Temple of Brad Pitt

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a sculpture by Geodesic Temple at Burning Man 2019
URL for this page: http://tobrit.geodesictemple.com

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The Temple of Brad Pitt channels the famous Hollywood actor. It captures Brad Pitt’s aura, extracts the essence of his being through data gathering and redisplays it as a data portrait and performative sculpture enabling Burning Man 2019 participants who enter a special apparatus to briefly experience what it is to be him.

Physical description

The Temple of Brad Pitt (TOBRIT) is composed of 4 distinct elements representing 4 distinct states of transformation nested into each other much like Matryoshka dolls.

The Temple

Following Geodesic Temple’s design principles, a complex made of structural octahedra is the central architectural element of the Temple and visually defines it.

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The Purgatory

The main feature inside TOBRIT, this semi-private chamber serves as preamble and waiting room to the Ark. It can hold a dozen people and is a receptacle for offerings. Some believe that the grander the offering, the fuller the ensuing bradpittization.

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Frescoes on the inside walls of the Purgatory (4 surfaces on the inside), part hieroglyph, part graffiti, describe and illustrate through allegories, metaphors, quotes and parables the process of becoming Brad Pitt. They guide the attentive player through the metamorphoses.

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The Ark

A metal vessel designed to host one person at a time hovers inside the Purgatory. Entering the Ark is the next step toward becoming Brad Pitt. Although it is possible to experience some level of bradpittization anywhere inside the Temple, players are encouraged to deposit their bodies inside the Ark for best results. Make sure you lift the Veil before positioning yourself inside the Ark.

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The Encephalus

Designed to host the head of the person inside the Ark, this exiguous space is the theatre of the second metamorphosis. It is recommended to stay in the Encephalus for the amount of time it would take a bird to fly from Venice to Santa Monica or from Yau Ma Tei to Sheung Wan. A place to quiet the mind and expand consciousness; to let go and explore the infinite within. The place for enhanced bradpittization, the Encephalus is where most players will experience the deepest sense of being Brad Pitt. The most sacred space of the Temple. Pro tip: lift the Veil as you enter the Encephalus.


Overall dimensions (TBC): 41' (Width) x 41' (Length) x 36' (Height)
Components: (TBA) octahedra
Weight: TBA lbs (n OH (kiln-dried 2x4x8 plus Simas connectors) x 160lbs = n lbs) + (n 5/8” plywood x 84lbs = n lbs)

Placement of TOBRIT on playa: 6300' 12' 18" (Brad Pitt's birthdate: Dec. 18, 1963)


Playing along with the Metamorphoses theme of this year’s event, TOBRIT addresses questions of presentation and interpretation of data as well as the role of belief in the transformation of self.

The piece offers two distinct metamorphoses.
First, the visual metamorphosis of information takes data from one state of representation to another. Concatenated through different filters (iterative process), different output streams (generative design), the same data produces different results. One is the existing primary source (Brad Pitt himself) from which the data is extracted, the other is the sculpture which is constructed based on data collected from the primary source.
Secondly, the ontological metamorphosis, experienced by individuals entering the Temple and positioning their physical bodies inside the Ark, leaving their own selves to become Brad Pitt for a few seconds of eternity.

The interactive dimension of the sculpture resides in the realization of one’s interdependence with the piece: to get something out, you must first put something in. In other words, you have to believe. The player needs to travel through the four nested elements of the sculpture (Temple, Purgatory, Ark, Encephalus) to complete her metamorphosis into Brad Pitt. The installation is transformative and performative, to be played like an instrument and, as such, is a metaphor for Burning Man itself.

- Recognize that a sense of being Brad Pitt will meet the user willfully entering this sacred space with openness, determination and conducive intentions.
- Relax when you stand inside the Ark.
- Quiet your mind when inside the Encephalus.
- Stay in the Encephalus until you stop being aware that you are in the Encephalus at which point your bradpittization will likely have taken place.

- Speak loudly inside the Temple.
- Disturb the bradpittization in progress.
- Expect a figurative representation of Brad Pitt.


TOBRIT projects the visitor inside the aura of the actor, allowing her to experience Mr. Pitt from within, what it feels like to be him, what it means to be Brad Pitt.

TOBRIT is a portrait of Brad Pitt by numbers. Data gathered from a variety of sources linked to the actor’s life such as, psychological profile, names of characters he portrayed in movies, astrological theme, face recognition parameters, etc. are fed to the AI engine to help determine the physical characteristics of TOBRIT through generative design and recursive processes.

Positioned at the intersection of science and alchemy, mysticism and mathematics, physics and spirituality, TOBRIT embarks on the courageous task of opening a door of perception for the player, and provides a download that, once experienced, is unlikely to be forgotten.


Just as in the age of mechanical reproduction only the aura of the artwork remains as Walter Benjamin argued, TOBRIT points at a not-so-distant future when its aura is the only remaining sign that humanity as we know it ever existed. The human race, dematerialized, reshuffled, is not eliminated but perpetually rehashed.

TOBRIT, an example of meta-metaphore, provides the user with access to an instance of this state of perpetual transformation. The little that seems possible to us today is trivial achievement in the grand scheme of things. Everything is possible. The key is inside each and every one of us. Go for it! Choose to believe.

TOBRIT is also a critique of Burning Man and the state of playa art. Its raw pop reference stands-out in the midst of the overt, sycophantic and increasingly hypocritical "love" culture that soaks in a dry lake of one-liners, shallow mysticism and abuse of the Burning Man ethos. Think of it as counter-counter-culture, a revival experiment that doesn't actually lead you back to a place experienced before. It is to Burning Man art what American Psycho is to cinema.


Consciously not participating in the LED arms-race that we are witnessing on the playa we are partisan of a less-is-more and greener approach. To that end we are using an evolution of our wholesome Solpix v.0.3, the distributed solar lighting system used on Temple of Incompletion at Burning Man 2018.

Striving for striking subtlety, the color palette consists of an array of whites with temperatures ranging from Soft White (2700K – 3000K) to Bright White/Cool White (3500K – 4100K) to Daylight (5000K – 6500K).


TOBRIT burns on Friday August 30th, 2019 after sunset (exact time TBA).
The radius of the perimeter will be 120' and will require a crew of 55, that's 1 person every 15' plus 4 quadrant leads.


Director/Exec. Producer: The Eye of Disorient
Producer: Ria R.
Producer (Purgatory): TBA
Design Consultant: Lowroad
Metal Fabrication (Ark, connectors): Simas
Generative design: Nick C.
BM Artery Liaison: Ria R.
Engineer Liaison: The Eye
Assembly Leads: Pinky, Ria R.
Frescoes: Michelle K. (TBC)

Lights: Solpix v.0.3 evolution
Design: The Eye
Electronics: Matt M.
Assembly: Jacob J.

Burn Lead: Johnny B.
Perimeter Lead: Naim B. (TBC)
Fire Safety Liaison: TBA
LNT Lead: Ivan F. (TBC)

Legal: JBB
Fundraising: Melany G.
Documentation: TBA

Crew: TBA, you (contact the.eye at disorient dot info if you want to get involved)

Production notes and ideas (in source code)


Fabricate Ark (Simas, NJ)
Fabricate 6 metal connectors for Purgatory frame (Simas, NJ)

Order wood (Reno?)
Order hardware for Purgatory (bolts, nuts, washers, screws, rigging hardware)
Fabricate 12 members for Purgatory frame
Organize wood and hardware delivery to playa (pair with other orders going to playa?)
Design and CNC Frescoes on plywood for Purgatory walls (India?)

Acquire 400 lights (USA)
Fabricate 400 circuit mod for lights (Guangzhou, China)
Mod 400 lights with custom circuits (Fresno, CA)

Playa schedule

Set up TOBRIT camp
Set-up workspace
Clean-up TOI's Simas Connectors

Build 8x 8' OHs
Build Purgatory frame

Build 8x 8' OHs
Build Purgatory frame and stairs

Install 8x 8' OHs
Build 9x 8' OHs
Build Purgatory floor

Install 8x 8' OHs
Build 7x 4' OHs
Build Purgatory walls

Install 8x 8' OHs
Build Purgatory walls
Install Ark inside Purgatory
Install 200x Lights

Install Crown
Install 200x Lights
Install TOBRIT banner

Preliminary Drawings

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Objects for Fundraiser

Ark pendant (Sterling silver, 50mm x 27mm x 7mm)

the Ark itself

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