Arsonistic catharsis for the modern (wo)man
New Years Eve workshop to reflect on what you want to leave behind in 2016 and what you want to carry with you into 2017, through the art of making and burning effigies.
Originated in interest to create a container for friends to explore channeling emotion into their personal creative expression. And to burn things.
Provided complimentary emotional unpacking and design consulting. Raw structural materials (popsicle sticks, skewers, toothpicks, hot glue, twine) and assorted magical accoutrements (magnesium shavings, colored flame additives, googley eyes, scented candle perfume, and tiny straw hats).
In collaboration with the amazing Aaron Apple and Chris Skieller, and everyone that really dove in to make these beautiful embodiments.
- Number of increasingly different forms grew dramatically as more pieces were completed. Think people felt more permission to get weird with increased variety. Also more sources of inspiration for new techniques.
- The emotional catharsis seemed to take two forms
- Constructing a specific and personal emotionally charged symbol into the design, then destroying this symbol
- Using the flow of creation to tap into and vent an emotional reservoir - the process of building was itself the release, without any particular goal in mind
- The magnesium didn't burn as brightly as hoped - perhaps either the glue insulated it, it needs much higher temperatures, or larger quantities?
- The particular wood materials chosen seemed to have a really perfect burn time - most effigies were gone within 2 minutes. Also a fantastic distribution of visual properties (length, thickness, width) that people really took advantage of
- Hot glue introduced a very appropriate temporality to any joints created in the structures
- Due to safety concerns, most people through their effigies into a bonfire. I lit mine myself on a little plot of dirt, and it was a really lovely experience we should create for everyone in the future
Ideas for Next Time
- Provide physical example of various approaches and design techniques
- Improve on magnesium, color, and sparkly burn material use
- Explore how pieces burn over time, to almost make a choreographed performance out of it
- Build out the framework for guiding people to dive into themselves to pull out a concept they especially connect with, to deepen the catharsis of the whole experience