Potty On in 2014!
2014 Update! The Bathroom Beacons are coming back to the playa in 2014! We’re pleased to announce that The Toilet Bowl and Welcome to Fabulous are recipients of honorarium art grants from the Burning Man organization. This year, The Toilet Bowl sign will be getting a face-lift to make it easier to find, and the lanes will be getting upgraded lighting and sensors on the pins for some added interactive fun.
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Bathroom Beacons is a civic art project for Burning Man started in 2012 to make it easier to find the bathrooms at night with three unique art installations located by the portapotties at the Temple and the 3:00 & 9:00 promenades. Each installation is lit at night to guide you to the nearest restroom, while contributing to the unique artistic aesthetic of Burning Man– quirky, ironic, amusing, and blinky! When we were dreaming up the original project, we realized you can’t take bathroom signs too seriously, so they all have a twist or pun that should leave everyone who encounters them with a smile. Or at the very least an urgent sense of relief.
In 2013, we brought back upgraded versions of our two favorite beacons from last year– Welcome to Fabulous (thanks in part to an honorarium grant from Burning Man!) as well as The Toilet Bowl lanes. And we had a NEW beacon for 2013– Twisted Bristles— a 20′ tall toilet brush with bristles that light up! Also new for 2013,had battery-powered safety lights on the installations to ensure they stay visible to explorers and art cars alike, even when the generators don’t want to cooperate.
About the installations.
Returning from 2012 is “Welcome to Fabulous,” which received an honorarium grant from the Burning Man organization in 2013. It is a redux of the iconic Las Vegas sign, guiding travelers to their #1 or #2 destination spot on the playa. We were thinking of classic American signs that we could imitate with a twist when we came up with Welcome to Fabulous. What better sign to choose than one that welcomes you to Burning Man’s “fabulous bathrooms?” Nothing says “fabulous” like a portapotty in the desert heat.
Also returning is “The Toilet Bowl.” Another tongue-in-cheek beacon, it features two bowling lanes for your amusement to pass the time while you wait for your friends to return from the Blue Room. Originally, this installation was destined to be a theme camp called “The Dust Bowl,” but we convinced the lead artist, Tracy Gillan, to call it “The Toilet Bowl” and put it out on the inner-playa as one of the beacons.
New for 2013 was “Twisted Bristles“– a 15-foot tall toilet bowl brush with over 1200 bristles made of 18” acrylic rods, backlit by LEDs dancing in a variety of blissful patterns. Never in the history of mankind were so many people so excited to see a toilet brush.
Below is a video showing the Beacons in action at night at Burning Man 2013.