So by now you should be pretty well Blissed out! 🙂
And, unless you’re a San Franciscan or a Burner, you’re probably wondering “what the hell is Bliss”. Bliss Dance is one of a series of sculptures created by Marco Cochrane and his team for Burning Man 2010. One January evening in 2013, I was heading home from the office in San Francisco and was planning to stop at Treasure Island for a sunset photo session. As I was heading to my favorite vantage point for capturing the San Francisco Skyline when I came up on this 40 foot tall sculpture standing in the middle of the Great Lawn on Treasure Island.
“Where the hell did that come from” was my first thought, followed by a “Wow!” feeling which lingered for the next hour. A 40 foot tall, wire frame statue that appears to be standing unsupported (follow the link above for a full profile photo of Bliss Dance). How the hell could I not take pictures of that! Not being aware of it being on a 2 year temporary installation at Treasure Island, but well aware of how often it must have been photographed, I wanted to do something a bit different in how I framed Bliss Dance. The great thing was that as I circled the statue her profile kept changing and she seemed to be displaying different emotions or aspects from each angle. So by purposely placing only part of the sculpture in the frame, I was able to create some rather different photos. After a short break from photographing her at sunset to go photograph the San Francisco Skyline, I was excited to discover that she was illuminated from inside with a number of LED lights that changed color over time!
Well, a few weeks ago I stumbled across these photos in the offline archive and figured they would make a great 7 day series within the project. I didn’t want to distract from the blissful surprise of the details of the sculpture over the past week, so here are some comments on the title for each of the prior posts:
- Bliss & Delight – with the heal kicked up and her toes curled, it just felt like delight to me. Let your imagination run with the palm tree…
- Bliss & Caution – with the sculpture leaning away from the palm tree with her hand out, this just felt like caution to me.
- Bliss Angry – Ok, cheesy comic book reference I know. But come one…huh…with the lighting changing you see it too, right?
- Bliss & Goal! – When I saw this composition, it just felt like the sculpture could be for world cup, and there is a huge soccer ball just our of frame to the right. (the posting date was pure coincidence, contrary to the rumors…)
- Bliss & Aura – While you might be thinking this is an HDR, which can sometimes have that halo artifact, this was a single frame. It was strange how the setting sun created that aura around the sculpture naturally, I assume the last lights refracting off the steel skin of the sculpture?
- Bliss & Disgust – With her hand held up and her head slightly turned away, disgust was the emotion that seemed to come through the strongest.
- Bliss & Haze – Purple Haze…you got that, right? (it’s ok…I know you did…)
- Bliss & Bridge – While this photo wasn’t part of this 7 day series, it was the first published photo from that night when it made my Favorite Photos of 2013 post.
Huge thanks to the skills and perseverance of Marco Cochrane and Bliss Crew for creating Bliss Dance and for the Black Rock Arts Foundation for the grant that funded her display on Treasure Island.
You can find the full Bliss Series within the archive where Art Prints can be purchased and stock image licensing is available.
(Oh, and after some digging I remembered why I wanted to stop at Treasure Island that night, the San Francisco skyline had special lighting for Super Bowl XLVII, which featured the San Francisco 49er’s and the Baltimore Ravens. And yes…I had to do a search to remember that…)