One of the highlights, art-wise, of this year's Burning Man was the three-story, LED-filled, climbable man-made tree called the Tree of Ténéré, which provided shade during the dust-filled days and glowing, colorful light at night. It was the first playa installation for co-creators Zachary Smith and Patrick Deegan, who collaborated with artists Alex Green, Mark Slee, and Shlomo Zippel to build a stunning piece of technological wonder.
The inspiration comes from a real tree, which was knocked down about 50 years, that stood alone in the middle of the Sahara Desert and was thought to be the most isolated tree in the world.
Now, some branches from the tree will be getting lit up on the patio at The Midway this weekend as part of a benefit event to help the team cover their final costs from Burning Man. It's a party being hosted by the Burning Man camp Mystopia, featuring DJs Mark O'Brien (Polyglamorous), Ethical Drugs (Electroluxx), Traaven (Glamcocks), Captn Jay (Airpusher Collective), Jessica Stanell (ICARUS), and Mystopia residents including Bradley P & DJ Brian. It's called Forest Creatures (and Mystopia party fans should know that implies a costume), and the fun goes from 4 p.m. to midnight (or later). Tickets are $15 in advance, or $20 at the door.
Rumor has it, partygoers will get to control the LEDs on the branches they bring but, sadly, the whole tree is a bit big for this patio.
"When I set out to build Tree of Ténéré... I never could have imagined the incredible team and hundreds of volunteers and donors that would play a part in making it a reality," says Smith on the project website. "I'm humbled by the talent and generosity of this community, and grateful for your support."
Below, some more shots of the tree from Burning Man.
Ok, the last one about #burningman :) Ténéré tree @treeoftenere2017 was a pure magic this year! ?"It's made of hundreds of thousands of tiny LED lights that are hidden inside 25,000 magical leaves. The leaves are connected to an enormous climbable tree. When the sun sets, the leaves begin to glow. Lying beneath the tree, you find yourself looking up at the largest interactive "light canvas" in the world, enveloped in colors, shapes and patterns that move to music through the surreal canopy above you." #treeoftenere #burnergirl #burningman2017 #blackrockcity #welcomehome #desert #magic #love #playa #sunrise
The Tree of Ténéré By Zachary Smith and the Symmetry Labs crew. @TreeofTenere2017 They brought the Tree of Ténéré back to life at Burning Man 2017. "We were inspired by a tree that once grew in the middle of the Sahara desert, in a region called Ténéré. It was the most isolated tree on Earth: not a single other tree could be seen for 250 miles. And yet, the tree became an important ceremonial gathering place for traders and travelers as they crossed the desert. It brought people together for community, ritual and rest. It was mysteriously destroyed almost 50 years ago. At night, hidden LEDs within each leaf come to life. The leaves begin to glow. Together, these 25,000 LED leaves form a massive, dome-shaped "canvas of light." Look up and see stunning colors, shapes and patterns move through the treetop in synchrony with soothing music." - - - - #TheTreeofTenere #TreeofTenere #playaart #BlackRockCity #lonelytree #ledlightshow #BurningMan2017 #burningman #installationart #ttitd #artlovers
My favorite chillout place at @burningman this year : The wonderful @treeoftenere2017. You made my burn really special! Thanks A lot to The team who made this art installation. #treeoftenere ?? @burningman #blackrockcity #blackrockcity2017 #blackrockdesert #burningphotographs #burner #burningsoul #burningenergy #industwetrust #laplaya #dust #radicalritual2017 #fuckyerburn #burningbikes #burninglove #burner #burningmanart #burningmanusa #blackrockcity
The Tree of Ténéré (@treeoftenere2017) was by far my absolute favorite art piece on the Playa this year! No video or photo truly captures how enchanting it was, or how life-like for having over 25,000 LED leaves! Each leaf was mapped and then brought to life by artists who synced the leaves to everything from an orchestra to Tycho at sunrise! It was truly magical! #treeoftenere . I don’t know where it’s traveling to next, but if you get the chance to see it, definitely do! https://www.treeoftenere.com . . . . . . . . #burningman #burningman2017 #theplaya #brc #burningmanart #bm17 #bm2017 #interactiveart #blackrockcity #burningmanfestival #lightart