Acavallo 2012
Budget and Build

Black ROCK 2012

We showed up without any problems - the tow down was smooth, the way in was enabled by technology (WIFI at the gate!!), and we arrived in fine style, although dog tired. Which was no problem, the piece unfolded as planned, it rolled 80 people across the playa in magnificent style, in all seasons, with beats and flames and horses and it just worked great.

Here are some pictures, culled from the social media, and thank you all for taking such great pictures. If you want credit email and I'll update 'em.

our camp from the air - 3:30 and esplanade. You can see the carousel and blue dome. A tidy lookin camp, really.

approaching camp from the playa.

the ship's coming into view. Behind it is the blue dome, and to the right the forge and stage we had set up.

ready for fun. The gangplank is down, the stage and lights are set up, the fire is installed, and it's like Wednesday or something. We got it done in style.

imagine driving this thing - the driver's eye view is even worse - it's down about 3'. I got asked all week, "HOW CAN YOU SEE" and I'd say "you have to focus on the space between!" which was true, and it was incredibly fun, taking total concentration.. Look past the people and the horses, to the slices behind, and map the world like radar. It helped to be slowly swinging back and forth, if you went straight, you'd be sure to end up lined up exactly at a lampost right down the middle where you couldn't see. We had spotters of course,but I wouldn't tell them that. And also, you just drive really slow. Next year, video cameras! But still spotters.

ready? Almost. check out that minimalist shade for the stage - that white tarp has been thru burning man 3 times. And all summer in front of the shop. It's amazing it's in one piece. It is screwed to a board, at one end, that is tied to the box truck. It is clamped to an aluminum pole, which is tied to the two columns braced by waterbarrels (leftover from the cyclophone). A single rope thrown over the middle and tied to the stage keeps it from popping too much, and it just survives windstorm after windstorm.

time to turn on the generator, get those airbags pumped up.

And roll out for a playa tour. People loved it every where it went - if we stopped, we had a party. here we are visiting a bar over at 10:00 or so. It was so smooth to drive around, it was incredible. I've never had an artcar with such smooth power, it made the playa transparent, so easy to navigate because you just got places, no problem. No endless put putting of the drum car, smoking batteries, tiny sightlines - just wide open vistas and smooth sailing. Watch that temperature guage! It has a better fan, now, so I think that won't be a problem next year. I can't wait.

it also cast really cool shadows out on the playa.

our good man Linus, the samurai soundman stage manager, relaxes up top

and Barley, finally getting to chill out after a summer of endless fabrication

Danny and Marlo too... lookin good

checkin out the regional art... love the big baby

and there's always fashion shoots

or a trip out to the temple...

ridin along, deep playa, Sadie (thank you for all the meals) gets her cowboy on. Don't know where the horse got the shoe, but it sure looks good with it.

the trash fence.

we drop the gangplank on reality, Will contemplates disembarking

nobody gets off, we head back to camp.

Barley and I, so damn happy and finally getting some sleep. That car is together. The shade is up. Wig is on!

stocking up the bar in the Blue Dome!

dinner is served, thank you Acavallo Kitchen!!

and then, of course, dust storms all afternoon. The catwalk is great then, too, it's up out of some of the dust anyway. Time for a nap.

And then, a trip out for a wedding! Load 'em up

and keep loading 'em, as everyone gets their outfit on

fabulous on deck. Driver has that I'm concentrating really hard on not running into things look.

blushin brides. it was such an honor to host Shawn and Brian's wedding! And very moving, and everything you'd want a wedding to be. Striped pants, feathers, and all.

Danny officiates

nice feather... and horsewig

and back to a view from camp. We were at 3:30 and Esplanade, next door to Disorient and looking out on the Cosmic Thistle. Those boys on the catwalk are tuning up the fire.

the catwalk is a great place to watch a sunset from, and it's a great place to:

smooch it up.

another great sunset shot.

the boys chillin in the sunset. Thanks, Stephan, for all the pictures!

And, as Max says, let the wild rumpus begin!

lights on! looking down at the bow

and down at the gangplank.

spotlight on number one

light up the fire, Dan! Nice outfit

rollin out - spotters on both sides! The driver can't see nuthin

and wherever we stopped, a party happened!

this looks safe, who is in charge here oh wait it's them

love this shot, and the people in it. No elwire, no LED, just a disco ball, christmas lights, wonderful people and a few flames. It's magic.

goddamn horn line, people

It was us and Pulpo vs all the LED Cars. Love this thing.


whoop whoop no walk the plank backwards

what is going on here! looks dusty and smoky oh god

the man tries to burn the carousel down... it doesn't but boy was it exciting! Parking downwind, a great idea

Andy Jones and his tribal thunder drumcar pay a visit. Ours totally failed - the carburetor got jammed with dirt and the engine filled with gasoline and we never got it figured out. It was just too gross. So it sat at camp. But Andy's worked great - good thing there are two! Fire spinners love drumcars. Go figure.

somebody else noticed, with a totally different camera. It's interesting how the same shots turn up.

the city awaits.

and have we got a band for them! Dynasty Electric Rocks the Playa

Jenny! People came by our camp the next day asking if it was true that Lady Gaga played our car... Jenny Electrik can rock a stage I tell you what



This moment was really incredible. It was the night of the Wall Street burn, Dynasty Electric was about to play (they're setting up onstage) with Unicorn Smack to follow (in the white wigs) and it was just so unbelievably awesome. I'd wrestled in the dirt with Dan, and he choked me good and then Will did the same, so I was all looped and hopped up on being wrassled and Jenny was playing and damn it all it was the dream come true - the dream that got it all started was a dream of a metal ship, with metal horses going up and down, a band, and fire shooting out the top and THERE IT WAS in front of me, like a movie, but real, and it was an unbelievable experience to have that realization. Like stepping through a portal, the universe dancing with me, me dancing with it, having worked so hard, done so much, and pop it was a dream come true. I can't really express how that felt.

And I'll be honest, it was tremendously satisfying validation as an artist that it looked so good, and as an engineer that it worked so well, and as a human to have so many incredible friends to fill it up, to make it complete, like it is here - oh, all that work, and all worth it. Thank you universe: thank you for the friends, the materials, and all those mechanics and engineers who gave me the tools to work with to make this ridiculous dream come true.


And this moment, too, was really special - the snow machine party in the bluedome. It was incredible.