heater. [And the chandelier.]"

Burning Bubbles by Lawrence

"I have 2 interactive activities, wood burning and giant bubbles! I have high voltage transformers that I connect the leads to the wooden planks. Wood is a great resistor so the current heats up and burns over the surface leaving random and sometimes remarkable burns. The patterns look like lightning, river mouths or trees. "
"The second is giant bubbles, I have a great formula that make bubbles the size of Short buses!"
"I will be burning wood and giving it out. I will also explain the process in detail as my day job is a union electrician. I've never been to soak but am excited for it! "

Serapeum guestbook by Brudowsky & Pauletto

"Serapeum Guestbook is a very scaled down version of a larger project called Cascadia Serapeum, which is being built across Vancouver, Seattle and Portland for Burning Man 2016. For SOAK, we are proposing to bring... a mysterious glowing lectern that houses a Guest Book register, which event participants are encouraged to inscribe."
"Throughout the event, the Guest Book will continue to evolve, resulting in a fun memento of SOAK 2016. The Lectern will return to SOAK year after year. We will be taking these pieces to Burning Man, as part of the larger Cascadia Serapeum installation."
" would be awesome to have a SOAK Guest Book that everybody signs. "
Chime things. Chime stuff.

Lightsweeper Bomb Beacon by Shenk

"We Seattleites are excited to bring our art to the cool Portland regional!"
"LightSweeper is a walk-on game board on which you can play minesweeper and other games. Our team built the hardware and software for this board from scratch for Burning Man 2014...This year we'd like to extend the interactive play experience by adding a large light-up bomb to visually attract players from a distance"
"The Bomb Beacon would also add expression to the minesweeper game states by having a "blowing up" animation when the player loses, and a "celebration" animation when the player wins..."

"It will not make noise in and of itself...The bomb itself will be lit up with multicolor LEDs that we would program to appear red and flashing when the bombs explode, or rainbow and glowing when the player wins minesweeper."

Chimes want a nap

tech@Play by Fultz/Students

"Two university Small Group & Team Communication classes have been given offered the task of creating art pieces together that meet SOAK requirements including that projects must be interactive and able to be assembled, run, fixed, and explained by me or a good samaritan volunteer. "
Final projects coming to SOAK: Shot in the dark ( glow archery), Trike (a large tricycle), Alien Autopsy, I Smell Love ( photobooth), Bamboo Amplifier and a Space Station Arcade in the MBS Mothership.
"Most of students will never go to SOAK or BM but they are excited about this- I want them to know that they're geeky tech skills we're cool enough to hang with the "pros"."
"Each project can be touched, most require interaction to produce various results, they're fun to play with, they're fun to watch people play with, and in the end: It's Not Art Until Someone Plays With It. Final projects will be displayed 5/16 on campus... (possibly Shift, and depending on sturdiness - Burning Man.)"
Chimmy chimezzzzzzzzzzzz

Ball Pit 2.0 by Nemecek

"[For] SOAK 2016, I'm making Ball Pit 2.0. First, I'm adding more walls, doubling it in size. Next, I would like to add some lighting so that the pit will attract people even after dark. Originally, the Ball Pit was Pallet-Squared in size. For the 1.5 version, it was a full 4'x4' square footprint. This year, it will be 8'x4', double the total volume of years past."
Ball Pit (& MBS Decadent Delight by Dusty Visions, SOAK*2014)

"Participation - This isn't just something pretty to look at. It's value comes from those who use it, who make it a part of their experience."

TAG! You're it.

Artists were sent denial or award letters April 8. Funding & contracts were solidified or completed by April 15th. We want to thank everyone who participated in this process!

See you at SOAK!

MBS TransItion Elements by Enquist/Greer/Brulotte, Spinning Disks by Paul Stoffregen, @ppetizer Burn by @pparatus & Party in a Box by Luna Crow.


Images are from personal collection, artist submissions, project webpages and public SOAK facebook posts. Artist and photographer names included when known. Do you need photo credits? Contact

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Sara "Sepia" Greer

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