WAIT, WHAT DO YOU DO?
Our Burning Man-ifested polyp-morphic performance art transforms the night air into a deep ocean inhabited by an undulating, luminous jellyfish bloom. Our mobile, 15 foot tall, 640 lumen bright performer articulated jellies dip and swarm to interact and engage surrounding creatures, sounds and environs.
Billion Jelly Bloom is a San Francisco-based performance art project founded by Patricia + Robert Lord in 2010. Inspired by our own vertiginous Burning Man experiences, Billion Jelly Bloom is our extension of Burning Man’s transformative tentacles.
Patti Lord is the lead designer of the 2011 bloom and the sole designer and producer of the seminal five-jelly 2010 bloom. Patti will make her third pilgrimage to the playa in 2011. When not betentacled, she is often strolling with her toddler in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Rob Lord is the Ma Ha of Billion Jelly Bloom, chief instigator and team tea-server. When not undulating, Rob is multitasks as dad, hubby, geek, Intertubes entrepreneur and honey badger.
During the mid-’90s in San Francisco, I, Rob Lord, recall being transfixed by an elegant jellyfish costume crafted of a white umbrella, bubble-wrap and plastic strips on Halloween night along Castro Street.
One decade later while living in Santa Cruz, I crafted a bloom of primitive jellyfish costumes for Halloween and encouraged some friends to perform the jellyfish as group performance art. These jellyfish were hoisted on poles so that the performers articulated them above people’s heads and were illuminated to be visible from afar at night.
BURNING MAN 2010
For Burning Man 2010, my wife Patti Lord took the creative lead, constructing a bloom of six performance art jellyfish from studio lighting umbrellas, foil ribbon and tactical LED flashlights to the exuberant delight and awe of fellow burners at Opulent Temple and the Bliss Dance art sculpture. “Next year we must have a ‘Million Jellyfish March’!” declared our dear friend and Burner Ann Larie reacting to the exuberance for the bloom. “Yes, a ‘Billion Jelly Bloom’!” I answered.
BURNING MAN 2011
In 2011, Billion Jelly Bloom was blessed with a Burning Man art honorarium that empowered creative lead Patti and our team to design and produce 25 taller, brighter and more kinetic jellyfish for five participatory playa blooms during Burning Man 2011. Each night a Human-Jelly Relations Coordinator, Field Marshall and Swarm Leader, assisted by first and second deputies, invited Burners to join our bloom. Together we swarmed art cars, undulated through art installations and bloomed booming music clubs, each night refining and scaling the bloom’s interaction and reach. Memories of those evenings still invoke giddiness and ecstatic bliss.
Returning to the default world, Billion Jelly Bloom’s email inbox displayed numerous unprompted in-bound requests to bloom at non-Burning Man events including the Treasure Island Music Festival to our surprise and delight. Somehow Billion Jelly Bloom established a default world presence.
What’s next? We don’t know. We only know that the previously inconceivable is our reality. Bloom on!