Bucky Ball Pit: Fuller’s Workshop
Immerse Yourself in Bucky’s Brain at Burning Man in a Ball Pit with VR and a Neurological Translator
The Bucky Ball Pit is a ball pit inside a giant Buckminster Fuller head at burning man… with a twist! All the fun of balls in your face, layered with the teaching of Buckminster Fuller for your mind, blinky lights for your eyes, a virtual reality layer for deeper understanding, a heartbeat translator connected subwoofer for your body, and more!
The Bucky Ball Pit
Buckmnister Fuller was a da Vinci of the 20th century – a poet, an engineer, a futurist, a polymath. He spent his life discovering and utilizing natures coordinate system in order to make the world work for 100% of humanity. He found that the closest packing of spheres (or balls, if you will) revealed the underlying structure of the universe, upon which 3.8 billion years of life on earth had designed itself.
The Bucky Ball Pit is inspired by the life and work of Buckminster Fuller who peeled back the layers of the reality he was born into and looked at it from a fresh perspective. You will literally crawl inside his mind made of a geodesic dome, a bounce house and a ball pit, seeing the world as he saw it, but most importantly you will be inspired to do your own thinking.
There will be many avenues for learning about Bucky in the ball pit. We are designing a custom VR experience that will guide you through Bucky’s understanding of nature’s coordinate system. We will be screening his 42-hour long lecture titled “Everything I Know” layered with ambient music. There will be lectures both planned and impromptu, books, posters, models and much much more.
We are also building The Bucky Neurological Translator by which Buckminster Fuller explanation and insight is absorbed by an individual. The individual’s autonomic nervous system is influenced by the feelings associated with this absorbed data. A basis physiological expression associated with both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system is then expressed into the Bucky ball volume. Those meandering through the volume feel a auditory and tactile pressure reflective of this nervous system state. A novel and fundamental communication is enabled to connect abstract Bucky thoughts with core physiological state.
This project will be brought back to the playa adjacent (formally known as the default world) after burning man and set up at events, conferences, festivals, city parks, and many other venues. We’re committed to growing this project, enhancing the VR experience and offering it to as many people as possible.
You are a dusty hot mess in the best kind of way. The conditions for epiphany are riper than that peach rolling around at the bottom of your backpack. You’re steeped in the experiment-in-community that is burning man, the gifting economy keeps delivering serendipity to you in shovel fulls, the harsh climate is testing your limits, you’re facing your triggers, un-imprinting past traumas, surrounded by smiling authentic faces, and perhaps have invited entheogens into the mix. Mini-epiphanies and even the larger kind are waiting with baited breath to thrill your mind, body, and soul. You and 70 thousand others are exploring the life’s work of a great renaissance man, Da Vinci, a man inspired by nature’s coordinate system, a man so creative that some of his designs and models still have not been built.
Then a friend pulls you into a ball pit. You think, hey this is a nice fun comfy respite from it all. Then you realize it’s themed Buckminster Fuller, the Da Vinci of the 20th century, a polymath- a futurist, poet, writer, architect, inventor, and as most burners are aware- the inventor of the geodesic dome! You look around at the dome that is covering the ball pit and see quotes of his, models of his explorations in geometry, and a gorgeous geometric art installation on the ceiling behind it all. You see triangles, hexagons, and spheres everywhere.
Then a friendly host hands you a Virtual Reality headset and asks: “would you like to become re-enchanted with the fundamental coordinate system of the universe? You slide it on and immerse yourself in an exploration in nature’s coordinate system. You learn about simple shapes like tetrahedrons and more complex ones like the vector equilibrium. You learn the definition of Synergetics: the empirical study of systems in transformation, with an emphasis on total system behavior unpredicted by the behavior of any isolated components, including humanity’s role as both participant and observer. You are inside an experience that has been designed to reorient your fundamental understanding of the universe. You have an epiphany: Universe is an abstraction, but when you understand how it works you can become an active participant instead of a passive observer. Woah.
If you are there at the right time you’ll also be set up with bio sensor that will take your heart-rate, and visualize it on the dome above you.
If you are there between 5-7 you will also participate in a Geometry of Thinking workshop . You’ll make your own models to take home and tools for teaching others about spheres, nanotech, biomimicry and how the universe works.
What We Need & What You Get
Here is what we need monies for:
- An inflatable giant Buckminster Fuller head that will house the balls made by a talented maker from Colorado
- Virtual Reality headsets, cameras, and development of a unique VR experience for inside the pit inside the head.
- A quality speaker and subwoofer system for the Neurological Translator system.
- 40,000 Balls (already sourced, BPA free and mostly upcycled from other art installations in the Bay area)
- LED lights that will coordinate with your heart beat.
- Equipment for the Neurological Translator
- Buckminster Fuller Decor: Synergetics Models, Posters and Books
- Storage so we can bring it to local parties in the bay area throughout the year and back to burning man next year!
- A Gold Bucky Ball 3D-Printed Necklace
- A Silver 3D-Printed Bracelet
- A Custom VR Headset with Buckyball Design
- Your message on a ball in the pit
- Sticker Set
- Bucky ball print by Libby Flack
We aim to host around 2500 people in the ball pit at an average of 15/hour x 7 days. Every person will have at least one of the following experiences:
- Play in a ball pit and enjoy a respite from the heat/dust/overwhelm etc.
- Participate in custom Virtual Reality experiences, taking you around our spaceship earth and learning how the universe works
- Learn about the life and work of Buckminster Fuller through the quotes of his written on the balls, synergetics models, his books available for reading in the pit, his lectures playing on audio, or any of the other learning opportunities inside Bucky’s mind
- Participate in a “Geometry of Thinking” hands-on workshop on Tuesday-Friday from 5-7 in which participants will learn about Synergetics, a comprehensive energetic geometry system developed by Bucky, through hands-on model building in the ball pit.
- Have a life-changing epiphany that leads them to transform the world so that it may “work for 100% of humanity”.
Risks & Challenges
The playa is a tricky place for technology. The neurological translator component may break. We have some pretty handy people around who will likely be able to fix it, but no promises. Luckily the balls wont break so there will still be fun for everyone!
Other Ways You Can Help
Whether you are able to contribute or not you can help by:
- Coming to the Bucky Ball Pit at Burning Man and telling all your friends to come too!
- Getting the word out and make some noise about the campaign.
- Use the Indiegogo share tools!
“We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.” – R. Buckminster Fuller
IDEATE, our Burning Man Camp
IDEATE cultivates a global community that embodies and perpetuates the principles of Burning Man in the World and, of course, has a ridiculously good time doing it. At IDEATE we are cultivating best practices for resiliency – how we treat each other, how we leave things (better than we found them), and how food, waste, and water are handled. We see Burning Man as a testing ground for innovation that will change the world and it is our aim to design for RADICAL REGENERATION starting with our own behavior and our systems as a camp.