Washington, Aug. 6—Michael Verdon and Infinity Gathered will be bringing Chapel of the Chimes to Black Rock City, Nevada, for Burning Man 2019. The Chapel of the Chimes is a sacred space repurposed and recycled from other sacred spaces. The chapel will be burned at Burning Man in a special ceremony after the Man burns, Sept. 1, 2019, at 2 a.m.
The Burning Man installation of Chapel of the Chimes includes temple tablets from the David Best Temple that was open to the public during the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery’s No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man exhibit. Attendees were invited to leave their stories and messages to be burned as an act of healing. The tablets hold the memories of people around the world and are in at least 14 languages.
The structure includes elements of Temples from three Catharsis on the Mall vigils held in Washington, DC. Catharsis on the Mall is an annual vigil that is free and open to the public; participants find healing through dance, music and the ceremonial burn of a Temple burned in front of the White House. Due to size restrictions imposed after the first vigil by the National Park Service, parts of these Temples, which are covered in memories, hopes and memorials, were unable to be burned at Catharsis. Now those wishes have their chance to come home, where these traditions are reignited every year.
Since 2011, the Infinity Gathered team has combined architecture, technology, research, interactivity and innovation to create engaging experiences of large-scale public installations and site-specific sculptures. It is through teamwork and dedication that they continue to create spaces that inspire, heal and instill a sense of wonder.
The team was inspired by Burning Man’s 2019 Theme: Metamorphosis; they are metamorphosing these parts from caterpillar into butterfly in this last flight from DC to Black Rock City. They also bring hundreds of thousands of prayers and wishes that need to be burned, transformed and put to rest.