TED taps Flux to talk about building community through art

Creation of the Temple of Flux was the subject of our Aug. 31, 2010 cover story.
John Curley

In the wake of its artistic and community-building success building the Temple of Flux at Burning Man last year, which I profiled in “Burners in Flux” following a five-month immersion journalism project, the nonprofit Flux Foundation has been selected as finalists to address TED2012: Full Spectrum. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, has become the country's premier cutting edge speakers forum.

Principal artists Rebecca Anders, Jessica Hobbs, Catie Magee, and Peter Kimelman will travel to New York City to do a live presentation with three other Flux crew members to the TED selection panel on May 24. The opportunity was opened up by a great video the team produced, which accentuated the transcendent nature of this collaborative art project, closing with the line, “We built community through art and we’d like to show you how.”

That idea – big art as a catalyst to creating community – was a major theme in my article, as well as the conclusion of my book, The Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert is Shaping the New American Counterculture, which focused the Temple of Flux. And it's something the Flux crew is continuing to do out in its American Steel workspace in West Oakland, where they are working on another ambitious new installation art piece.

Brollyflock, “a renegade flock of umbrellas,” was commissioned by event producer Insomniac for the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas and Noctural in San Bernardino, and which the crew hopes to display at TED2012. But to realize its ambitious goals, Flux Foundation has started a Kickstarter campaign with a $2,000 goal, so kick in if you want to see this homegrown success story continue to ascend.