Reunion at Burning Man 2012!

Burners who participated in Trojan Horse 2011 and fans of the piece are invited to a reunion and celebration of the Horse at 8 PM, Thursday, Aug. 30. The event at Shift Camp, 9:45 and A, will feature several core folk from the project, including originator Douglas Bevans, Constuction Coordinator Dan Fox, Homer, Dionysius, filmmaker Todd Darling, and Dear Alma all the way from Singapore. “Black Rock Horse,” Darling’s documentary, will screen at 8:30, followed by N.K. Guy’s slideshow about the project. Extra points awarded to attendees who come in their Greek or Trojan costumes.

NOTE: A general amnesty has been declared and the 500 or so individuals who participated in the Great Slave Revolt and took off running with the Horse are still welcome at the reunion. All is forgiven.

Location: Shift Camp, 9:45 and A, BRC
Time: 8 PM, Thursday, Aug. 30

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From Horse to Phoenix via Harly

‘Phoenix Risen’ from the ashes of the Trojan Horse

The Horse lives on! And not just in people’s hearts. Last September, two days after the Trojan Horse burned, Norm Tucker, a virgin Burner from Auburn, California, went to the remnants of the Horse to collect some Trojan hardware as mementos. There he met Ray Keim of Vancouver, Washington, the Leave-No-Trace Coordinator for the Trojan project, who was raking the ashes as part of the clean up.

When Ray told Norm that he wanted to use the salvaged metal materials to create a Phoenix rising from the ashes of the Trojan Horse, Norm’s eyes lit up, as did those of his crew from Kindergarden Camp who were there with him. They loved the idea. Norm is a very talented iron artist who used to work metal professionally. Ray suggested that the piece could celebrate recycling, renewal, and the Trojan Horse, while memorializing Harly Payne, a friend who had just died at Burning Man. (A pilot and skydiver, Harly was going to organize skydivers to videotape the Grand Procession of the Horse.)

The next month, Ray delivered a truckload of Trojan bolts, braces, etc. to Auburn and the project began in earnest. Norm’s two sons and several campmates from his 2011 camp worked “a couple of thousand hours” building the all-steel structure, which they named, “Phoenix Risen.” Kathleen Hoffman kept the project going with her endless energy. Daniel Skirblah created the flame effects and had the eye for turning burnt and twisted metal into beauty. Norm, a facilities manager for an IT firm in the default world, is still working on the final touches, but 95% of the piece is complete with a week to go before showtime. The art will be displayed front and center in the 7:30 Plaza at G St. After dark, it will be illuminated in part by some of the 42,000 LEDs that lit the Horse.

Norm says, “one of the things I like best about the piece is that we have recycled so much of such a memorable previous work of Burning Man art. The Trojan Horse was just about the coolest thing I’d ever seen, on or off the playa. Beyond the physical elements, I think our project incorporates a lot of the spirit of the Horse and, from what I understand, of Harly‘s spirit as well. I like that it works on different levels.”

NOTE: Harly Payne will also be remembered by a reading of his poetry by family and friends at Shift Camp, 9:45 and A at 8 PM, Friday, Aug. 31, the anniversary of his death.

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Carbon Offsets

I wanted to let all the Trojan Horse supporters know I have made-good on my promise to purchase carbon offsets. I did this to help mitigate the impact the project had on our planet. 44.12 Tonnes of CO2e were reduced by this effort. Not a perfect solution but a responsible step in the right direction. Thank you Heidi Wright, Hooman Ghomeshi and David Boenig for your generous donations.

It was a pleasure bringing you the Trojan Horse last year. Wishing you all a safe/crazy burn… oh and give those Anubis guys a hand.

Douglas Bevans

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New Black Rock Horse Trailer!

Check it out:

Black Rock Horse
Planning screenings in LA and SF Bay – announcement soon!

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Thank You!

Looking back over 2011, it goes without saying that it was a long road to the desert and an even longer road home. Now, more than six months after our majestic beast burnt to the ground, trying to genuinely express our gratitude to all those who made the Trojan Horse possible is like trying to say thanks to the night’s sky. Such an immense project required the skillful input of innumerable individuals, which added up to thousands of small and grand gestures without which the Horse would not have come to life.

To all who contributed in their own unique ways:

For imagining the impossible; for your architectural genius and engineering know-how; for organizing each detail and your endless coordinating; for processing payment after payment and issuing tax receipts; for pounding nails and soldering steel; for tirelessly building us a village and palace to call home; for your brawn and your steel; for your steady hands and keen eyes; for your fire and arrows; for warmly weathering cold nights and keeping the crowds calm; for having the courage to inquire about each visitor’s rite of passage and the heart to listen; for scraping up pounds of metal and sorting through bags of trash; for honoring our playful process of creative destruction:

We are eternally grateful to you all for being a part of this dream. Together, we were able to ignite the awe and imagination of countless people.

While it would be impossible to acknowledge individually everyone to whom we owe great thanks, we must recognize the following cast of characters:

For showing, in the most convincing way, that you believed in us and saw the value of our creative efforts – Thank you, Gracias, Ihe edn, Merci, 唔該, Tak, Rav todot, Makasih ya, Dōmo, Dzięki, Yusulpayki, Ngiyabonga!!

NIMBY- Barry, Chris, Claire, Cris, Daniel, Dale, Darin, Daryll, Dave, Diana, Douglas, Elan, Eric, Evan, Fox, Gerber, Heidi, Jason, Jake, Javier, Jill, Jojo, Jon, Josh, K.C., Kathy, Kenny, Kris, Michael, Mike, Patrick, Pete, Phil, Pikey, Prue, Rachael, Randall, Sharon, Snook, Spreee (Melissa), Spyder, Sophie, Stephen, Taylor, Toby, Todd, Tom, Trev, Wendy, Yoav
Reno- Bill, Lee, Phil, David
Playa- Jake, Gerber, Scooz, Toby, Tom, and all the others who came to lend a hand
You gave our beast form with astonishing talent, efficiency, and endurance. First apart, then together, you built our dreams from the ground to 52 stunning feet high. Sometimes there just aren’t words.

(…and to Joel, for following his heart and taking a stand)

For providing us a happy home in Oakland where our baby could safely grow.

Bettie June and her extraordinary league of worker bees – you know who you are
For your grace, guidance, and generosity on and off the Playa, we are ever grateful.

Chaos, Panther, and the entire team of expert operators
Set on one of the most climatically extreme and organizationally stressful backdrops, your team took professionalism and competence to a new level. Without your help, the Horse quite literally would not have been built or burnt. Providentially we didn’t need the giant Hyster to push it, but sure are indebted for your assistance when our baby got spooked and took off at a canter!

Jack, Dave, Carson, Dan, Germ, and those who cannot be named
For blowing our faux fur boots off and leaving us all speechless. ‘Nough said.

Last and certainly not least,

For bringing us your creative vision and your sometimes dark and often playful spirit. Because of you, the legend of the Trojan Horse was enlivened in us all, and, as a result, disparate networks of strangers were suddenly forged into a loving family.

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Sale: LEDs, PSU, wire

Hello all,

the Trojan Horse crew is still struggling to pay last year’s bills and you would help us out a lot if you would take some of these leftovers off our hands:

  • UPDATE: 1x AC/DC 600W Power Supply

    Mean Well PSP-600-12, 12 Volt 50A 600W (Datasheet)

    One of them can reasonably power 450Watt (about 90m/300ft of our LED strips). They are a bit dusty, but else in good condition. A switch has been added to the terminals.

    selling price: $75,- / item
    (original price: $150)

  • UPDATE ~60m (~200ft) red LED strip

    12 VDC, 60 LEDs/meter, 4.8 Watt/meter power consumption, 120° viewing angle, 110 luminous flux

    These strips lit up the Trojan Horse last year. They are dusty of course, are partially cut into smaller pieces and might have seen better times. But it’s a good deal! They comes in 5 to 10 meter spools. If you wire more than 10meters in series, you lose brightness. The total length is an estimation, as we put the strips back onto their original spools, but didn’t always roll up the same amount.

    selling price: $1.5,- / meter
    (original price: $4/meter)

  • ~1500ft Gray 16/2 Speaker Wire

    original product at Home Depot

    Usually used for audio, it was perfect for powering our LEDs, because the 16AWG diameter allowed for high current to pass. The wire is on several spools, cut into segments between 15 to 50 feet long. It is in rather messy condition, but still usable.

    selling price: $100,- for all of it
    (original price = $300, at $100 for 500ft. spool)

All the items are currently in San Francisco. We have plans on carting them to Nimby, so everyone can easily come check them out there. We’d prefer to sell everything off to one buyer, but we are open to discussion. If you are interested in buying one or all of above listed items, please send us an email to – thanks!

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Black Rock Horse

Todd Darling’s film “Black Rock Horse” is in the final stages of production!
A team of artists at Burning Man ask volunteers to pull a 50 foot high Trojan Horse across a dry lake bed. The procession becomes a stampede when 600 “Greek Slaves” revolt. Black Rock Horse reveals the inner workings of a complex art project and the epic struggle to create.
We are very proud to announce that Todd’s film has been accepted to the 2012 Big Sky Film Festival in Missoula, Montana, and will be featured in the category “Art Is – New Films about Art & Artists”, screening Thursday, February 23.
The film still needs funds to finish. Specifically: graphics, After Effects, the cost of mix, color correction and Blue Ray authoring need to be covered. We have a good start on these funds, but we’re still in need of a bit more. Big Thanks in advance for your generosity. Please follow this link to Pay Pal.
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In The Dust

Check out this beautiful short film featuring our girl the horse, among other beautiful occurrences in the 2011 desert by our friend Jason Mongue.

YouTube Preview Image
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“My Medallion” by Dan Fox

Editor’s Note: The Trojan Horse Project was blessed with serendipity from beginning to end. Things just seemed to happen when they were needed. Dan Fox, our Construction Coordinator, gives you a taste of his wondrous experiences with the horse and the pleasant surprises she provided.

My favorite Burning Man swag is a necklace, or at least something that can be affixed to an existing necklace. Before the week of the Burn, Douglas and Alaya presented the builders of the Horse a very special medallion, which I immediately prized and wore proudly. While we builders may have begun construction feeling like stagehands building a short-lived set, what we came to find inside that wooden horse was a community of friends that will endure. We achieved utter satisfaction working with other dedicated men and women who pulled together to build something quite larger than the individual parts. I found myself living a wonderful dream, surrounded by wonderful souls who admired each other, appreciated our accomplishments, and found the joy within ourselves. To me, the medallion embodied that spirit.

On the night of the burn, it was my task to cut openings in the horse so the fireworks could shoot outward in great blistering fans. I climbed into the belly of the beast as night fell, armed with a chainsaw and carrying a ladder. Filled with boxes of fireworks, skyrockets, three cords of firewood, and numerous liquid accelerants, the interior of the horse became a treacherous obstacle course, especially in the waning light. I set the ladder where it almost fit, and began to cut six of the largest upper triangles out of the horse.

As I reached up to start the final cut, I heard my medallion hit the ladder, the deck, and finally somewhere below. I began to cry as I sawed away, suddenly saddened but at the same time thrilled and humbled by my experience with the horse and the thoughts it engendered. Inside my head, a voice seemed to ask if I needed help. I replied aloud, “I am 51, balanced on a ladder, chain sawing out plywood panels, 35 feet above the playa, inside a wooden horse loaded with explosives.” The voice said, “And you love every minute of it.” And I did. Every minute. I finished my last task and cleared out of the horse, leaving my lost medallion in the darkness.

Dan's blackened, slightly deformed Horse Medallion

The fire from the burn was intense, and it burned in a sustained fury that had the front ranks of the crowd trying to shield themselves from the searing heat. I wondered what the melting temperature of the medallion was. The following day, when I returned to the burn site, even the mighty steel axles had deformed into broad smiles from the heat. I raked the coals, the nails, and the charcoal of the pyre. I imagined the medallion would be a melted slug, but I hoped against hope that I would find even this memento. The next day, only small remnants of the eight-foot tall wheels were left smoldering . Everything else wooden had been consumed. Again, I searched the ashes but found nothing resembling a medallion there or in the piles of bolts and nails. I resigned myself to having lost my precious medal. The very next day, while I was in camp, Ariel, Troy Camp’s “mayor,” walked up to me and said, “Douglas found your medallion as he was making one last sweep of the ashes.” She handed me a blackened, slightly deformed medal and I laughed maniacally at heaven, reunited with a hunk of simulated brass that I will treasure forever.

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The view from above

A great shot showing the assembly of Greeks, Trojans, Slaves, Gods, Goddesses and Burners, shortly before the second pull. And mind, that you only see the last third of our rows and rows of slaves. The image is a screenshot from the raw videos Gary Wilson ( took. They’ll be included in the documentary our director Todd is working on.

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