Infinity in the Dust

Infinity Boxes Bring Infinite Possibilities to Midway

In the middle of the City stands a maze of mirrors surmounted by the figure of a Man, fifty-four feet tall. Around the maze, like the face of a clock, lies the Midway, a place of comedy and trickery and games and magic.

And within a stall of the Midway lies your chance to transform yourself into the infinite.

The space is draped in shining silver fabric that catches light and tosses back rainbows. Overhead, the petals of a hundred flowers gleam and glitter, linked together in endless repetition. You stand within a box like a liquid-walled mirror, and the box itself holds multiple views of infinity.

That's the plan, anyway, as it was laid out at the Infinite Community's first planning meeting back in June. Matt Elson has been bringing his Infinity Boxes to Black Rock City for a few years now —  if you attended last year's Burn and made it to the Los Angeles region's souk, you had the chance to experience one of them while you waited to film your scene in "The Princess Bride". This year, Matt and the Infinite Community were invited to be part of the Midway. A new Infinity Box, named Community, will be the centerpiece of the installation.

So what exactly is an Infinity Box? Think of it as that place where imagination, engineering, the physics of light and the oddities of sight meet...and spawn a kaleidoscopic wonder. Only instead of holding the kaleidoscope in your hands and looking through it, you become a part of the art. Each Box has from one to four viewing ports, and you don't just look in, you lean your whole head in and look all around. Each port in a single box has its own view: from one side, you might see yourself looking at a Fabergé egg, and from the other, you're inside the egg looking out at the world -- and at whoever is on the other side looking at you.

The truly fascinating thing, though, is that the experience, the view inside an Infinity Box, can't be fully captured by still photography or video. It's immersive, experiential, in the moment, and photos can only suggest the reality.

An inspired, and inspiring, space in the Carnival of Mirrors.

But like everything worthwhile, making it happen will take dedication, united effort, and hard work. While Matt creates the Infinity Boxes, the physical "container" for the installation will be designed and built at Matt's business, Fastframe of Long Beach. A framework will be constructed to hold the mylar draping for the walls and the petals for the ceiling.

Build days are on calendar every other Sunday from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM, with the next one scheduled for July 26. If you can't make a build day but have time available, you can contact volunteer coordinator Christine Vicente to set something up, as well as to check on volunteer opportunities on the playa. You can reach her via Facebook: simply search for Christine Vicente.

A crowdfunding campaign is in the works to cover construction materials and transportation. We'll update this entry with links when they're available, and we thank you in advance for whatever you can contribute.

Just remember to visit the Midway for your own taste of infinity.

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