JANUS build

JANUS was a reincarnation of XyloVan for Burning Man 2011.

He was designed as the shell of a double-faced player piano, to cover all traces of XyloVan’s roots as a 15-passenger van, so as to win an on-playa driving permit from the Black Rock City Department of Mutant Vehicles.

With a skeleton of wood, stuff a skin of canvas dropcloths, a crown of wire-mesh clouds and a diadem of LED lights, JANUS was meant to honor the Roman god of beginnings, transitions, doorways, gates, endings and time. He fit right in with BM2011’s theme, Rites of Passage.

JANUS succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Then we had to scrap him.

Here’s a step-by-step look back at how JANUS was built:

  1. Build XyloVan in 2010 (see complete build log)

  2. Dream up the JANUS concept

  3. Design frame architecture

  4. Rough out the frame

  5. Correct the frame

  6. Acquire DMV invitation

  7. Rough out the shape

  8. Fit and cut the plywood profiles

  9. Assemble connecting framework

  10. Frame completed – walkaround video

  11. Find parts for the Cloud Deck

  12. Build the Cloud Deck

  13. Sew the skins

  14. Fit the skins

  15. Dye the skins

  16. Cut clouds, fireproof the fabric, finish trim and more

  17. Rebuild the light bars

  18. Finished! Front | Back | Night | Night 2 | Beauty shot

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misadventures in resonant metal