Bringing the gift of Fire to humanity since the dawn of time, Prometheatrics has been a part of Black Rock City since 2002. Historically located on the Esplanade, our theme camp hosts a fine collection of interactive installations and helpful hosts ready to surprise and delight you!
Step inside the temporally anomalous Tesseract, where you’ll experience yourself as you truly are: infinite! Trace your face with our Self Portrait Studio and take home your very own masterpiece! Enjoy a bounce on our delightful Danpoline, find paradise in our glittering Light Forest, or enter the dream-space of our relaxing Infinitipi. On your way in or out of our domain, admire all the colors Burning Man has to offer through the radiant Rainbow Scrim.
Join us at dusk and dawn at our mirrored stage for twice-daily fire spinning jams, where there’s always a safety on duty and all wicks are welcome. We’re honored to be a part of what makes our city magical, and eager to share what makes us shine!
Todd Walker (Quidam)
Camp Founder, Captain & Interactivity Czar
One usually hears about Burning Man for some time before actually making the first trip. It took some years of knowing before the influence of a prominent technopagan at the end of history helped pull our heroes into the gravity well of Black Rock, from which they escape only intermittently. After two of his closest friends and soon-to-be co-founders insisted that he really must see this place, the man called Quidam, heeded their counsel and dove into the dust. The experience left him wide-eyed and gobsmacked by the wonder of the possibilities and the excitement of the looming prospect of glory and, somewhat surprisingly, poignant sense of home.
Coming back from Black Rock City for the first time can oft leave one moved to prepare their own contribution to the next year’s Stone Soup. A more concentrated dose of inspiration and mind-expansion could hardly be conceived, and Todd was not found to be immune. A tetrahedron of mirrors was envisioned, being the cheapest path to the third dimension, and, in an effort to match the theme in 2002, The Floating World, it was imagined that the thing would have to float somehow- maybe springs in the legs? When a friend had three sheets of acrylic mirror to donate, suddenly four faces became six, and a means of suspending it by garage door springs was wrought. Rainbow glasses and a strobe light just seemed obligatory at that point. Having amazing art means having an amazing space in which to show it off, and thus Prometheatrics was born!
A portmanteau that captures both pyrophilia and a flair for the dramatic, Prometheatrics means not just burning, barking, and bouncing, it’s about giving the gift of fire- of light, of warmth, of perspective, of knowledge. Passing the flame only adds more light, and doesn’t diminish the giver. We strive to show our guests a new side of themselves- either in the inifinitude of the Tesseract’s inner spaces or reflected back in the magic mirror of their hand-drawn self portrait. We aim to provide our guests with opportunities for transformation: be made new in the Web of Rebirth or contemplate the ineffable in our comfort zone, the Infinitipi.
Over the years, Todd has brought several more installations to the Esplanade, including the Self-Portrait Studio, an ultraviolet laser harmonograph, and the Infinitipi. He’s been inside the Great Circle a dozen times on Burn Night, sometimes at the head of his troupe, Flow Templars, and has shot flaming arrows to ignite a sixty-foot tall Trojan Horse. Ever afire with thoughts of what’s next, the future can expect to see new wonders aplenty from him in the shadow of the Tesseract.
Camp Founder & Vision/Morale Officer
The Teafaerie writes stories, poems, movies, plays and essays, makes videos, organizes flash mobs, and is one of the founders of Flow Temple, a Los Angeles based flow arts school. At various times she has been a writer, nanny, actress, set designer, puppeteer, childbirth doula, homeless person, aid worker, live-action storyteller, toy inventor, app designer, street performer, and party promoter. She writes a well known column called Teatime, Psychedelic Musings from the Center of the Universe for Erowid.org.
She first attended Burning Man in 1998, when someone she had only just barely met radomly gifted her a last minute ticket. Of course she had no idea what she was in for. But she loved every minute of it. Never again would she be content to merely attend an event as a spectator.
Burning Man didn’t make the Teafaerie feel like a mark to be marketed to. It me her feel like like a superhero, or like an avatar in a massively multiplayer game where everyone is on the same team and the goal is to make the most awesome. Collectively. It’s a social experiment, a networking opportunity, an outdoor art museum, a rite of passage, a great excuse to blow stuff up, and the best freaking party in the world. She knew that she’d be back just as often as possible. So far it’s been 18 years and counting…
The next year she returned with her then-boyfriend Jason, to whom she is now happily married. It was obvious to both of them that their mutual friend Todd also needed to know about this; and when he reacted exactly the way they expected him to, a theme camp of our own became essentially inevitable.
We just needed some cool art to get started, and the triumphant trio’s visit to an exhibition that featured a room made entirely out of mirrors provided just the right inspiration. It happens that the Teafaerie and her little brother had tried to construct a fully reflective interior as children by gluing pieces of broken mirror inside of a box that an oven had come in. The original project had never been finished, but as adults with real tools we we’d be nearly unstoppable. We could even suspend it! Plus our friend had a trampoline. And thus Prometheatrics was ignited.
Our camp quickly swelled into a big family, and soon it was a veritable supertribe. Many of us started practicing and teaching flow arts, most notably Burning d@N, who passed into legend in 2010. The Teafaeire now celebrates his life by bringing the daily dawn fire to the Esplanade in his honor every morning at sunrise.
Prometheatrics continues to grow by adding more intriguing attractions as well as camp members who party like pros. The Teafaerie is ridiculously proud of it, and she can’t wait to see where it is going.
Jason Naylor (Jaynay)
Camp Founder & Liaison Officer
As a young lad enjoying halcyon and heady idylls with his two best brothers, Matt and Noah (if you’ve spotted a trio of smartly-appointed Jedi holding down the Playa, that’s them!), Prometheatrics Co-Founder Jason wondered what one would behold from the center of a mirrored sphere. It just so happened that his true love, the Teafaerie, had also asked herself the same question. In fact, she and her brother had attempted to construct a mirrored room inside of a large cardboard box when they were children. It was many years later, when Jason, the Teafaerie and their Partner in Crime visited the Getty Museum exhibition ‘Devices of Wonder’ and entered Lucas Samaras’s ‘Mirrored Room’, that the notion reappeared, this time with an incontrovertible thrum of inspiration. ’We could make this!’ he thought. ‘We could *totally* make this!’ he exclaimed, echoing what had already crossed his compatriots’ minds, and likely startling the other museum visitors. Just two years after his initial outing to Black Rock City in 1999, which left him truly a’gog (*see ‘Holiday at the End of History’ posted elsewhere), Jason and the team were hard at work building the Tesseract…
Just two years prior, and almost immediately after Todd had contrived their introduction, the Teafaerie opened her courtship with a winning stratagem: inviting Jason to Black Rock City for his first time. ’Twas a deft stroke, to be sure: in a single move she opened his eyes, tickled his phant’sy, rattled his brains and broke his heart wide open. Like many, he had caught tantalizing murmurings of the Brigand-Dune Brigadoon on the breeze over the years, but was waiting, unknowingly, for the right time. This penultimate year of the 20th century was just that. The city was in the midst of it’s latest transition, in its second year of civic organization but not yet ‘themed’. Jason, too, walked the Changing Lands and, with that first, fateful step onto the playa, left behind the old and comfortable world to begin a journey into wonders untold…
Back in 2002, the downy tinder of childhood musings and the cured logs of recent inspiration together with a dash of Todd’s high-octane Sophomore Surge combined conflagratorily to create both the Mirror Box and Prometheatrics in a single sparkling flash. On the one hand, the glorious theme camp that had graciously hosted us the year before was moulting and we couldn’t wait to contribute a verse to the community by being one of the spin-offs. On the other, we had our mandate: build a centerpiece installation and they will come! The Hypercube was a big hit that year, and has served admirably, as it was intended to do from the outset, as the anchor of a ‘big, cool Esplanade camp’ which is just what Prometheatrics has become. 2016 marks the 15th year of the camp, and it looks to be yet another corker. The gratification of building, growing and husbanding this sparkling, spiraling vortnexus where beautiful and kind creatures come together to share in the joy of blowing each other’s minds can hardly be expressed. Thank you all!