Sigmund Saw - Burning Man 2005

Sigmund Saw was prepared for Burning Man 2005. In keeping with the art theme of "Psyche", this 12 foot long seesaw rested on the head of Sigmund Freud as crafted by Cybele. It also supported a giant pocket watch which swayed hypnotically with movement of the seesaw by participants or the desert wind.

Ground zero for Sigmund Saw - as located by the "Artery" staff.

Attaching the Freud heads - when these were first unpacked from the vehicle and left out in the sun, their forheads appeared to sweat - no kidding! I was worried that the heat was going to melt them. But no problems with them at all. I think they were just concerned about the upcoming 6 days strapped to a seesaw in the Black Rock Desert.

Posing with Sigmund, and the Man, in the distance.

The solar lights did fairly well at night although over time, several were damaged beyond repair.

I left a copy of Freud's Interpretation of Dreams on site, here we see a burner reading it while another rides the seesaw.

I must have really long arms.

An art car with another giant head approaches Sigmund's territory.

This photo is also currently in the official Burning Man Image Gallery

It seems that many burners took Sigmund for a ride. Nearly every time I checked on it, people showed up to try it out. There were several comments of appreciation.

Actually, it took quite a beating. The sawhorse was replaced, screws had to be rescrewed, and multiple other fixations were applied to keep him running.

Steve Peters of helped me with repairs one afternoon. Thanks also to Phil who talked Media Mecca out of a replacement sawhorse. And thanks to Cary, Kim, and Kristi for assistance with the set-up and clean-up.

It was very satisfying to collaborate with everyone and take this project to Burning Man. The seesaw plank is back home in the garage, one Freud head is also at home, the other is sprucing up the office. Thanks to Burning Man, the Artery staff and one and all!

The making of Sigmund Saw in mostly reverse chronological order:

8/21/05 - The glass cover to the face of the giant pocketwatch accidently smashed during an evaluation set-up earlier this month. Today I got some lexan and was able to cut and install it into the clock as a replacement. Also, I practiced using PVC specific prep and glue (on spare pieces) to attach the joints of the pyramidal structure. It turns out that those glued joints held up extremely well in the desert.

8/14/05 - The Freud heads look as though they were sculpted out of granite. Very cool, thank you Cybele! I need to do something to fill the space between the heads.

8/14/05 - Pegboard glued to the back of Freud's head. Ziptie attaches pegboard to the sawhorse.

8/13/05 - Timed exposure at night, spotlight a little bright on Freud.

7/29/05 - LadyBee at Burning Man sez: "We mapped Sigmund in very tasty spot right above center camp - on the left side of the walkway to the man, 400' from the esplanade. The theme art always gets premiere placement on the walkways."

6/27/05 - We now have 2 double sided signs with wire "H" posts as requested by Burning Man HQ. Not so ornate, but we want them readable. There are more solar spotlights available to shine on them at night.

6/24/05 - A draft design for a pendant to celebrate Sigmund Saw and Camp PeePot. Thanks Kristi!

6/1/05 - Cybele has painted Sigmund, in greyscale as planned. I have solar powered spotlights to shine on his face at night, I think it will look great on the playa. Also, Beth from Burning Man called. She is the Artery contact for the project. As discussed, signs will be developed to limit the seesaw to 2 riders.

6/1/05 - Cybele completes the Freud heads in Las Vegas.

5/7/05 - many more red and orange "stones" added to improve the overall color scheme including the seats. Looks like the measles:

4/2/05 - Sigmund Saw now bejeweled, bebuttoned, and betherapized. Also has grown grape vines, bearing fruit.

4/2/05 - Special thanks to Moonbeam for the artistic layout.

4/2/05 - A mirror to see yourself, at each end of the seesaw.

3/21/05 - Cybele continues her work on Freud's head. Details to be added later.

3/20/05 - The giant pocket watch - more work needed.

3/6/05 - Preliminary work on Sigmund Freud's head by Cybele. This is to allow molding of a screen for the final version which will be in greyscale and not show any newsprint. Plans call for Freud's face to be positioned on either side of the seesaw fulcrum.

3/6/05 - Details of the golden fringe.

3/6/05 - Decorative pieces on the fulcrum. Golden fringe added around the edge of the main plank.

2/27/05 - Parts of Sigmund Saw, painted gold, drying in the warm winter sun.

2/20/05 - Botielus and Steve on Sigmund Saw.

2/12/05 - Still to come - paint and decorate the board and pipes. Paint the chain, get a bigger clock and paint it gold.

2/12/05 - 2 foot by 2 foot pegboard at either side of the fulcrum. The plan is to tie the pegboard to the fulcrum and tie Freud's head to the pegboard. Thus, Freud's head should be not more than 2 feet tall nor 2 feet wide and hopefully it will have some attachment points.

2/12/05 - The main plank was bending when tested with riders. This gave it some bounce, but ultimately led to a concern that it might snap with heavier burners on board. So, zinc plated right angled metal braces were added along 6 feet of the length of the board, one on each side. It still bounces and creaks a little.

2/12/05 - Seat in place but not yet attached. Handles on each side.

1/30/05 - Reupholstered seats.

1/28/05 - 12 foot plank resting on a sawhorse fulcrum. Wooden blocks attached to the plank keep if from slipping off the galvanized pipe which rests along the crest of the fulcrum. Note the padded seats.

1/22/05 - This is a proof of concept test version, nearly all the material you see here will NOT be incorporated in the final.

Sigmund Saw is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Camp PeePot Lavoratories.

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