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Travel Log - Hunting, Hitchhiking, Painting & Getting Dirty: Traveling Across America


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Friends and Fam - I am back. Misterraven and several others have dug me out of the homo dungeons of solitude and breathed fresh air into my woefully bankrupt lungs. Good timing - and thank you.  

@Fist 666You're in Ashveille?? That's awesome. I will totally come visit. You moved?   @misteravenYo you're in Montana? Fuck yeah. I am thinking of doing a Wyoming/Montana tour this Spring/S

Also thank you for everyone who's kept up with me the past what - five years? More? Y'all kept me going. More than family at times, seriously. Pictures and more to come soon \ - ANYONE IN :

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Thanks yall - yeah the video is impressive. I am really lucky to have such a killer crew. All for the story...

A lot has happened in the past few months.

 

I dove into Oakland pretty empty handed and open minded. It was a bit rough but it more than made up for it in action and excitement. It reminded me of a blown up version of the towns on the outskirts of indian reservations. All the problems in my neighborhood dwarfed the ones that I was creating, so I nestled in pretty neatly.

 

I caught wind of a project for burning man this year and latched on pretty hard. I spent the majority of the past five months working on the design for the Temple at Burning Man. It's the largest art structure at the event and required a lot of time and really, really hard work. The project involved building a massive wooden art structure set apart from the main event that people could visit to meditate in, evaluate their life in, and leave behind mementos of loved ones who'd passed away. A big change from the fast-paced small-picture lifestyle that I'd been living for so long.

 

This was the design pitched to the event

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We had about three months of waiting to see if it actually bit, and among about a dozen other designs, we somehow got to the top three.

 

At the beginning of the year, I got the call that the project had been green lighted, and we were now well on our way to building a 300k dollar sculpture in the middle of the desert, for 70,000 people to interact with, and after 7 days, burn it to the ground.

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I spent the next few months sanding, cutting, bolting, wrenching, welding, grinding, and trying to keep a loose grip on what I could and should be doing with my life. I put a hiatus on graffiti to concentrate on what I felt would be a better use of my time and skill-set. It was a very, very intense time period that saw a few relationships strained, and many more reinforced.

 

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There is a weird warehouse in Alameda that houses strange art pieces, and I spent a considerable amount of my days assembling and planning out how this massive beast would come to life.

 

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Those of you in the bay will know of American Steel, a pretty hot spot for painting. I spent many, many hours inside this building welding and bending steel to make the giant trees that would inhabit the center of the "grove" (the inside area of the spiral structure, where people would write messages and mementos on strips of canvas and tie them to the trees).

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Long story short.. I got early arrival pass for 2 weeks ahead of the event - we were the first art crew on site (middle of the desert in nevada). It was midnight of the day we were scheduled to arrive. We pitched our tents in the moonlight and began building a shade structure to house ourselves for the next 2 weeks of building this beast.

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We spent all night into the morning setting up shade structures. The site itself was barren - a stick in the ground surrounded by spiral annotations of some crazy midnight mathmatic formula. The nearest human besides us was about a mile or two away. Ten or so of us, stranded in a weird limbo of dirt and hopefulness. There was a very odd combination of excitement, fear, curiosity, and inherent danger in the air. What now? was always the question that was whispered amongst quiet ears.

 

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You wake up at predawn. No tent yet, no real structure for shade. Just a human splayed out on a piece of blanket in the middle of the desert. Your eyes open to nothingness. A pure bifrication of land and space before you. What the fuck are you doing out there....

 

"hey bud grab the impact and let's make some shade... breakfast is ready"

 

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Sunny side up, that's how we greeted every day the next couple weeks. A few of us built a tight crew of hard working nightowls that would sleep till dinner, put on harnesses, and run the night moves till dawn. rigging the bracing and ribbing of the structure on 20-40-60-80ft scissor lifts and VR's, precariously dangling off homemade bracing structures 40ft up, screwing in that last brace to try like hell to win the bet of an 8ball that night crew'd outpace day crew.

 

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An owl given to me by one of the hardest and most intelligent men I've ever met, a rogue Pollock who grew up in Chicago named Blazej, first night after I set my tent up.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've got a bunch... I'll update pretty soon with some good stuff. What's good toiletseat? I've seen your name around forever but never said hello!

 

Times good here in Oakland. Just finishing up helping Swoon paint/install a mural at the Facebook headquarters.... Never worked with anyone so genuinely honest, true, and downright solid as a human being - not to mention so fantastically talented. It's insane how long I've worked with the varying degrees of pretentiousness and grandiosity that come with the trade we all share. It's refreshing and inspiring.

 

Pictures and stories to come, after this weekend..

 

Peace!

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Not rolling in the funds but I'll help out any way I can. Dude's living the life we all should and if a few bucks is all he needs, damn right i'll kick in.

If he doesn't deserve to profit, who the fuck does? Wish I had more to throw in on this adventure.

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Thanks to my good friend inkface for spreading the word about the unfortunate events that transpired south of the border...

and to all the kind words from my fellow oontzers.

 

2015 ended on a weird and wild tangent. I began working with the main build crew of the Temple for Burning Man on two new ideas. One is a pet project of mine involving infiniti mirrors, and the other is a coral reef restoration program we're linking up with in Southern MX.

 

Before we get into that, Here's a few pictures of the temple we built in its grandiosity! Some by me, some by others. This took about 4-5 months of prebuilding in the bay, and two weeks of assembly out in the desert.

 

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^The final burn. 40,000 people in complete silence. The amount of mementos and artifacts and personal items left inside was staggering. I walked through before the final burn and counted dozens of urns, wedding rings, military fatigues, paintings, sculptures, clothing, wedding dresses, a cornicopia of memory, thousands of offerings destined for the unquestioning inferno that awaited.

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