Caged Pulse Jets is an interactive, kinetic sound sculpture. The caged birds are five spinning pulse jet engines of various sizes that create a range of percussive and droning tones. Through a completely interactive interface, the public can create sound compositions ranging from the symphonic to the cacophonous while they are held captive by the fiery jets spinning by their own thrust.

August 22, 2010

And off they go!!!

Well, after a grueling couple of weeks of testing, trouble shooting, some failure, re-testing, more fabrication, more safety precautions, we are finally done. As done as it will be for Burning Man! Like most projects, "done" is a misnomer, as I could spend another year perfecting this sculpture... but for now- it works, and it works well! A few things we learned during the first test- we needed to truss the arms that hold the jets to stabilize the cage, and the jets after they really start spinning(so fast!!) I called on an old friend who brought his portable welding rig out to the site and helped truss the arms in question over some beers and a sweet afternoon.
The consequent test was successful except for the hose clamps failing on the big jet, propelling it into the cage. This seeming disaster had an unexpected upside though, as I replaced every hose clamp with the heaviest duty aero/space clamp money can buy and welding on a safety bracket to hold every jet to it's respective arm securely. It happened to the largest jet, and it flew into the cage, which held up minus a dimple. The jet was repairable and will still work fine. Glad it happened during testing!

The console interface is still finicky, but works great if you have the touch. There is a delay in response of the jets, which will require some concentration on the players part. It truly is a very interactive sound sculpture- not for the weak at heart!!

So tomorrow it gets loaded, hopefully without too many hitches. It's a bit bulky for a trailer load, but, hey, what weird sculptures are not?
Tuesday early it's due to depart for its long journey to the Playa. I have been excited for this day for a while, though I will admit I wish I could now go, even if it was just for a little bit- to see it up and running, on the beautiful Black Rock Desert.
Then again, I get a firm kick from the little one inside, reminding me I have other things to tend giving birth in a few weeks. oh yeah.

The project will be well documented, by my good friend Wendy Shuey, and I am excited to see pictures & video and will post them post event!

To all of you who helped make it happen- Thank you!!! I am so grateful for having this opportunity especially pre baby. May the project fair well, may the team be safe, and wishing you all the best Burn ever!

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