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 on the journey to become 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 51' (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.

When we burn the Man, we burn the ultimate receptacle of the projections of all burner. We all individually incinerate our own version of the Man which resides in every one of us. Other playa art works designed to go up in smoke are conceived by participants as subjective proposals of more specific needs to be disposed of.

As we burn the Temple of Brad Pitt we will obviously not burn the Hollywood actor himself but what he represents, namely a symbol simultaneously gigantic and insignificant of conformism. We will also burn the envy and petty desires to be something that we are not, desires that insidiously infiltrates our most sincere and authentic ambitions.


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).

Burn Description

The burn is based entirely on consuming the wooden piece completely with fire, igniting several structurally strategic points to help its collapse and make an exciting, timely burn.

The art will be placed on decomposed granite for the burn shield. We will set a perimeter well prior to the burn and fueling and maintain guardians until the fire has completely gone out per FAST / perimeter guidelines. The wooden structure will be supplemented with additional firewood and 2x4s placed to organize burn. It will be fueled with diesel gas as an accelerant. There will only be one ignition using wired e-matches to ignite several points to consume the structure. Road flares on metal poles will be available to ignite the base as a backup.

- Perimeter Safety Zones
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. An additional 50' for the art car perimeter. Perimeter members were identified by specific T-shirts and only staff with clear Open Fire Lanyards were allowed inside the perimeter (images http://wiki.disorient.info/index.php?title=Temple_of_Incompletion)


- Fire extinguisher locations
Fire extinguishers will be present during fueling and ignition with the Open fire team and additional fire extinguishers and blankets available at the 9 o'clock perimeter rally point.

- Location of first aid kit with burn supplies
9 o'clock perimeter rally point

Safety Plan

Please provide the safety plan for installation, no matter which flame classification(s) your artwork will utilize. This plan should describe all the measures that your crew will employ to ensure that your project will be safe for participants, performers, and crew, both during and after construction, and during any burn and subsequent clean-up. At a minimum, it should cover:

- Fire extinguishers will be present during fueling and ignition with the Open fire team and additional fire extinguishers and blankets available at the 9 o'clock perimeter rally point.

- List of Safety Data Sheets to be kept with the installation
Only relevant to diesel fuel accelerant, will be with fuel depot and Open Fire team

- Safety training for crew members
We have experienced Burn Lead, Perimeter Lead, as well as Rangers (? Do we need OSHA type certs?). All perimeter supervisors will attend perimeter training at FAST and volunteers will either attend FAST training or specific perimeter training provided at camp or prior to the burn.

- Safety-specific crew roles and responsibilities
We will have one perimeter lead with 4 perimeter quadrant leads. Open Fire team will be limited to badged/lanyard staff. During fueling one person will fuel while supervised by one with a fire extinguisher and one floating backup. If manual ignition is necessary two staff with two additional people with fire extinguishers will provide ignition.

- Safety procedures and protocols
All perimeter volunteers will be trained. Burn lead will comply with all FAST requirements and will follow direction. The piece will not be fueled until approved by FAST team based on weather or other considerations. Fueling will be done following best practices, from the inside out and not allowing anyone to become trapped.

- Safety features, if any, built into the project
The structure is incredibly strong based on its geometry.

Emergency Response Plan

- Evacuation will be to the 9 o'clock perimeter rally point.

- Gaseous fuel is not part of our burn plan. Liquid fuel leaks will be evaluated and as previously mentioned the burn will not be fueled until under supervision of the FAST team. Any staff participating in fueling will not be part of the ignition team and over-exposure to liquid fuel will result in removal to the perimeter.

- Unplanned fires will result in evacuation of the piece until or if we are allowed to return by the Burn lead / FAST team.

- Structural evaluation will be completed prior to any entry or ascent of the project for purposes of adding wood/fuel.

- Injuries will be sent to the 9 o'clock rally point initially. Perimeter lead will have HAM radio support. Additional Ranger support will be present.

Open Fire Fuel Type and Amounts

- 10 gallons diesel gas

- Dry Fuel. Dry paraffin and burlap will be applied to joints in the upper structure to concentrate heat. 20 lbs of paraffin will be split into 30 pucks along with 100 yards of 9" burlap roll.

Additional Wood

- 2.5 cords of firewood (1 cord = 128 cubic feet)

- 300 2x4x8


Director/Exec. Producer: The Eye of Disorient
Producer: Ria R.
Design Consultant: Lowroad
Metal Fabrication (Ark, connectors): Simas B.
Generative design: Nick C.
BM Artery Liaison: Ria R.
Engineer Liaison: The Eye
Purgatory Assembly Lead: John F.
OH Assembly Lead: Pinky
Frescoes: Kirby

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

Burn Lead: Johnny B.
Perimeter Leads: Naim B., Brandon S.
Fire Safety Liaison: Yahel (TBC)

Logistics: So On It
Purchasing: Nitro
Legal: Jonny B. Bad
Fundraising: TBA
Documentation: TBA

Crew: Margaux R., 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)
Ark pendant (solid gold, 50mm x 27mm x 7mm)
the Ark itself (after the burn)

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