THUNDERBIRDS @ Burning Man 2017

Three towering figures formed in a stylized mixed media assemblage. In name they reference the mythological beings of Native American lore.  In concept the sculptures speak to the universality of our human spirit viewed through our stories across time and geography.

thunderbirds night


The grouping of towering figures is a gathering of human spirits. The steel wings create the illusion of motion in space. Worn and weathered the rusty steel evokes the transience of time. Sound elements conger a sense of primordial place; the dry lakebed, the playa. In a Black Rock Desert dust storm I expect participants to find themselves in a place of otherworldliness.  Lighting for this installation with be simple, a circle of illumination, an ethereal cocoon; an open invitation for participatory continuation of the interactive experience into the night.

In some of the traditional stories, the thunderbirds number four, representing north, south, east, and west. Mine will number three, but a place will be delineated for the viewer to step in, to join the assembly, to become the fourth entity.

thunderbirds kimonos2


What is our collective future? The Thunderbirds are assembled from tree trunks [life on earth], ceramic human heads [humanity/us] and rusted steel [time/industrial civilization in decay]. They are guardians from the higher world, protectors of the lower world. They are human in form, not avian. They are earthbound. They are all of us. We are them.

thunderbirds burn2

thunderbirds dust2


























Brickhead EARTH

Brickhead EARTH – Burning Man 2015

Monumental ceramic brick sculpture with interactive sound and light elements.

A giant human head, over eight feet tall, the single word EARTH etched across the front.

First stop – The Playa at Burning Man 2015 with its 60,000 projected art enthusiasts!

bke 2


A personification of humankind. A visual representation of homo sapiens,

as we exist in the world today, with all of our remarkable variation and beauty.

Brickhead EARTH is all of us.



Why the word EARTH?

Earth. Our Earth…our  one and only planet.  Pollution, global warming, rising seas,

war, disease, bigotry, greed and corruption.

We must all join together and speak out for change.

bke 3

What are the interactive SOUNDS?

A ‘Biophone’ of nature.

Birds, mammals, insects, tree frogs. Day chirpers and night peepers calling through the wind and rain.

File Sep 12, 5 13 17 PM


And that is just the beginning.

Brickhead EARTH \Global

Sites of environmental concern are envisioned for Brickhead EARTH placements around the globe.

Brickhead EARTH glacier_edited-1

brickheadearteverywhere BP Oil Spill_


Fast eroding eastern edge of Bhola Is, Bangladesh.




















































bk windmill

Quixote – Mixed media assemblage by James Tyler – Height 26″ – 2012