The Radical City: Maker Faire and Burning Man at DOKK1 This Weekend In Aarhus

Maker News
The Radical City:  Maker Faire and Burning Man at DOKK1 This Weekend In Aarhus

Every Maker Faire around the globe is a unique reflection of the community it’s based in. One of the aspects that informed the world’s first Maker Faire, Maker Faire Bay Area, is the large and vibrant local Burning Man community. Maker Faire Bay Area is fortunate to have had a strong presence of Burning Man art and makers for the past 14 years. That San Francisco Bay Area enthusiasm for making large-scale / kinetic art has in turn influenced what Maker Faire is known for around the globe, and is part of the experience that people look for when they come to a Maker Faire.

There is also the community overlap in the people behind the scenes:  We have shared production team members.  Maker Faire team have participated as artists and makers at Burning Man from the early years, and vice versa.  Burning Man has hosted Maker Faire Producer meetups out in the desert.  Maker Faire organizers have referred foreign artists to the Burning Man arts grants program.

And as the two creative culture networks have propagated around the globe — the Burning Man Regional Network and the Maker Faire Global event program — our work and partners continue to cross.  In Europe especially, several Maker Faire Producers also serve as very active Burning Man community members. Our shared interest in cultivating open source culture, and shared values around resourcefulness, resilience, curiosity and creativity — as well as the foundational embrace of making and doing and building — all of this has perpetuated an organic allegiance.

This year Burning Man shared that they were planning to host their annual European Leadership Summit in Aarhus, Denmark, at DOKK1, a globally known library and cultural center—which also happens to be the home of the Aarhus Mini Maker Faire. This overlay was too much to not honor; time for an official collaboration!

So this coming weekend of April 12-14, Burning Man Project and Maker Faire will hold simultaneous private European leadership summits in Aarhus.  And then on Saturday, April 11, host a shared and free to the public program at DOKK1 called The Radical City: Dreamers, Makers and Doers.  If you are on the European continent, we invite you to drop all you are working on and get to Aarhus to celebrate, network, dream and learn with us.

Maker Faire wants to thank Burning Man and DOKK1 (and the Aarhus Mini Maker Faire team) for bearing the majority load of organizing this event.  Our team is deep into production for Maker Faire Bay Area (just 5 weeks away, May 17-19), and we have had fewer cycles to contribute than we had wanted.  But we are thrilled for this gathering in Aarhus, and for what we know will be the natural positive outcomes from this cross-pollination of networks.

P.S.  Here’s a preview of some of the art that has appeared at or been funded by Burning Man that will be showing at our 14th annual Bay Area event in just a few short weeks:

Rearing Horse

Nevada-based artist Barry Crawford does not disappoint with his incredible large-scale metal creations. He’ll be bringing Rearing Horse, a 14.5-foot-tall interactive kinetic sculpture made of found objects and some new metal. Movements can be controlled by turning the cranks on the perimeter fence.

Maria Del Camino

This sweet 5-ton ride by Bay Area artist Bruce Tomb began with the vestige of a 1959 El Camino and the unfulfilled promise of a flying car. Maria del Camino is an electric vehicle mounted to a highly modified hydraulic excavator that can be operated manually or remotely via smartphone. Come check out the sideshow tricks of this crowd-pleaser.  Bruce will also be presenting on his recent transformation of Maria into an electric vehicle.


Artist Rebekah Waites’ interactive art piece Singularity made its debut at Burning Man last year. Multiple bird cages and houses pull spectators inside a shrinking world until they reach the point of singularity.  A 10×10′ version will be onsite to explore at Maker Faire.

Spider Sweet

What kind of spider is the sweetest? Spider Sweet, of course, the 3500-pound steel arachnid by artist Brian Argabrite. Made to be posed and displayed 8 feet up a central pole, this stunning piece can stretch up to 70 feet across and was a Burning Man Honoraria project from 2018.


Myriapoda is a 30′ mechanical centipede by To Be Continued…, an artist collective of over 50 long time Burners. The piece was constructed of re-purposed materials and wheel chair components—and is laden with over 1300 addressable LEDs.  Myriapoda will anchor the Dark Gallery this year at Maker Faire. Meet the makers, spin up her walking mechanism, and broadcast your own custom light display.

Let U.S. Prey

The brainchild of Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson, Let U.S. Prey is a massive eagle sculpture created almost entirely of coins. What took a team of builders 600 hours over the course of four years to create is sure to make your jaw drop. The inspiration? “Habitat loss and threats to wildlife is a concern to us and we wish to impart on the participant that wildlife is bigger than we are, hence the size of our installations.”


For more on The Radical City:  Dreamers, Makers and Doers, see the day’s program here.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

Sabrina is the Maker Faire Program Director. She works on stage content for the flagship fairs (Bay Area & New York), and also runs Maker Faire's global licensing program for locally and independently produced Maker Faires. She also co-creates the East Bay Mini Maker Faire in her town, Oakland, CA.

View more articles by Sabrina Merlo


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