This installation was built to showcase the You are Here project at the Burningman festival in September 2004.
Two aluminum arches, aligned to the compass points, cross to form an open dome 20 feet in diameter. The North-South arch marks the meridian of longitude. The East-West arch is tilted southward to match the celestial equator. Shadecloth covers the southern side of the dome.
At night, a computer screen is suspended near eye level. The display rotates freely, acting like a magic window: whichever way it is pointing, it shows an x-ray view of the earth and sky. Looking upward, the view through the window shows the stars, planets, and constellations. Looking outward, it shows the horizon and streets of Black Rock City. Looking downward, it shows the outlines of the continents on the far side of the globe, and the southern constellations beyond them.
During the day, an empty picture frame hangs in place of the screen. The shadecloth provides relief from the mid-day sun and wind, and a bench provides a place to rest and contemplate the Temple of Stars.
The installation was designed and produced by Nick Thompson, and would not have happened without the work of the following:
- Mr. Foo: engineering and machining
- Hillary Seidner: shadecloth sewing and fitting, on-site support
- Scott Draves: transport, assembly, and breakdown
- Sasha Harris-Cronin bench design and construction
- Will Welch: bench construction
- Megan Walker: shadecloth assistance
- Mike McCabe: lighting and inspiration