Burning Man 2015 Project

“Worthy” is my project for Burning Man 2015. It presents fourteen situations along a curved wall that participants can vote on—whether they care about the situation or not. Each situation has a pair of pushbutton-activated electronic counters to display the number of votes either way. Votes are summed throughout the event for participants to check the tallies.

Worthy’s Displays

To count participant votes in the “Worthy” project, I need 28 counting displays, two displays per wall segment. Each display must have five digits to prevent counter overflow during the one-week Burning Man event. Since I could not find sufficiently large pre-made displays with more than four digits, I had to make my own. Each [Read More…]

Protecting the Generator

To power the Worthy project during the 24 hours of every day that it’s installed, I’m going to use a Honda EU2000i generator and an extended-run fuel tank. I just built this lockable crate, which will be bolted to the art project itself. It’s not quite complete. In addition to getting paint, the crate needs an opening for the [Read More…]

Display PCB’s Schematic

All good printed-circuit boards start with a schematic diagram. Here is the schematic diagram of Worthy’s printed-circuit board. It uses a simple microcontroller; 10 one-inch, seven-segment LED displays; two segment drivers; and five digit drivers.

A Little Bit at a Time

I leave for Burning Man on August 28, and so I try to make some progress on the Worthy project every morning. Here’s today’s achievement: the crate that will secure the generator and its extended-run tank now has feet and has been painted. The crate still needs openings for ventilation, but that’s for another day.

Recreational Analytic Geometry

Each fluorescent lamp that illuminates the Worthy project is supported by two pieces of bent 1-½” steel tubing. My test of a single-radius bend looks boring, and so I’m going to try a double-radius bend. But what radii? After some math, I can plug different numbers into r1 and r2 until the curve looks good. Then I’ll [Read More…]

Kiln-Dried Lumber

The  desert weather at Burning Man will dry lumber, causing it to shrink, bend, or twist, and so I’m starting with kiln-dried (KD) 2×4s. I had intended to find KD wood locally sourced, but as I visited the area’s lumber companies, I was surprised that all had only green 2×4s. Then I saw the price of kiln-dried “white [Read More…]

Lumber Chopped

I used my chop saw to cut all of the Worthy project’s 2×4s to size. Partway through the process I discovered that I should have cut the long pieces before cutting the short pieces: what was left couldn’t be cut into what was needed. Oops! A trip to buy five more 2×4s solved that problem. Now everything is [Read More…]

Worthy Content

While I enjoy the construction process, the whole purpose of the Worthy project is to display provocative content for Burning Man attendees to consider and vote on. Below are nine candidates for the 14 available positions on the piece’s curved wall. Choosing content has been more difficult than I had expected. I could easily choose 14 subjects that I feel passionate [Read More…]

More Content

Now twelve images are done, and that leaves only two to go! Here are three new images along with two updates. This first one was inspired by the 2014 Black Rock City Census, which mentions that 71.8% of burners do not identify with an organized religion. So I had to include this image. (I have an expectation which way the votes will go.) However, [Read More…]

Final Worthy Content

A while back I decided to use a topic from Chris Mooney’s The Republican Brain. In the book, he describes two personality traits that mainly differentiate liberals and conservatives. They are featured in the 13th and 14th images for the Worthy project.       Now that all of the images have been selected, I’ll spend the rest of the [Read More…]

Wall Segments Assembled

Ah! I finished assembling the Worthy project’s 14 wall segments with time enough for painting most of the 240 ft2 of the portions that are black. Tomorrow I’ll attach the the segments, finish painting the black parts, and start painting the 300 ft2 of the remaining portions, which will be white. Here are six of the wall segments, stacked for [Read More…]

Installing Worthy at Burning Man 2015

(Updated September 6, 9:30 PM with a photo from the christening.) Burning Man’s art team, the ARTery, located Worthy in the inner playa, near to the 3:00 road, a placement which allowed for high traffic. I was surprised to discover that Worthy’s 2:30 placement was just behind the popular roadside Honoraria installation Totem of Confessions and in the vicinity of other Honoraria installations Love [Read More…]

Participants Respond to Worthy

Here are pages from the journal that was mounted on Worthy during the installation’s third through final days. I enjoy reading the many different responses.  

Voting Results for Worthy

Worthy tallied votes over its five days on the playa. Below are the results for its 14 topics. Understand that actually I don’t care much about the results because I asked people to vote to make them think. Still, I care about the results somewhat, and I see that I correctly anticipated most of them, but there were a few surprises. Exoplanets I had [Read More…]

Acknowledgements for Worthy

No one person is an expert in everything. Several people helped me over the eight months that it took to conceive, design, create, and install Worthy.