Humans have looked to the stars since the beginning of consciousness to explain the mysteries of the everyday. The heavens have guided our belief systems, calendars, and our ships across the seas. From a child’s simple doodle to sophisticated star maps, we look up in wonder.
Wayfinder Station is a climbable, star-shaped structure adorned with silk banners that move with the winds. The outpost is big enough to include an area of shaded seating and an observation deck. At night a lighthouse beacon will be visible for a mile in all directions and color-changing LE Ds will softly illuminate a place of calm within the storm. A sound installation in the protected inner seating area will bring souds of sea, wind and shore to the desert. In the observation deck, voyagers will find a wind–powered kinetic sound sculpture, a star library, navigational tools and storytellers to regale the curious with tales from far off worlds both celestial and earthbound.
With sextants, chronometers and astrolabes, celestial navigation has guided countless sailors and explorers across both land and sea. Wayfinding guided the Assyrians in the east and the Aztecs in the west. Wayfinding guided the ancient Polynesians across massive oceans using intricate and beautiful stick maps. Now celestial satellites use star mapping to help us avoid traffic or find our way to an empty parking space.
Wayfinder Station provides a quiet place amidst the chaos to contemplate the heavens and our place within them. Powered by the wind, and surrounded by the sounds of the sea, the installation provides a reminder of the power of the stars and our own (in)significance.
Dusty Nation is a collective formed in 2017 to create art for Burning Man. Like the pirate frigates of old, its adventure seeking crew comes from all walks of professional and creative persuasions. Our skills include installation art, surface design on fabric, tree-house building, filmmaking, digital media, medicine, music, law and neuroscience. Principal crew members have experience creating art and performance at Burning Man and beyond.
Cameron Anne Mason is a sculptor and installation artist working with fiber-based media. Her installations have been seen at Burning Man, Bellevue Arts Museum, Sound Transit, MadArt, COCA, Heaven and Earth at Carkeek park, Bellevue Storefronts and the Bellewether Sculpture Biennial. Her fine artwork is represented by Foster/White Gallery, Seattle. Cameron’s work has been seen nationally and internationally in both fine art and craft shows. cameronannemason.com
Daniel Thornton is an Emmy Award® nominated filmmaker and digital media artist based in the Pacific Northwest. Dan is also a college professor in film and new media. In 2014 he was on the build team for Gwen Fisher’s playa–based Genie Bottle installation. He documented the Genie Bottle build and burn in a series of fascinating timelapse documents found here. Dan will be helping the design and build teams and designing the lighting of Wayfinder Station.
As lead builder for Dusty Nation, Charlee McClellan continues to spend time doing what he loves. Building has been a preoccupation and an occupation for most of his life. Charlee was born in the year of the monkey, which may explain his passion for tree climbing and treehouse building, both of which began at the age of seven in the back yard of his Boston childhood home. Since the 1980’s, Charlee has been a General Contractor in Seattle. In 2008, he began building treehouses once again, but this time for Seattle-based, Nelson Treehouse and Supply, and Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters. Having built structures around the world, in places such as, Japan, Antarctica and Greenland, he hopes to return to build on the Playa this year, where he assisted in the construction of Playastan Crossroads in 2014.