The Dancing Serpent

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Dancing Serpent Sunset.jpg

This sculpture was constructed at American Steel Studios in Oakland and largely funded by a small honorarium art grant from the Burning Man Festival. Gray Davidson led the project, Colin Leon contributed integral mechanical and artistic design components, Misha Naiman contributed to the visual design and Adrian Coyne, Hugh Wimberly, Bramani Quinn and Jennifer Tarvin worked on the build. Here follow the contents of the original art grant, visions to which the project held true.


Just as we are a sect of homo-sapiens which grows lush in our desert habitat, I like to imagine that everything about our city – the striped tents, the night beacons, the strange crawling vehicles, the unexpected flames – are equally living products of the rare atmosphere of the playa. I think of what creatures might evolve there in the heat and the dust, with the sun and the wind for power, with a peacock’s urges to be admired day and night, with a joy in the solitude and the rough edges of the natural world that spawned them. What might develop as the denizens of the Carnival of Dreams if their constituent molecules were dust and rust and sunlight? The Serpent participates in this vision as a creature that has evolved to take advantage of the special affordances of Burning Man. It is an encouragement to seek beauty from what might otherwise be rough metal and glass, energy from the movement of the wind, and to treat with respect, and perhaps a little fear, those strange entities – human, canvas, metal, plastic, wooden – that make up the city around us.[1]


The Dancing Serpent was displayed at the Autumn Lights Festival in 2015, as well as at the Bay Area Maker Faire in 2016. At Maker Faire the Dancing Serpent won 3 blue ribbons for creativity. It was on a short term display at the Monument Warehouse in San Fransisco between April and August of 2016. Made by Majorelle Arts in 2015.