"This project was well under way before HR Giger died this week and is inspired by his art," Mark Day says, "The artists are now hoping to give him a symbolic 40-foot-pyre send off at Burning Man this year."
Bay Area artist Dan Fox is building a 40 foot tall Alien Siege Machine in Oakland this summer, to be experienced and burned at Burning Man, the annual art festival which takes place the week before Memorial Day in the Black Rock Desert, NV. The effigy — described as a "trans-temporal being" — draws inspiration in part from the art of HR Giger, who passed away this week at his home in Zurich. It's being built by many of the same personnel who created a similar effigy, the Trojan Horse, for Burning Man 2012.
Artist Dan Fox explains, "my fellow artists, builders and I were shocked and saddened to hear about the passing of HR Giger. Burning Man is something of a mecca for often visionary and always inspiring art, and Giger is arguably the visionary artist whose work has inspired an entire genre of visceral, dark art. We hope he'd have enjoyed the notion of an Alien Siege Machine manifesting itself in the unique artistic environment of a vast lake-bed at Burning Man. We plan to mark his passing in some way at the event."
The Alien Siege Machine is a four story sculpture, designed as experiential art, with an alien egg room, military technology throughout the ages, and a complex mythology that Burning Man attendees will be able to explore and interact with.
Fox explains, "Giger's alien bursting from within, unleashing unspeakable horror is really an analog for the terrible nightmares that emerge from humanity. The Alien Siege Machine manifests itself throughout mankind's history of warfare, compelling man to build new and devastating weapons at a terrible cost to humanity, before disappearing to its own dimension. In the end, humanity is left eviscerated and alone, with only what it brought to the machine, and with curious reflections of that which was, and that yet to be. Of course we will be burning it to the ground at Burning Man, but only "after a final definitive battle on the night of the burn. Giger's influence on the piece is obvious, but we like to imagine that we've been influenced by the same trans-temporal forces.
The Alien Siege Machine is being built at NIMBY, an art space in Oakland California. It is the recipient of an honorarium art grant from the Burning Man organization, with the remaining costs of construction and transportation being raised by the artists through a series of events, and via an online IndieGoGo campaign.
Fox notes, "we welcome all support from fans of HR Giger who might want to see this vision realized, whether through donations, or by helping us build it in person — our crew includes many first-time Burning Man builders. We're also taking submissions for Giger-esque gargoyles to be mounted on the Alien Siege Machine, which is one way fans of the artist can contribute to what will now be a 40-foot memorial pyre of fire and trans-temporal energy."