MAL the dragon is back from Burning Man no worse for the wear. We did a test build in Cambridge this week, before packing her up to go to NECTR (North East Connecticut Regional burn).
Maximena Alice Lee went to Burning Man, thanks in part to a generous art grant from The Hive. If you got photos of her, please share!
Here is our dragon, ready to be loaded on a Nevada-bound container tomorrow. Whereas for Figment Boston we could just wrap the pieces in blankets and pile the rest of the bits in a rental van, for her next journey she needs to be far more robustly packed. Five crates of plywood panels, 3 ALCs of pieces, parts, hardware, and tools, two frames, a training stand, one wheel, and a tube of drive-shafts and pipe segments. Next stop, Black Rock City!
Good night, my friend. Sleep well!
Presenting, Maximena Alice Lee, MAL, the finest interactive, mechanical dragon I have ever worked on! A collaborative piece, created by Lauren Audette, Kit Rebecca, and myself, with the generous help of many friends, she had her public debut Saturday at Figment Boston and is there one more day before we package her up and bring her to Burning Man. Come see her this afternoon, Sunday, 7/28 in Boston on the Rose Kennedy Greenway.
Here is a test of the rear gear, tail wagging mechanism. This is the last big element of our dragon we still have left to resolve. The push rod will be routed through the back haunches, represented in the video by those two black plastic clips. So this works! …in theory. There are still a lot of details to work out.
Today our friend finally got ears! We’ve had cardboard placeholders on from time to time, but today we had a community art day, and our friend Abby came and sewed some ears for MAL out of the same upcycled vinyl advertising banners I’ve used in my work in the past. Her whole face is improved! (The dragon’s that is- Abby’s whole face has always been lovely.)
MAL gets her painted-lady on…
Thanks to generous help from many friends and community members, MAL is ready for her final decorative painting. All panels have their base coats – teal on the outsides, purple base coat on the tail; the interior faces of the panels have a base of yellow, topped with a shiny, shiny metallic gold. Why put so much energy into painting the interior sides of the panels? Wait until you see her with lights..!
Here’s MAL all disassembled while getting her base coats of paint.