Lonely Planet Writer

This year’s Burning Man has thousands of NASA space blankets for nappers

Famed for its freedom of expression and boundary-pushing spirit, every year, Burning Man sees some of the most unique and creative art installations in the world being unveiled on the playa of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. And this year is shaping up to be no different, with one artist currently campaigning to cover a section of the desert with a 10,000 sq ft section of polyester film made from 3350 NASA space blankets.

The project aims to create one gigantic space blanket of 10,000-square-feet.
The project aims to create one gigantic space blanket of 10,000-square-feet. Image by Alex Shtanuk

Called The Blanket, the project was created by Russian architect Alex Shtanuk, who was inspired by Lake Lahontan, an ancient body of water that was in place of the Black Rock Desert and dried out thousands of years ago. “The waves on the surface of the installation will remind people of the waves of the ancient lake,” he told Lonely Planet Travel News. With a silver side that reflects up to 97% of radiated heat, the massive section of space blanket will provide a comfortable area under which revellers can rest and take respite from the desert sun whenever they wish.

The blanket was trialled at a Russian land art festival last year. Image by Alex Shtanuk

Last year, Alex trialled a smaller installation at the Russian land art festival Archstoyanie in order to test the concept. “The blanket looked absolutely alien among the fields and trees. At the same time, the huge silver object affected people in a very specific way. They started smiling, running on it and interacting with it just like children,” Alex said. The artist also travelled to last year’s Burning Man to take a closer look and to plan to installation further.

The project is currently crowdfunding to become a reality. Image by Alex Shtanuk

In order to make the project a reality, Alex is running a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, where he hopes to raise the $17,500 necessary for materials. Held together with 40km of reinforced tape, the blankets will then be stuck together by hand by a team of people working in two futsal halls in order to avoid wind.

Burning Man 2018 will begin on 26 August. The Blanket’s Indiegogo campaign is available here.