Survey Flags

Project Name: Survey Flags

Artist Name: Ian Thomas Mac Elmore

Description of Project

"Flags. So many Flags.

The project is to include 50 Flags, 36" x 30," and affixed to an 8'-0" wooden pole. These Flags can be carried, played with, stuck on top of things, planted in the ground (weather permitting). The Flags are a collective participatory game with constantly changing rules and goals, inviting hippies to express themselves.

This project follows on successful pilot programs at Alchemy 2015 (6 Flags) and Euphoria 2016 (18 Flags). Using the lessons from these smaller experiments, we have a clear vision how the project can both scale up, increasing the impact of the flags around the event.

The Flags need to be Iconic. All Flags will be identical, removing a sense of ownership while increasing the number of hippies who will realize there are a ton of Flags wandering around the event. This invites people to question why there are a bunch of intentional Flags wandering around, and allows them to participate.

The number of Flags directly correlates to the willingness of people to interact with them. For the project to take on a life of its own, the Flags have to be omnipresent enough for attention in the cluttered and kinetic environment of the burn. Moreover, Flags need to be available and easy to find for anyone who wishes to participate, While 50 may seem like a Decadent number, 18 Flags was barely enough for Euphoria, and finding a free Flag was not always possible.

Instructions should be de-centralized. While until now the project has had success with spreading by word of mouth, the majority of players still had it explained by the artist, often in an intentionally quick and confusing manner. We propose to both label the Flags with instructions, and to place handsome propaganda posters in public areas to add flavor to the piece.

Flags are not meant to be static, their life comes from the movement and energy around them, so this Flag experiment will continue charging forward into greater glory.

Flags do not stand still. They charge forward, billowing in the wind."

Community Involvement

There is a critical space above hippies' heads that is currently unfilled in the burn tableau. We intent to fill this with Flags, Flags that will unify and excite the burners to carry the Flags. By being highly visible and distributed, this will add to the collective experience of the burn.


Final Funding: $288.12


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