May 17 2014

Fixed, home and ready to mutate!

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Oscar, <a href=

find proprietor of J.P. Engines, medicine the shop that rebuilt XyloVan's engine and steering rack. ” width=”300″ height=”225″ class=”size-medium wp-image-1985″ />Mack (L) and Oscar (R), proprietor of JP Engine – the shop that rebuilt XyloVan’s engine and steering rack.

At last, halleluia and w00h00!!

Thanks to our wonderful Indiegogo backers and the wizards at JP Engine, XyloVan had a smooth, steady ride home today – and into the next phase of its life.

Oscar and the crew at JP pulled off the heads of our brutish 7.5-liter V8, machined them, and reinstalled them with fresh gaskets. They rebuilt the front end, with brand-new kingpins and bushings, a rebuilt steering box and repairs to a leaking steering pump. They replaced much of the faulty ignition system (coil, alternator and battery). And they replaced belts and hoses all around.

Less than $2300 later, XyloVan runs like a champ, steers like a fine sailboat (c’mon, it’s still a 25-foot-long 15-passenger van!), stops when it’s told and promises to carry us wherever we want to take it.

So, onward to some wonderful new work. Keep an eye on us as we give
XyloVan a much-needed paint job and aesthetic spruce-up (I’m thinking MoonEyes wheel covers) and some little “trick” accents here and there), design the superstructure and skin for our Burning Man mutation, build some new instruments and create the computer-controlled light system that will give it a visual heartbeat on playa at night.

Stay tuned – and if you contributed to this work in any way – or plan to help in the future – know that we’ll start shipping out our Indiegogo perks to supporters in the next two weeks, and that XyloVan’s crew has a huge vanload of gratitude for you.

You are good souls who have pumped new life into our hearts that will resonate deeply every time a child, musician or random adventurous soul picks up a stick and discovers how to play.


May 2 2014

BOOM – Approved for Burning Man 2014

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glow2Well that took exactly two days. 😉

As to the review team’s “concerns” – well, diagnosis we know how to address them. This ain’t our first time to ride in this rodeo.

Meantime, sickness the engine shop called to say they finished heart surgery. Our big, fat V8 is running nice and smooth once again. They had to replace the battery, ignition coil and a bunch of belts and hoses, and next they’re tackling the steering repairs.

We’re looking forward to a sweet, low-cost build for “Light Fandango” of just a couple weeks. And ownership of the Brooklyn Bridge. And flying cars. And peace in our time. ONWARD!

DMV Registration Acceptance Letter 2014

PRINT AND BRING THIS LETTER WITH YOU!!

Mutant Vehicle: XyloVan
Registration #: (redacted)
Owner: mack reed

This is an invitation to bring your Mutant Vehicle to Burning Man 2014 for on-playa inspection; however your invitation is CONDITIONAL upon certain conditions being met.

During the review of your vehicle, the committee felt:

*****************************
The review team had concerns as to how much of the base vehicle would be visible in your completed project.

You will need to ensure that the base vehicle will be well-obscured/hidden in the completed vehicle when presented for it’s on-playa inspection.

*****************************

THIS IS NOT YOUR LICENSE, NOR DOES IT GRANT YOU ONE.
Actual licenses are granted in Black Rock City when, and if, you pass the on-playa inspection.

This letter confirms that you passed the first level of inspection;
PLEASE READ this entire letter for important information about next steps in bringing your vehicle to the playa.

ENTERING BRC:

You MUST bring a printout of this letter with you to Black Rock City. Gate personnel will not allow any towed vehicle into the event site without a copy of this letter. If you do not have this letter when you get to the Gate, you will have to leave the vehicle in the lot at the gate before entering the city. In this case, come to the DMV between noon and 5pm and ask for help getting your vehicle into the event. Because those that brought their letter get serviced first, and because it is a taxing endeavor to get a towed vehicle through the gate without this letter, it may take hours or even days to get your vehicle in. Please remember this and be patient if you find yourself in this position.

GETTING TO THE DMV/LOCATION/HOURS

This letter allows you to drive your Mutant Vehicle from your camp to the DMV.

This letter should be in your vehicle (and available) during this short trip directly to the DMV. If you are stopped by Law Enforcement, the Black Rock Rangers, or any other authority, this letter shows you are in compliance with the rules of BRC. This only applies for the trip directly to the DMV from your camp.

The DMV is located on the Esplanade near center camp. Check your BRC map for our specific location this year.

We will open at 11:00 am and process Mutant Vehicles until sunset. We will then close until it is dark enough to process night vehicles, around a half hour, and then remain open until 10:30 pm. You must be in line by 6:30 for day licensing and by 10:30pm for night licenses or you’ll have to wait until the next day to get processed. We close at 3:00 pm our last day, Saturday, the day of the Burn.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are applying for a night license, whether you are getting a day license or not, you will need to make TWO trips to the DMV: a first trip during the day (before 6:30) for initial inspections and to complete paperwork, and then again after dusk to have your lighting inspected and to receive your night license.

LICENSE LOCATION/SIZE NEEDED

At the DMV your vehicle will be photographed and inspected. If your vehicle passes inspection, it will be issued a license. Licenses are a 12″ long by 3″ high bumper sticker. Licenses must be affixed to the back of your vehicle on the lower-left (drivers) side and you should make allowances for this on your vehicle. If your vehicle is approved for a day and night license, you will need a 12″ by 6″ space for two stickers. The placement on the rear left side is MANDATORY. This applies to each trailer segment as well.

REGULATIONS/ENFORCEMENT

When you submitted your DMV applications, you agreed to adhere to Black Rock City driving protocols. See http://www.burningman.com/on_the_playa/playa_vehicles/no_driving.html. These regulations and protocols will be enforced. Violations will result in impound, fine and/or ejection from the event for you and/or your vehicle.

EARLY ADMISSION

If you have provided information for Early Admission (EAs) in your Mutant Vehicle Application we will contact you in June with additional information regarding your EA request.

If you have any questions, please email us at dmv@burningman.com.

Thanks for applying. We wish the best for you and your Mutant Vehicle. See you on the Playa!

– The DMV Hotties


May 1 2014

Burning Man 2014 Mutant Vehicle application – submitted!

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Thanks again to all our fantastic Indiegogo supporters for making this application possible. Stay tuned for updates!

Mutant Vehicle Name
XyloVan
Mutant Short Vehicle Description
A rolling ballroom ceiling with amplified xylophones and gongs for everyone to play

Mutant Vehicle URL
http://xylovan.com

Previously on the Playa?
Yes

Years at Burning Man
2010,2011,2012

Previous Mutant Vehicle Names
Full day/night DMV permit in 2011 as “Janus” – the double-headed player piano

Prior Mutant Vehicle
Yes

Prior Mutant Vehicle Information
ARTery placed XyloVan as a playa installation in 2010. We earned full DMV privileges in 2011. In 2012, the vehicle remained unmutated, parked in camp at Swing City, but fully interactive.

Other Mutant Vehicles Created?

Camp Information
Swing City

Day License
Yes

Night License
Yes

About the Vehicles Mutation
Xylovan (a successful and much-loved veteran of the playa and Los Angeles regional events for the past 4 years) is fitted with amplified 8-foot-long xylphones and an array of other instruments and gongs that invite people to play music with each other. For 2014, we are transforming it into “The Light Fandango” – a roving ballroom ceiling – by shrouding it entirely in backlit, translucent, billowing fabric suspended from a round armature and hung with brightly-lit brass-tone chandeliers. People will be able to climb atop the ceiling (the vehicle’s roof) and ride 10 at a time aboard a rooftop observation deck fitted with a variety of gongs and percussion instruments to play while in motion or they can jam with those and the ground-level xylophones and other instruments when it is stopped.

Lighting Plans
The vehicle’s translucent fabric shell will be radically illuminated from within by THREE 360-degree arrays of controllable RGB LED strips (at the crown, midpoint and base of the skin) and by RGB arrays casting light on the playa beneath the vehicle. Additionally we will mount 8-10 yard-sale chandeliers around the crown of the vehicle, lit with the brightest white LEDs available, to cast light on the outside of the vehicle, and on the people and playa below. The effect will be a traveling pool of light piloted by a thousand pinpoints of white light all the way around the vehicle. Think the Duke of New York’s cadillac – only much, much, MUCH brighter and friendlier.

Mutant Vehicle Intent
XyloVan has given thousands of people at Burning Man and beyond an extraordinary experience exploring the music within themselves. On-playa, people constantly mob the van when it’s stopped and flag us down and beg us to stop when we’re moving so they have a chance to play the instruments. We want to extend this, through this mutation design – so that we can bring this experience to people all over the playa, as well as transporting people who want to join the roving party and jump into the spontaneous jams that pop up whenever we stop. We created this specific design with Caravansary in mind – to bring the experience of a nomadic, interactive, moveable musical feast to every single person we can reach on-playa. To see in greater detail what we have planned, please take a look at our Indiegogo video (about 5 mins): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLGhKN_0_f0

Street Legal
Yes

Vehicle License Number
1LIC689

State of license
CA

Vehicle Length
30′ 6″ (with mutation deployed)

Vehicle Width
22′ 0″ (with mutation deployed)

Vehicle Height
12′ 0″ (with mutation deployed)

Frame Base
Ford ClubWagon XLT (Econoline 350)

Frame Year
1985

Capacity
10-30

Art Tours

Art Tour Contact Info

Number of Trailers

None

Trailer Description

Levels
Yes

Level Description
The base vehicle accommodates up to 8 passengers. The rooftop deck – reached by means of a well-lit, bolted-on ladder – carries 10 to 12 more, and is surrounded by a sturdy, 4’6″ steel guardrail with vertical bars that prevent someone from falling to the ground below.

Sound System
Yes

Sound System Wattage
200

How big is your system?
Normal car stereo or Average living room (under 90 db at 30 ft)

Sound System Description
Pressure-zone microphones gather sound from the three large xylophones on the vehicle’s flanks, feeding it to a digital-delay mixer, which in turn sends the signal to a 200W Kickr amp. The amp feeds a living-room-grade (small) subwoofer and four bookshelf speakers, which point out over open playa so as to avoid feeding back to the mikes below.

Sound Impact Remediation
The mixer is mounted right next to the driver’s seat so volume can be controlled instantly by the driver. We always turn volume down when approaching the temple or quiet areas of the playa, when driving in streets after midnight or before 9 a.m., and we and remain constantly sensitive to people’s requests to moderate the volume. The feedback problem tends to force us to keep the volume at living-room levels anyway. 😉

Bar
No

Standing Passengers
Yes

Design Safety
The armature is fully bolted to the guardrail, which is bolted to the rooftop cargo rack, which is in turn bolted to the vehicle itself. We have had large men lunge at the rail repeatedly trying to break it, and it holds up perfectly. The chandeliers will be hung above 7 feet, and safety-cabled as well as clipped to hardware fittings in the armature. All wiring and cables are run through conduits well out of the way of passengers. We limit the rooftop to 10 people (or 12 when stationary) and keep an overall vehicle-population balance within limits of the vehicle’s originally designed capacity as a 15-passenger van. Our operating procedures (described below) prohibit people who are too inebriated from boarding.

Operating Procedures
In accordance with DMV rules, the driver is always sober and well-rested before getting behind the wheel – and remains so for the duration of any run. The driver always travels with a crewmate who:
– Stands outside the vehicle to guide it when necessary (backing up, navigating tight spots)
– Remains vigilant for hazards on playa (obstacles, darkwads, flame installations, etc.)
– Helps conduct people to and from the rooftop deck
– Evaluates the ability (age, agility, sobriety) of rooftop passengers before they board and screens out those who might get hurt boarding or debarking
– Knows where the first aid kit and fire extinguisher are and how to use them

Enter/Exit Procedures
The vehicle takes on and offloads passengers only when completely stopped. Passengers may climb in through the passenger door or the rear doors (although that opening is sometimes stacked with bikes inside). Passengers may board the rooftop deck only by means of the rear ladder, and only when cleared by either the crewmate or by another rooftop passenger who agrees to be the “designated grownup” – to aid the driver in politely refusing admittance to anyone who might be too high, drunk, young, old or simply infirm to safely climb up and down the ladder.

Effort Required
2-4 people 15 hours

Describe Tasks
– Assemble roof-deck guardrail (2 people, 1.5 hrs)
– Assemble crown armature (2 people, 2 hrs)
– Attach front-wheel shape armatures (30 mins, 2 people or 60 mins 1 person)
– Attach fabric to crown armature and various attachment points on the vehicle (2 people, 2 hours)
– Install and connect light bars (2 people, 1 hour)
– Deploy xylophones, microphones, resonators and speakers (2 people, 1 hour)
– Install safety lights, walkaround and final check (2 people, 1/2 hour)

Number of EA passes
2

Arrival Day
Friday

Propulsion Type
Stock 7.5-L V8 gas engine – recently rebuilt, so about as green as a big gas engine can be. We will be burning approx 6-10 gals.

Does your Mutant Vehicle have a steam boiler of any type?
No

Flame Effects
No

Combustibles
No

Data Listed Publicly?
Listed


May 1 2014

Open-heart surgery

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10265644_319405418207158_4130905613500630745_oHere – not for the queasy – is a view of XyloVan’s monster 7.5-liter V8 engine, medications midway through heart-surgery.