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Burning Man 2013
Control Tower
Guiding them all back home
Scroll Down to Get Down

 Having taken a year off to relax after building the Temple in 2011, we’re jumping happily back into Burning Man art building with a somewhat less serious, very different, but hopefully still awesome new project.

More about IAM here


Intro Page

60′ of fully interactive madness


Every aspect of Control Tower will be controllable by participants at the event, using physical controllers of some kind, probably featuring twiddly knobs, but it could get a lot stranger if time & money permit. We’re looking for ideas and the steady-handed, jittery minded hacker types to make them happen. No idea too crazy, no person too strange, once again our project is open to all and sundry!


We consider Control Tower to be more of an open platform where collaborators of every kind are gleefully invited to come and play. Already we have crews bringing flame effects, lasers, and more – do YOU have a ridiculous/transcendent project that would look sweet atop a 60′ color shifting megatower? If so, get in touch, and let the madness begin..


One of the things we loved most about the Temple was that so many people got to be part of creating it, both on the build crew and by adding their own touches to the basic structure. Now, we want to see how far we can take this process of co-creation: can we involve 1000 or more people in creating this artwork? We’re gonna try, stay tuned for details!

But how will all this work? Read on…

All you need to know about
Control Tower
in granular detail yo

What is it?

Part tubeworm wafting gently near a hydrothermal vent, part Tesla's Wardenclyffe tower, all color shifting madness - learn more about the basic shape of the project here.

Concept Art

Assorted concept drawings from various angles....

Philosophical Statement

But surely this project is about more than just blinking lights? Yes it is, and don't call me Shirley...


The essence of IAMs mission is the creation of work that engages as many people as possible. We believe that large scale art can be a platform for massive engagement across the whole community: Control Tower will actualize this philosophy via 2 methods, both before & during the event.


Calling to mind the flickering colors & undulating motion of jellyfish & plankton, as they pulse & shimmer in the dark waters of the deep, Control Tower truly comes to life by night.


A lot of thought yet to come on the subject of sound - we're open to suggestions
An open invitation to


of every kind!  

Have you ever thought: Man, my X sure is sweet, but it’d be even sweeter 60′ tall and shooting flames?
Do you have an epic interactive art idea, but would rather spend your precious time, energy and funding on the idea rather than the generators, foundations, and rigging required to build at Burning Man?
Have you an idea that could make an awesome, experimental or surprising use of the systems or structure of Control Tower?

We are building a giant tower packed to the gills with power, lighting, hard-points, control systems and a delicious mix of janky and elegant engineering – if you have an idea to help us make Control Tower even crazier, if your or your crew can use the tower to make your project even better, then we’d love to hear from you.

We love collaboration, and the more the merrier! Burning Man is supposed to be fun, dammit, and there’s fewer things more fun than jumping headfirst over the boundary walls of the Default World in the company of crazy friends, new and old!

Sample projects might include, but are not limited to: autonomous quadrocopter swarms, any project with antennae, kinect or computer vision projects, interactive & directional audio, gamification, projections & animations, weather/seismic/EM recording (or generation, if you have Tesla/NOD grade capabilities), optical illusions, performance art, weird lighting, arduino/pi/makeymakey projects, tattoos, and anything else that sounds good, interesting, or vaguely explosive…


Would you like to
Join the Control Tower Crew
We are open to everyone, as long as you rock


We have loads of room for volunteers over the course of this project. Here’s a rough list of some of the areas in which we’ll be recruiting crew, and where we have gaps we need to fill. Still loads of space for everyone;)
We expect this project to change over time as new ideas and collaborators join the fun, so overall crew needs may change. What we do know however is that we have a shit ton of work to do, so everyone is welcome to join in!
Have a big idea you want to contribute to the tower? Awesome – if you demonstrate you can work within a crew, we’ll let you lead one if you want so you can take charge of making your vision a bad-ass reality. Let’s melt some faces.
Structural & Construction
Art & assembly
Electronics, Electrical & Physical Interaction
Coding, hacking & web
Fundraising & procurement
Support & logistics
 Project Mgmt & Admin
Crew & collaborator wranglin’
Animation & documentation
Please contact us using the form, and let us know how you want to get involved..

Support the Project

Fiscal Sponsorship

Supporting the project is now fully Tax Deductible!

We are proud to be accept Fiscal Sponsorship from Fractured Atlas, a major 501(c)(3) arts support organisation based in NYC. Fiscal Sponsorship allows our supporter to donate funds & materials to us on exactly the same tax-deductible basis as if we ourselves were a 501(c)(3).

Donating Materials/Equipment: Donations of tools, materials, food, machinery, and office supplies are completely tax deductible too, and we will work with you to determine a fair & mutually beneficial valuation of your donation, no matter how big or small. Do you have tools or materials lying around your garage, yard, home or business that you can’t use or sell? We need a huge & broad range of gear to get this project done, so we will happily consider ANYTHING you may wish to donate tax deductibly.

List of stuff we need – do you have any of these items? Donate them tax deductibly!

Drop them by the warehouse space or give Irish a call on 775-671-6135 to arrange delivery. We’re normally at the Generator, 1240 Icehouse Ave, Sparks, from 2-8pm, Wed – Sun.

materials wish list graphic


Contact Us

Contact Information

Please get in touch with us if you want to get involved in any capacity using the form.

Include your full name, brief explanation of skills & experience (if any), and suggest your desired role within the crew.

Alternatively, if you have an idea too magnificent to describe via email,  just give us a call…

Phone: 775 345 3949


Small quote page
and never forget

“My Drinking Crew has a Building Problem”

Insane Mike