3,350 NASA Space Blankets Will Form this 2018 Burning Man Installation (We Hope)

space blanket burning man
Alex Shtanuk

I love a good blanket as much as the next guy, whether for napping on Sundays or telling ghost stories as a little kid. But Moscow-based installation artist Alex Shtanuk is planning to build the most epic blanket of all time at the 2018 Burning Man festival in Black Rock City, 120 miles north of Reno.

Shtanuk launched an Indiegogo campaign to create “The Blanket,” a 107,000-square-foot reflective cover made of 3,350 NASA space blankets that will cover the flat “Playa” of the Nevada desert.

Made of light yet strong BoPET polyester film canvas and held together with reinforced tape, The Blanket will be coated with a metallic agent on its silver side that reflects 97 percent of radiant heat. Good news for Burning Man-goers who will combat both soaring temps in the daytime and freezing drops at night. The official website for the festival warns, “Weather on the playa is often violent and unpredictable. Dust storms, high winds, freezing temperatures, rain, we get it all out there. It’s impossible to be overly prepared when it comes to the elements.”

space blanket burning man
Alex Shtanuk / Indiegogo

During the hot days, escape under the Blanket for a comfy and refreshing rest area where you can relax and “have a nap or dance,” says Shatanuk’s Indiegogo page. Meanwhile, “at night, hundreds of people in el-wire suits will get together under the blanket creating an effect of oceanic bioluminescent plankton or moving waves of an equalizer.”

A total funding of $17,500 was expected for the installation, with only 13 percent raised by the end of the round. The final $2,293 raised will be used for materials, build-space rental, excavator and equipment rentals, and transportation from Russia to Nevada. (Not sure this blanket will fit in your carry-on.)

Despite not reaching its funding, we’re hopeful The Blanket will still be built, as the massive reflective installation will also work from the outside to mimic the waves of the ancient Lake Lahontan that once crested over the Burning Man Playa. This wave illusion will be produced by the natural wind conditions in the area flowing under the blanket.

In the same reflective vein, Denmark-based artist Jakob Lange recently took to Indeigogo to fund the creation of “The ORB” for this year’s Burning Man. The giant sphere nearly 100 feet in diameter will hover over Black Rock City and create a new perspective of the temporary metropolis and attendees of the festival, “turning public life into public artifact.”

It will also help attendees find their way around the massive landscape of Burning Man — a major bonus since the festival covers seven square miles and holds roughly 70,000 people.

For those planning to attend the 2018 Burning Man festival from August 26-September 4, it might be easier to donate to a massive installation rather than bring 3,000 of your own blankets. That being said, we’re ready to test our nap game. Nap level: expert.

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