Sunday, December 11, 2011

Burning Man Sculptures, Treasure Island, California and other delights

Ever wonder what happens to some of those impressive Burning Man sculptures after the festival is over? Some of them end up as temporary art installations in San Francisco and, most recently, on Treasure Island. I've done a video showing some of this, also including similar sculptures in Oakland, California done by an artist who has been involved in many of the Burning Man sculptures.

First up, a video I created showing some of the wonderful sights on Treasure Island, as well as beautiful views that are visible from all sides of the almost square shaped artificial island. Then a video I created focusing strictly on the art installation on Treasure Island as well as related sculptures located in Oakland.

Treasure Island was created in 1936-37 for the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition that was held there. During WWII a Naval base was established on the entire island and remained active until 1997. After that time, some of the large hangars there were used as movie sound stages, where scenes for some of the "Indiana Jones" films were done. Eventually, much of the housing once occupied by military personnel became available to the public. Living there does have some risks, as some of the groundwater and air is contaminated with asbestos and other hazardous substances. The day we walked about the island and did our video, we saw quite a few homes boarded up, fenced off with warnings to not enter. However, we also saw quite a few segments that were bustling with people living there. All in all, the island is a mixture of areas that look almost devastated, with thriving businesses located in other areas, including several wineries that process wines there. There are signs that the desolate areas will eventually look less uninviting.

The other big risk is the soft soil that the island is built on. In the event of a major earthquake, there is bound to be much damage due to liquefaction, A couple of days per month, there is a huge flea market on the island and it draws large crowds. Besides the obvious appeal of finding bargains, many people come to simply stroll around and enjoy the day there. There is a walking path that encircles the entire island, offering breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline, nearby Marin County and surround areas, Alcatraz, Angel Island and then  the area known as the East Bay, which has the cities of Berkeley and Oakland, etc. It also affords spectacular views of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge. The video I shot focuses on that and not on the housing which has that drab, generic military base look. At this point, the only way in and out of Treasure Island and adjoining Yerba Buena Island, is by way of the Bay Bridge. There is no ferry service at this point but certain to be soon and that will bring even more people to come visit on a regular basis. Already, many music festivals and other events have found annual homes here, drawing huge crowds.

After looking at the two videos, please check out the links I will list, giving more details, history of Treasure Island. I will list even more links that will relate to the Burning Man sculpture and related Oakland sculptures and the artists and studios that have been involved in their creation and/or display around the San Francisco Bay Area.

(On the thumbnail of the video, click on the You Tube logo...this will open it n a much larger format, to better enjoy the images that you'll see)                   

Spending an enjoyable afternoon touring Treasure Island:

The "Bliss Dance" sculpture & other sculptures in Oakland:

Here are some links relating to the various sculptures, their creators, etc...

Creator of "Bliss Dance", Marco Cochrane and his studio:
Bliss Dance studio & creator Marco Cochrane

The story behind the Oakland sculpture "Crude Awakening":
Crude Awakening info

More info on sculptor Dan Das Mann:
Story on Dan Das Mann - his involvement in Burning Man and current works