reVITALize 2013 Burning Man Desert Disco Ball Build

Creating awareness of BM principle of Leave No Trace through reVITALize Toothbrush Collective and subsequent Desert Disco Ball fabrication and installation.
Scott London
New York, New York
United States
2 Team Members

One BILLION toothbrushes, which take HUNDREDS OF YEARS to decompose, end up in landfills EVERY YEAR!

We are “reVITALize," and our goal is to bring the collective consciousness of Burning Man to the outside world through a recycling program that engages kids all across the country. Embracing the Burning Man principle of “Leave No Trace,” the reVITALize Toothbrush Coalition program seeks to create awareness, educate, and enlist kids to join the fight against the full-blown plastic epidemic that threatens our environment, starting with their toothbrushes. 

Now you may be asking, "Why toothbrushes?" Well, the answer is that we thought it would be really cool to make a giant disco ball out of them, and then have it suspended 100 feet in the air by a crane, lighting up the desert at this years Burning Man festival of course. ;-).

We thought it should look something like this:

Alright, back to business. To further exasperate the plastic epidemic, the American Dental Association now recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months, further threatening the stability of our environment. reVITALize offers a year round sustainable program through our recycling partner TerraCycle, whereby each participating school earns .02 cents for every piece of plastic they collect and recycle. In addition, our organization will award a $5,000 grant to one participating school through a drawing to be announced this August. 

And this is where the real fun begins. The donated toothbrushes are being used as the building blocks for an art installation designed and constructed by Yarrow Mazzetti and Overkill, to be unveiled at the 2013 Burning Man festival at Black Rock Desert, Nevada. The physical installation and interaction with the piece will be documented and sent to all the participating schools. The idea is simple. Showing kids how their small contributions assisted in the creation of something so large scale and beautiful will instill in them a sense of pride and a sense of ownership of the environment that we all live in. But it doesn't stop there. Through our partnership with TerraCycle, each participating Colgate Brigade school will receive two cents for every toothbrush they send in indefinitely. 

Let’s use our collective power, creativity and care, to reVITALize our youth’s awareness of environmental and social responsibility, ignite their passion for the artistic power of a collective, and help them understand how their small contributions can make enormous differences in the world. The important thing to remember is that this project is not about recycling per se, or even making really cool art. reVITALize is about creating awareness of the collective consciousness of Burning Man, the principles that it represents, and instilling in our youth a sense of responsibility, ownership, contribution, and an understanding that we as individuals are all part of something greater, and we are greater as individuals through our contributions to the collective good. 

We are looking to the Indiegogo community to help "bring us to the finish line," on project Desert Disco Ball and we are hoping to raise $16, 500 to subsidize the completion of fabrication, as well as fund the logistics of transportation and installation at Burning Man 2013. 

Follow this link to view other spectacular Burning Man masterpeices: 

Thank you, 

Scott London

The following is a copy of a "project status" letter from Scott London to his team which provides greater insight into the details and progress of the project and the passion of it's team: 

"Hello all, As you all know Jonny, Wendy and I have been working on an "art" project for this years Burning Man, Bringing the collective consciousness of Burning Man to the outside world. By all accounts we have been very successful. We garnered a lot of attention, we received a grant from Burners without Borders, we signed up a lot of schools, and have a lot of kids sending in their toothbrushes and thinking about the importance of recycling, we have received compliments from parents, teachers and administrators for getting them to think about recycling their toothbrushes for the first time, and putting them on the right track at the start of each day. We put together a great partnership with Terra Cycle to receive the toothbrushes we collect from the kids and Terra Cycle is paying them 2 cents for every toothbrush sent in indefinitely. We are also about to award one of the participating schools a $5,000 grant to go towards a school program. We now come to the art project on the playa. We have been working on this for 6 months with Yarrow his Overkill team and two architects, Gary and Terence, and an Engineer Jeff Ling. 

Scott London and Yarrow Mazzetti getting excited about "small" scale prototype of the Desert Disco Ball.
Scott London and Yarrow Mazzetti getting excited about "small" scale prototype of the Desert Disco Ball.
Early-stage fabrication of Desert Disco Ball skeleton/skin
Early-stage fabrication of Desert Disco Ball skeleton/skin

The idea is to complete the circle of what we started. By showing photos of the "cool" art project on the playa, the kids and everyone involved will have a sense of ownership and pride in helping to have built the project. They will take that with them the rest of there lives, and continue to think it is cool to recycle. We have designed a large fiberglass globe (the third iteration of the globe) that will be built and managed by Yarrow and his team. It is essentially a 13 foot globe, which will function as a disco ball. It will have 24 addressable LED spot lights on the outside that can be seen across the playa. It will also have 12 addressable LED Flood lights on the inside that will make the globe glow, like an orb. The skin will be toothbrushes to give the entire globe a porcupine like look. You should get a sense of discovery upon realizing they are toothbrushes. Of course the background story of why they are made from toothbrushes should be something that brings a smile to everyone's face on the playa. The globe will be hung from a large man lift, potentially hanging the globe 100 feet in the air. The entire globe will spin like a disco ball. There will not be a moon this year, so we can raise the globe and have it simulate the moon from the flood lights inside. A pink moon, a blue boon, a grey Moon, a half moon and so on. We can have the globe or orb glow like this for a few days, and wait to turn the LED spots on Thursday night. It will be a beacon on the playa. It will be something everyone can see, and we will be there to celebrate our creation as well. Although I have self-funded the majority of the costs myself, please let me know what you are able to contribute in helping to bring this to the playa and/or what dollar amount you feel comfortable donating to the project. 

Thank you very much, 

Scott London

Background on Project Artists and Engineers: 

Yarrow Mazzetti, Artist and Lead Fabricator 

Yarrow and friend on the playa at Burning Man 2012Yarrow and friend on the playa at Burning Man 2012

Yarrow Mazzetti has an obsession with the creation of "one-of-a-kind" spaces and experiences. Yarrow is a maker whose favorite activity is taking a blank canvas and transforming it into an awe-inspiring spectacle. His passion is all about developing over the top environments and an emotional connection to a space. In 2005 Yarrow founded the Overkill Movement with a passion to design environments and art installations that inspire people and define spaces. His history in the design and construction of high-end custom homes and non-traditional fabrication processes is his foundation for the fabrication and finishing that defines his unique body of work. 

Corp Overkill BIO: Overkill Movement was conceived in 2005 by a group of friends who shared a passion for designing and building spectacular installations that inspire people. Everything that we conceive has never-before-been-done and everything we make is developed to be extra strong, super tough, and always “over the top”. The members of the Overkill collective are fueled by a desire for doing things right and to always be the best we can be. Through this passion, every structure and art piece is as reliable and strong as possible while being awe-inspiring and wild fun. The ideals that started Overkill have given our company a reputation that precedes us. Our clients come to us because we pledge to always come through on time, and always over deliver. Overkill continues to raise the bar, working with friends and clients who are the best of the best in their fields. We are based in New York City, with an office in Tribeca and a 4,000 sq. ft. fabrication shop in Brooklyn. From our Brooklyn shop, Overkill builds custom art pieces for hospitality clients, and large-scale 3Dimensional, mobile art for public spaces and events around the world. It is our belief that through our art and design work we can captivate and inspire audiences and this fuels our unwavering artistic passion.

Alright, so you say you need a little more incentive. Fine. 

We really wanted every reward to be an intimate piece of this great project, and almost all of them quite literally are. Whether they be an accessory or fine piece of jewelry made from the actual toothbrushes collected, a signed and numbered limited edition photograph of the Desert Disco Ball at Burning Man from a world famous photographer, actually experiencing the majesty and wonder of seeing the Desert Disco Ball in living color at this years Burning Man, or experiencing the once-in-a-lifetime chance to actually watch "The Man" burn from atop the famous Balance Ville, all of the rewards are infused with our passion for Burning Man and the reVITALize belief in the principle of "Leave No Trace." We hope you agree. 

One-Of-A-Kind Toothbrush bracelets made from actual reVITALize reclaimed toothbrushes. 

Signed and numbered, limited edition photographic prints of the Desert Disco Ball from world renowned photographer Perter Ruprecht.

Want to take a ride? A magical mystery tour of all the spectacular Burning Man art installations on the famed Dirty Owl.

And now for the "Big Kahuna." A once-in-a-lifetime-chance to watch "The Man" go up in flames aboard the Balance Ville. If you got the quid, I am personally extremely envious, but I wish you god speed and a wondrous adventure!

Risks and challenges

Behind the successful execution of every project lies a well thought out plan, adequate resources and a great team. Check, check, and check!
It often requires acknowledging limitations as well, and resourcing accordingly. That is exactly why Revitalize has teamed up with Yarrow Mazzetti and team Overkill (see project description). Lets just say this ain't their "first rodeo."

Although team Revitalize has been "measuring twice and cutting once" every step of the way, we realize that it is always the things that you can't plan for that cripple seamless execution. Having acknowledged this, the staging area has already been arranged for, contingency plans have been put in place for transportation, a surplus of skilled labor arranged for to assist with installation, and backup power generators, LED lights, and spare parts built in as a "just-in-case." Fabrication and production are right on schedule and the wind is at our backs. Now, what are we forgetting? Oh yeah, the indiegogo community! We need you too, and your support to provide us with the very last bit of insurance we will need to light this baby up. And trust us when we say we will have no problem delivering on those rewards. We are certainly not in short supply of toothbrushes ;-).

We look forward to sharing when it's all over. On second thought, it never really is. Is it?

Find This Campaign On
raised by 84 people in 1 month
80% funded
No time left
$16,500 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on August 29, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $20USD
    reVITALize Toothbrush Bracelet

    A one-of-a-kind, made using actual reclaimed toothbrushes (don't worry, they are sterilized in the molding process), this fashion forward accessory is not only a great conversation starter ;-), but is also a reflection of the civic, social, cultural and environmentally conscious individual wearing it.

    22 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $50USD
    Peter Ruprecht Photo/Bracelet

    A signed and numbered, photographic print of the Desert Disco Ball from world renowned photographer Peter Ruprecht. Printed in high resolution, full color on 100 lb stock paper, this piece is a wonderful addition to any art, Burning Man, or cause lover's collection. Includes a commemorative reVITALize Toothbrush Collective Bracelet.

    11 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $100USD
    Shannon Shiang Necklace

    Is it a commemorative piece, art for display or a functional piece of jewelry to be worn? Regardless, each one of these unique necklaces is to be appreciated. Designed by world renowned jewelry designer Shannon Shiang, and hand crafted in sterling silver, each necklace will be a one-of-a-kind, and should be prized. Each piece is handmade in New York City. Included are the Peter Ruprecht Desert Disco Ball photo and a reVITALize Toothbrush Bracelet.

    6 out of 40 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $250USD
    Peter Ruprecht Photo

    A very limited edition Peter Ruprecht photo of you and all your fellow Burners with the Desert Disco Ball all lit up! The photo will be very limited, signed and numbered, #1, and it will be yours! Now that is damn cool! Includes the reVITALize T-Shirts, and a reVITALize Toothbrush Bracelet.

    6 out of 20 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2013
  • $500USD
    BM "Dirty Owl" Art Tour

    This is where it will start to get competitive. Play nice. Take the night ride of your Burning Man life across the playa in the famed "Dirty Owl" with 7 fellow Burners of your choice. We will throw in 7 of the reVITALize T-Shirts and 7 reVITALize Toothbrush Bracelets. Dirty Owl, 7 Burner Friends, awe-inspiring art installations at night in the desert. That about says it all. Oh yeah, and sorry we can't help you on who gets to come along. That's on you.

    2 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013

    Burning Man from Balance Ville

    Your heart is pounding as you feel the energy of 60,000 Burners' anticipation boiling. 3, 2, 1, Balance Ville has lift off, and you're on it. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you and your most significant other to watch the Man Burn while towering over the entire playa in Balance Ville. Perter will photograph the spectacle and you will receive 2 signed and numbered originals, as well as a digital version, 2 reVITALize T-Shirts and 2 reVITALize Bracelets. So, are you "OK TO GO?"

    1 out of 1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2013
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