Stairway to Heaven by Day

By day, participants that approach the Stairway to Heaven structure will see images drawn on the exterior of the structure in the style of prehistoric cave paintings, telling the stories of experiences that the artists seek at Burning Man. It is an allegory for the hopes of primitive cultures that celebrate the cargo cult. Once at the foot of the structure, participants can interact with the structure by adding their own images or stories, and find themselves at the foot of a spiral staircase. The steps rise above the playa surface around a central column, and participants are invited to climb to the summit.

Once at the top of the staircase, the participant discovers a wine barrel sitting atop the central column that corresponds to the myth of opulence of cargo cults. Halfway down the structure, the participant can discover a secret entrance into the interior of the structure, with a ladder extending 8 feet down to ground level. Inside this secret cavern, the participant discovers drawings on the walls, representing the story of an alien civilization. This story is our own, one of our imagined future.


By day, the sound component of our project highlights French musical heritage by featuring music of classical French artists like Serge Gainsbourg, Edith Piaf, Georges Brassens, and Jacque Brel. These classical French artists play with the French language with great skill and finesse. The words resonate with the music, and the music with words, and participants who are near and inside the structures can enjoy or discover the beauty of the music and language, bringing a little bit of France to Burning Man.