October 5 2016

Burning Man’s Full Scale Humpback Whale in Steel and Stained Glass

At this year’s Burning Man, one of the most spectacular art pieces was the Space Whale, a monumental stained glass and steel sculpture consisting of two humpback whales. A mother is diving down to the Earth’s surface supported by her calf. The sculpture evokes the dynamic bond between child and parent and the intrinsic need to preserve our planet. At 50-feet-tall, the pair was a sight to behold.

I love that 3,200 stained glass panels were used to create this magnificent piece. Not only could you see this sculpture, you could hear it, too. It sang whale songs at the same frequency and decibel level as real whales, creating an ethereal experience for the visitor. The idea was executed by The Pier Group, an international collective of artists and builders led by Matthew Schultz as well as Android Jones, a “digital painter.”

Photographer Cliff Baise said this about his experience: “Every angle of this incredible sculpture was a treat to behold. I saw it utilized for meditation as well as serving as a backdrop for many weddings. In addition to the twinkling led’s, a beautiful whale song would resonate from within. Matthew, Android, and the rest of the Pier Group did such an amazing job. Appreciation is the name of the game. Realizing that every moment is fleeting and taking the time to stop and wonder, and give gratitude is key.”

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