Article written by Scott Cohen on Medium:
The Life Cube has returned to Downtown Las Vegas! The Las Vegas 2016 installation is on Freemont Street between 9th and 10th. Building materials and volunteers have arrived, and so the build has begun!
The foundation has been laid, the 12′ by 12′ metal Cube has gone up along with the wish-tag wall and canvas squares decorated by schoolchildren, and Satellite Cubes are being built and sent to local schools where artist Scott Cohen talks to students about following their goals, dreams, wishes, and aspirations.
Visitors have been contributing their art, their wishes, and their smiles.
According to one volunteer, “Life Cube Las Vegas 2016 will be the most incredible one yet. If you can make it, be there and have your life changed forever.”
The Life Cube Project and its creator, Scott Cohen, have recently been featured in the Reno Gazette-Journal following the 7th Life Cube installation in Yerington, NV for the Mason County Boys & Girls Club.
Following installations at Burning Man in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015; Las Vegas in 2014; and Reno in 2015; the Yerington 2016 Life Cube is the most recent but certainly not the last. We plan to bring the Life Cube Project to more cities across the United States, and eventually internationally.
The documentaries mentioned in the Reno Gazette-Journal article can be viewed here:
The Life Cube Documentary by H. Andrews Joven
The Life Cube 2014 by the Downtown Project Las Vegas
PBS artScene: Life Cube, Graffiti Art, Gilded Age Couture, Salinger, #228
Read the entire article here: Artist encourages students to write down goals
This week, the artist behind the Life Cube is visiting local area schools to talk about the Life Cube Project and to encourage children to think about their goals, wishes, dreams, and aspirations.
On Tuesday, January 19, Scott Cohen spent the day at Silverland Middle School speaking to over 200 children in 6 different classes.
Wednesday, January 20 consisted of going to Fernley High School and Dayton High School, where he spoke to over 1,000 students at both locations, and Silver Springs High School, where there were roughly 400 students learning about the Life Cube.
Today, Thursday, January 21, Scott Cohen will be speaking at Yerington High School to over 550 children. He will also be participating in a radio interview on KSVL 92 and a newspaper interview with Mason Valley News to discuss the Life Cube Project.
The Life Cube is currently up in front of the Boys and Girls Club in Yerington, NV. Beginning today, the Tapestry Wall consisting of 1,500 8′ by 8′ canvas panels will go up, and the wish tags submitted by students will be tied to the metal frame of the Cube.
From January 20 to January 22, 2016, the Life Cube Project will create an installation for the Boys & Girls Club of Mason Valley in Yerington, NV.
The installation will be a 12′ x 12′ non-burning Cube constructed of metal, wood, canvas, and glass. During his visit, Life Cube artist Scott Cohen will be speaking at 9 area schools to over 3,000 middle school and high school students.
To find out more about the Boys & Girls Club of Mason Valley, please visit their website at bgcmasonvalley.org.
The Reno Gazette-Journal published a beautiful story on the Reno Sculpture Fest, which took place from May 8-10, 2015, featuring the Life Cube Project.
To view more of the touching, funny, and charming wishes made by students, visit the Reno Gazette-Journal and view the slideshow.
Read the full story here: Psychedelic, playful, controversial sculptures take over Reno
We have begun to receive stunning photos taken at Burning Man 2015 by those who visited and helped contribute to the Life Cube installation. Here is a sneak peak at some of the amazing moments that were captured on the playa.
If you would like to send us your photos of the Life Cube at Burning Man so that we may use them in the future, please email LifeCubePhotography@gmail.com and let us know your name and how you’d like your photo to be credited!
Haute Living features the Life Cube Project as one of seven installations you don’t want to miss at Burning Man 2015.
Author Natalie Stoclet describes the Life Cube Project:
Read the full story here.
The Life Cube Project has many moving parts, and there are tons of diverse elements that express the Life Cube experience. One of those activities is teaching children about the importance of writing down your goals. Life Cube artist Scott Cohen has brought The Life Cube Project to thirteen schools in Reno, speaking to over two thousand students about his own personal experience as a young person, deriving both inspiration and ultimately, success from the lifelong habit of writing down his goals, dreams, wishes, and aspirations. If you’ve ever wondered how much of Scott’s presentation to school children they really grasp, this week we had a chance to hear from a parent.
Matina, who works at the Whitney Peak Hotel hosting some of the Life Cube team in Reno, overheard Scott’s conversation with Kennia, a project assistant, one evening in the guest lounge. She immediately walked over, and excitedly shouted “You’re the Cube!” She sat with us for several minutes recounting the most wonderful experience she had that day while picking up her son from school. Her son happened to be one of the children whose school Scott had visited, and his enthusiasm for the Life Cube Project was uncontainable over the course of their car ride home. She explained that on any given day, her son doesn’t have much to report about school and generally has no interest in discussing what he’s learned. That day was very different. Matina then told us the story of the Life Cube, what the wish tags were for, and why you should write downs your goals — all in her son’s own words. Not only did her son explain The Life Cube to her accurately, but he also used Scott’s exact expressions from the presentation. He remembered everything that Scott spoke about, and begged her to come to the Reno Sculpture Festival to see the Cube. It is always rewarding to visit schools and teach our young minds about the importance of writing down their goals, but having a first-hand look at the impact it truly has on them is the greatest gift Scott and the Life Cube Team can receive.
During my first trip to Burning Man over ten years ago, I imagined an art installation that would incorporate my belief that if people wrote down their goals, dreams, wishes, and aspirations, the probability of it happening would be much, much higher.
It took me until 2010 to devote the time and energy to design and draft my first Life Cube proposal to the Burning Man Arts Grant committee. Each successive year, we worked hard on to create and propose what we thought would be fun, engaging, interactive and experiential art, seeking their partial funding and support. And each year, after a lot of effort, we received an email that started with something like: “…on behalf of Burning Man’s Art Grant Committee, I would like to thank you for applying for an art grant. This year we received the largest number of applications…” and ending with “it was a very tough decision, but unfortunately, we decided not to fund your project.”
For three successive years, I overcame my disappointment, and “with a little help from my friends,” came back to Black Rock City to create a Life Cube that was bigger and better and more interactive than the one before. This could only happen with the support of hundreds of volunteers and people who donated to help this dream become reality. Every year, the project grew in size and scope, rising along with the number of burners who interacted with the Life Cube. So when we decided to write a proposal for Black Rock Arts Honoraria in 2015, we worked hard to manage expectations — in fact, if you asked me a month ago, I was pretty pessimistic about the process and didn’t expect to hear anything other than “thanks, but…”
Imagine my surprise, excitement and exuberance when after five years of trying, we received an email that began with “congratulations! We are thrilled…”
More to come when I finish jumping up and down. (smile)
The next Life Cube Project is coming together! A large metal wall will be the newest addition to the ever-changing, always-growing installation.
The 12′ x 12′ aluminum wall, crafted by Edi Coku and Muhamet Gashi, will be a reusable, removable part of upcoming Life Cube Projects. It will serve as a place for Cube visitors to tie wish-stick tags, similar to the lock-bridge in Paris, which will shimmer like scales and incorporate additional elements of texture, movement, and interactivity surrounding the Cube.
We look forward to unveiling the newest feature of the Life Cube Project and inviting visitors to connect in a whole new way!
The Life Cube has graced the cover of the latest premier issue of Coachella Magazine! Check out Coachella’s Spring 2015 Vol. 1, Issue 1; which celebrates artists in music, film, photography, fashion and more; featuring Angelina Cristina’s larger-than-life dream mural as well as an underpainting by Justin Lepper and Casey Haugen.
The Life Cube Project is coming to Reno, NV this summer for the Reno Sculpture Festival! Hosted by Reno Art Works; an organization focused on providing professional work space, galleries, and classroom space to artists of all mediums; the Reno Sculpture Festival aims to give artists the opportunity to show their passions and further their art.
The event, which takes place May 8 – 10, will be at 1995 Dickerson Rd Reno, NV 89503. For more details, please visit our Facebook event page here.
The Cube we’re designing for Reno will have a metal frame for tying wish-stick tags and feature write-boards, plexi-glass panels etched with geometric designs, collaborative tapestry walls, and murals. Check out the video rendering on YouTube! I will also be speaking to kids at local schools, and gifting 1×1 foot canvas panels for the tapestry walls to local artists.
Can you help? We need carpenters, painters, photographers, muralists, videographers, lighting assistants, musicians and DJs. We would love to have people to teach yoga, help with distribution of canvas to artists, and bake muffins for the volunteers! We need someone to take charge of assembling the tapestry wall during the festival. And we need lots of Cube-ists to hand out wish-sticks and share the great energy and the welcoming spirit that is our hallmark and the foundation of everything we do.
Happy Anniversary Cube-ists! On February 21, one year ago, we illuminated the Life Cube in downtown Las Vegas. The journey from Burning Man to Downtown Las Vegas was an exhilarating ride. Kudos and heartfelt appreciation to all the artists, Downtown Project Las Vegas, and our volunteers, especially Donna & Jay Manto, our lighting engineers extraordinaire!
I had the opportunity to represent The Life Cube Project at Together We Rise, a Burning Man NYC Benefit and Social event produced by BABËL New York on Wednesday, October 15, 2014.
We set up a table with five beautiful photo prints created by LuxLab; a mini Life Cube for visitors to write and draw on; and many wish-sticks for people to put their hopes, wishes, and dreams on! Full of Burning Man folks and others interested in art, the event was such a wonderful opportunity to spread the Life Cube’s message and meet many interesting new people.
For more photos, visit the Life Cube’s Facebook page.
The Life Cube Project was recently featured in a music video released by Kristine W, an icon within the gay and lesbian community. The song, titled “Love Come Home,” was inspired by the singer’s reflection on troops currently fighting overseas. She chose to film part of her music video at the Downtown Las Vegas Life Cube as it promoted growth, prosperity, community, and creativity; which brought people together and inspired them well after the Cube was gone.
“I traveled the country on tour this summer and I couldn’t help but notice how people are getting back to basics,” she says. “They’re valuing home and family more than ever before.”
It’s why she chose to include her daughter, Elizabeth, in the song’s music video. Elizabeth is seen in the beginning, writing her wishes for the future on a piece of paper and placing it in The Life Cube, an art installation created by Scott Cohen, one of the forces behind the Burning Man event, who also makes a cameo in the music video.
A cube is built in a run-down area of town. The idea is for people in the community to visit the cube, paint and draw on it and place wishes into the slots cut into the side of the cube. After a year, the cube is burnt to the ground and a new cube is built in another dilapidated area that needs love.
“The cube in the ‘Love Come Home’ video was built in an old parking lot on the far eastside of Freemont Street in Las Vegas,” Kristine W says. “We shot the ‘So Close To Me’ video in the same lot right before the cube appeared. At the time, there were crumbling buildings all around and garbage piled high. A year and a half later, the area is flourishing with activity once again, all thanks to the cube.”
Read the full article here.
Our first hardcopy of The Life Cube Project photo book has arrived! It has been quite a journey over the last three months to put this together, but getting to hold the book and turn its pages has made it all worthwhile.
While we still have some work cut out for us before we are able to send the final version of the book to donors and volunteers — including making final edits and investigating alternative publishers to deliver high-quality and cost-efficient copies — we are happy to share that we are quickly approaching the end of the voyage that has been creating this photo book from scratch.
What started out as a 40-page book unexpectedly grew into a 12″ x 12″ 75-page, full color coffee table book. Through the generous donations from over 30 professional photographers and numerous friends, we were able to include over 150 stunning photos as well as carefully written text on the journey of The Life Cube from Burning Man to Downtown Las Vegas.
Collecting the photographs for the book was an arduous task. We contacted dozens of photographers who documented The Life Cube in DTLV as well as friends who visited the Cube and attended the burn. Once we mentioned we were creating the book on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and this blog; people reached out and eagerly sent in their own photos and artistic interpretations of their experiences at The Life Cube. Thousands of photos streamed in for weeks.
As the photos were being collected, the time came to carefully select which ones were to be included in The Life Cube photo book. And when thousands were cut down to only a few hundred, then came the mission of editing each image. After we selected a self-publisher (Blurb) to create our photo book with, we began constructing the layout and design. More photos were removed, added, and edited. Chapters began to take shape, and we embarked on the task of writing, re-writing, and proofreading text for each section of the book. Eventually, everything came together beautifully, and we were left with something we were proud of.
Months of hard work and dedication have gone into the creation and production of The Life Cube Project photo book. We are eager to finalize its pages, send it to the publisher, and share it with our supporters.
The Life Cube Project is currently being featured in an exhibit at the Reno-Tahoe International Airport in Nevada. The exhibit, “Burning Man: Igniting Nevada’s Creative Fire”, is open from August 4 to October 20, 2014.
As Burning Man becomes more and more an ingrained part of Nevada’s culture, we are seeing an increase in its presence outside of the world on the playa. “Burning Man: Igniting Nevada’s Creative Fire” features stunning photography of the art that has been constructed, worked on, and placed in different parts of Nevada by Burning Man artists and participants. The Reno Airport exhibit provides a unique glimpse into the lives of those affected by Burning Man as well as a look at the art, community, and stories that have come from it.
The Life Cube Project can be seen in the following photos, taken by our dear friend Tigger, who helped make the Life Cube possible. She has been a Cube-ist from the beginning and an immense help before the Life Cube even became an installation at Burning Man in 2011. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the Downtown Project in Las Vegas as well as Maria Partridge and Elizabeth “Bettie June” Scarborough who curated this exhibit and chose to include The Life Cube Project.
The Life Cube Project was recently featured in an article on VentureBeat.com, which discussed Burning Man and its allure to the tech elite who attend.
To read the full article, click here!
The Life Cube Project water bottles have arrived! Complete with the Life Cube logo, a convenient handle, and BPA-free dishwasher-safe plastic… They’re the perfect way to stay hydrated and show your love for the Life Cube. We will begin shipping them very soon, so keep an eye out for a package in the mail!
We hope everyone attending Burning Man this year has a great time!
The Life Cube Project touched many lives during its 69 days in downtown Las Vegas. The following images are just a sample of some of the “thank you” notes written over the course of the project. Whether they were handwritten letters, comments on Facebook or Twitter, or blogs posts about the Life Cube, each and every note was deeply appreciated!
Click the images for a closer look at some of the kind and wonderful words Cube-ists shared about the downtown Las Vegas Life Cube.
The Vegas PBS video featuring The Life Cube Project is online! Check it out for a glimpse into The Life Cube’s beginnings at Burning Man as well as the most recent Life Cube in DTLV (Las Vegas). This video includes interviews with artists and volunteers who worked on the downtown Las Vegas cube and footage of fire spinners, fire art, and the burn.
(The segment on The Life Cube begins at 1:23.)
Tonight on Las Vegas PBS 7:30 PST Premier of documentary on The Life Cube Project. artScene: Fire and Light Ignite Wishes at The Life Cube Project. Still in awe of the impact on art and community that The Life Cube generated. Hoping I can watch it online, but any Vegas peeps that can help get me a copy it would be hugely appreciated. The trip from Burning Man to Las Vegas.
More breathtaking Life Cube photos taken by Justin Tyler Gines. Stay tuned for more sneak peeks of the upcoming photo book.
Thanks to all the generous folks who have contributed photos for the upcoming Life Cube photo book, we’re uncovering a number of wonderful pictures of the 2014 downtown Las Vegas Life Cube Project. The Life Cube Project has come so far since it’s debut at Burning Man. Let’s keep it growing!
It has been just a few weeks since the burn of the Life Cube in Downtown Las Vegas. The embers may have cooled, but the memories of the project and the support and enthusiasm of the community, friends and family are still warming my heart.
What began as an exploratory trip to Las Vegas at the beginning of last year has resulted in a journey that I will never forget. There are so many anecdotes, photos, video, blogs, televised reports and news articles and yet they hardly begin to tell the tale! In the meantime, it is with deep gratitude that I share a small smattering with you. Attached to this letter are several links to video, and a few images to further pique your interest.
While the burn was a spectacular and moving event attended by over 10,000 people, the most meaningful part for me was the interaction with the community. Over the past three months, I spoke with over five thousand students throughout the Las Vegas valley about the dual missions of the project: 1) writing down your goals for what you want to achieve in life; and 2) connecting art and community. They responded by asking insightful questions, decorating their own cubes and canvasses, filling out thousands of “wish-sticks” with their own hopes and dreams, and bringing their families downtown to visit the Cube and attend the Burn.
Photo of The Life Cube Project in Las Vegas by Cameron Grant and The High Points, Fine Art Photography ~ www.thehighpoints.com
Ultimately, more than 40,000 wishes went up into the universe. We had 3700+ photos and videos posted to Instagram, 4500+ likes on Facebook, and even “trended” on Twitter, which they tell me is a big deal. In addition, the chance to watch and interact with hundreds of artists as they paint and performed around the Cube was a truly special opportunity.
This was a very long project. Whether you were in Las Vegas with me for part of it or cheered us on from afar, your emotional, advisory, artistic, skilled and/or financial support was integral to our success. Your encouragement has been and continues to be appreciated more than you can possibly know. Attached is this note with some photographs in PDF format.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
‘The Life Cube 2014’
Fremont East Studios
https://vimeo.com/88944146 (3 minutes)
‘The Life Cube Project Documentary’
H. Andrews Joven
https://vimeo.com/89526703 (9 minutes)
Newspaper Articles from the Las Vegas Sun:
The Life Cube Project (Life Cube LLC)
(the above was sent to friends, volunteers, supporters, artists, and craftsman on April 15, 2014)
The Life Cube Project is an interactive community art installation created by Scott Cohen (skeeter). The first Life Cube was built at Burning Man in 2011. Since then, the concept has evolved to include opportunities for the community to express themselves, create, and showcase their art. The mission of The Life Cube Project is to get people to write down their goals, wishes, dreams, and aspirations with the belief that there is a better chance of achieving them.
I am amazed by the extraordinary talent and creative energy that has embraced the Life Cube Project. The mission of the Cube is to encourage people to write down their goals, dreams, wishes, and aspirations AND to maximize community participation. I think we have successfully connected art and community. By coming to the Cube to paint, write, play music, dance and even juggle – you have helped make this vision a reality.
Unfortunately, due to budget and liability issues, we regret having to cancel some of the outstanding bands and talent that were going to perform over the next week. However, the music will continue in an “unplugged” format, with non-amplified acoustic bands and musicians invited to come and play. Performers, artists, families, visitors, and residents are encouraged to visit Fremont & 9th Street to paint, play music, fill out “wish-sticks” and contribute to the positive vibe and creative atmosphere.
While there have been ongoing changes to final programming for Burn Week, we are excited to confirm that the installation is open, illuminated, and welcoming to visitors, artists and ‘un-plugged’ performers daily until the night of Friday, March 21, 2014. The night of the burn we will have live concert performances from Sabriel, Moksha and (DJ) Incaman.
The Life Cube Project Downtown Las Vegas has achieved and exceeded many of our wildest expectations. I thank each and every one of you for making this dream come true.
The countdown is on! Eight days…
What is community? What is art? The Life Cube Project. Their mission is to get people to write down their goals, wishes and aspirations with the belief that there is a better chance of achieving them.
I met a brilliant and engaging 7-year-old boy last week at the LifeCube who wrote that he “wished to be safe”. He wrote this in his well-practiced first-grade print on a cube via the high-end, fine art medium known as colored chalk. Everyone’s wishes are welcome here. No age barriers. No socioeconomic barriers. No MFA artistic credentials required to dream. Yes, I totally dig community engagement, vision, and of course, kids like this who get to experience something that just might lay the foundation for a better tomorrow.
Photograph by Nikiya Berry
“Our Las Vegas” is delighted to be working this year with students in Professor Mary Hausch‘s Advanced Reporting Class in the UNLV Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies. During the year, we’re collaborating on a number of projects – including the Daily Frame to which Ms. Berry is making her second contribution.
She writes: “The art on the cube is constantly changing. Anyone is welcome to draw or paint on the cube. Everyone is encouraged to write down their goals and wishes and put it inside the cube. The cube will burn on March 21 and everyone’s wishes will burn into the universe. The more you write down your wishes and set your goals, the more likely you can manifest your destiny.”
She adds: “I felt the positive energy while at The Life Cube and will definitely be back again. I am trying to spread the message to my friends to come, write down their wishes and support the project before the burn.”
Las Vegas born and raised Nikiya Berry is in her second semester at UNLV. Prior to enrolling, she attended the College of Southern Nevada. She plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. She notes: “I can edit, shoot, report and write and like all of it. I am adventurous and inquisitive which gives me opportunities to meet new people and learn new things.”
• • •
Made possible with the generous support of the City of Las Vegas Arts Commission, “The Daily Frame,”, a project of “Our Las Vegas,” showcases a wide range of photographs that celebrate the City’s unique culture, cityscape and residents.
Photographers | artists | creatives interested in participating are enthusiastically encouraged to contact us at ourlasvegas at gmail dot com.
By Craig Huber, Fox 5 Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) –
From the Life is Beautiful festival to First Friday, art is a big part of the rebirth of downtown Las Vegas. A new piece of art is taking shape downtown, and the man behind it says it will make your dreams come true.
By Krista Hostetler
CREATED Feb. 19, 2014
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) — A piece of the Life Cube Project now has a temporary home at Las Vegas City Hall.
The public is invited to write their wishes and put them in the cube that will eventually be burned during a downtown festival on March 21.
The idea is to build a bond between art and the community.
The walk-thru interactive experience features murals by local artists, musical performances and a light show.
To date, more than 200 volunteers have contributed their time, talents and ideas to The Life Cube Project. This is an amazing start as one of the objectives is to bring art and community together – and it appears we are succeeding. Thank you to each and everyone of you for taking part in the first urban installation.
The Cube will open to the general public on February 21st. Please plan to stop by and fill out a wish stick with your wishes, hopes, dreams or aspirations. They will be celebrated and sent to the universe in a fiery ceremony on the evening of March 21st.
Thank you for joining us from build to burn!
Wed, Feb 5, 2014 (2:42 p.m.)
Scott Cohen wants to help you meet your goals—by burning them in front of everyone. On East Fremont between 9th and 10th streets, he’s currently developing his Burning Man-inspired, 24-by-24-foot Life Cube, which will showcase not only art, but aspirations written on either the Cube itself or postcard-like “wish sticks” deposited into smaller cubes. On March 21, the whole project will go up in flames, unleashing everyone’s dreams into the air. It’s a crowdsourced project, so anyone seeking to contribute time, creations, money or wishes should visit lifecubeproject.com.
By Joe Schoenman, Las Vegas Sun
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 | 5:45 p.m.
Want to know what’s happening with The Life Cube in Downtown Las Vegas? Scott will be interviewed on this week’s Downtown Podcast. Joining other guests – Scott Hugelmeyer, Christina Aldan, Richard Work and Derrick Harris, the show looks to be a fun community event and a great opportunity to learn more about what’s taking place in Downtown Las Vegas and #VegasTech.
There are two ways to watch:
Come see the Downtown Podcast team tape the weekly podcast LIVE!
Place: The Ogden #1805
RSVP to have your name left at the front desk of The Ogden. ticketcake.com/podcast (An RSVP is required for the live audience)
If you are unable to make it in person, tune into the livestream here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/downtown-podcast
We are SO excited to create a Life Cube installation for Downtown Las Vegas in February/March 2014. The success of The Life Cube over the last four years could not have happened without the hundreds of supporters, contributors, volunteers, and an ever-growing community of “Cube-ists”.
Visit new website for info, video, to volunteer, donate, or checkout what The Life Cube Project is about. http://www.lifecubeproject.com http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/life-cube-project-downtown-las-vegas
Visit our new website at: http://www.lifecubeproject.com/ There’s info about the new installation, and a page to enlist as a volunteer. We’d love to have your help if you’re in the Las Vegas area – or if you know someone who might be interested and available, please share the link with them or post it on FB! We’re starting construction later this month, and will need lots of help building, painting, lighting, promoting, and participating artists for the tapestry wall and murals.
Facebook & Twitter
Visit and like our page on FB (if you haven’t already) at http://www.facebook.com/thelifecube and share our page or the website with your FB friends. Follow us @thelifecube or post with hashtag #lifecube
The Installation & Burn
Lastly, the Life Cube installation will be on site for a month and will burn in downtown Las Vegas on March 21st. If you’d like to visit during that time, or for the Burn weekend, make reservations early, as it’s March Madness and a busy season in LV! I am trying to arrange special rates at area hotels, so contact me if you’re planning to come.
Thank you all for your ongoing interest and support of the project. It means more than you know!
Caravansary. According to Jack Rabbit Says (JRS) – The new theme for Burning Man this year will be caravansary.
For countless centuries, travelers along the Silk Route crossed paths in caravansaries, a network of oases and sanctuaries that dotted the 4,000-mile road from Europe to East Asia. These bustling caravan stops offered more than just shelter from the desert wilderness; they were vital centers of cultural exchange, bringing together traders, pilgrims, monks, nomads, traveling entertainers, and wild-eyed adventurers from all points of the compass to share their stories around a common fire.
I took a few days off this weekend and there was that one day when I was like “what are you thinking?” With less than 100 days to go, the list of things to do is significant. Madeleine and I went through the list of all the people I’ve met with and spoke about The Life Cube Project since Jan 2013 — there are over 300! So what needs to be done? I need to get a Website up and running with a volunteer page, organize the tasks, coordinate with local artists, work on the schedule and logistics — including making sure things like the lumber is delivered to the warehouse in advance of the pre-site construction crew. There are schools to talk with about the project, deciding on locations for satellite cubes (what started as 8, is now 20). Arrange for places for the people coming from afar both to help with the build, and also hotel rooms for people coming to see the burn in March. Fremont East Studios is working on a video for fundraising, and need to decide on the platform (crowdrise, kickstarter, indiegogo). There’s the Fire Protection Engineer Report, City of Las Vegas permits, approvals, licenses, police, fire department, entertainment, street closings, and all sorts of other municipal departments and approvals. There’s design modifications, and photographs, muralists, and local artists. And then there is the event — after being on the city block between Fremont and Ogden, between 9th & 10th Street in the Fremont East District for 30 days, we plan on burning the Cube. You might find it hard to believe, but buring a 3 story structure in the middle of a major city is not something that happens without a few people weighing in their concerns, issues, and wanting to make sure this is a well thought out plan. The list goes on and on. We can do this! I know we can. We can do this! I know we can. We can do this! I know we can. We can do this! I know we can. We can do this! I know we can. We can do this! I know we can. We can do this! I know we can.
Justin, a local Las Vegas artist recently posted a story in slate about creativity and creative thinking from Slate and thought of this panel that was created by Julio for the 2nd Life Cube back in 2012.
Life Cube Update! Important dates and open offer to volunteer for The Life Cube Project in Downtown Las Vegas.
Pre-construction: Jan 12 – Jan 19 Warehouse in Las Vegas;
Site build: Feb 9 – Feb 16 Fremont East District (Fremont btw 9th &10th);
Satellite Cubes to local businesses & schools Feb 16-Feb 21;
Artists & muralist will be working onsite from Feb 21 – Mar 21; Satellite cubes on site the week of the Mar 16th for display;
BURN March 21!
If interested in helping, email, PM, call, or smoke signals. We need all the help we can get. Thanks!
November 23, 2013
LAS VEGAS SUN
Joe Downtown, Reporter
By Joe Schoenmann
Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 | 6 p.m.
THE LIFE CUBE
It worked like some preternatural magic trick. As a kid, when Scott Cohen had a dream, a wish or simply a goal, he’d write it down on a piece of paper and tape it up to a mirror.
He’d do that, and the wishes or dreams or goal would happen. Now he wants to burn all those wishes in a giant wooden cube in a downtown parking lot.
First, back to Cohen’s sense of why it works. The act of writing creates a mental imprint and a constant reminder, working as a persistent nudge toward that endpoint.
“If you write down what you want to accomplish, the probability of it happening increases significantly,” says Cohen, a 56-year-old with the infectious happiness of a child who will hug a complete stranger with the zeal of an old friend.
“A lot of people don’t write, in this digital age,” he goes on. “They text or talk among friends, but few take the time to write out what they want to accomplish. But once we write it down, then you start thinking what it’s going to take to accomplish it.”
Cohen grew up and went to business school in upstate New York, where he was raised. For 35 years, he was involved in business. His LinkedIn profile shows a lengthy background in media, from founder/CEO of Dimestore Media and president of Game Trust Inc. to marketing executive for New World Television.
Then, as the kids in the app-world say, he pivoted.
“I didn’t get burned out, I just got to a point in my life where I’m madly in love with my wife, I have a great kid and I’d been working since I was a teenager,” he says, sitting in The Beat coffeehouse downtown. “I said it’s enough. Let’s refocus my priorities. I’m in good health and I have a desire to get into an artistic endeavor.”
So he sat down and wrote a play and started The Life Cube Project.
The first Life Cube, an 8-foot-by-8-foot box, was burned at Northern Nevada’s Burning Man celebration in 2011. The next year, it was 16-by-16. This year, it was 24-by-24 feet, three stories tall.
It will be that size, too, when it burns in a parking lot on Fremont Street, between 9th and 10th streets, in March. Inside the cube will hopefully be several smaller 4-by-4 “satellite” cubes. Those cubes will have come from businesses and any school that wants one; they’ll be filled with the “wish sticks” of men, women and children who wrote down a goal, dream or wish.
Then on March 21 — pending city approvals, of course — they will all go up in flames. At Burning Man in September, some 10,000 people put their wishes into The Life Cube.
“People would take pictures of the moment they were dropping the wish in, just to make sure that moment in life was captured,” Cohen says, beaming that infectious smile.
Burning the wishes is important, he adds, because it adds an almost “sacred aspect to it.”
“The burning is a ceremony almost and that speaks to a lot of people.”
To some, there’s something magic, real magic, going on. Cohen tells the story of two “burners” who put their wishes into the 2011 Burning Man Life Cube.
“Then I get this call months later: ‘Skeeter (his nickname), the Cube works! Things happened that are major in our life.There are super powers here!’” Cohen recalls.
So powerful was the experience, the two were engaged at The Life Cube at the next Burning Man; then they were married at The Life Cube this year.
Cohen says he isn’t making money with The Life Cube — you won’t see a banner touting “Life Cube by Coca-Cola” or some other multinational corporation at the event. He said he will have to do some fundraising and will need hundreds of volunteers for painting, creating murals, carpentry work, to organize volunteers and more.
You won’t even see a Zappos or Downtown Project banner around the thing, even though the parking lot where the event is to take place is owned by Downtown Project.
“This isn’t a money-making thing,” Cohen says. “It’s about the fact that I want to convince people that they can accomplish things in their life to make their lives better.
“So I have two missions. One, to get people to write down what they want to accomplish in their life. And two, to involve as many people in the community as possible. The more people, the more successful it will be.”
Anyone who wants to get involved can send an email to TheLifeCube@gmail.com.
Joe Schoenmann doesn’t just cover downtown, he lives and works there. Schoenmann is Greenspun Media Group’s embedded downtown journalist, working from an office in the Emergency Arts building.
Over a year ago, I wrote down the goal of creating a Life Cube art installation in a city or museum around the world. The Life Cube Project in Downtown Las Vegas is a dream come true. The number of people that are helping make this all happen is amazing. We begin pre-build in Jan, site construction in Feb, and burn it in March. Plans include a place for people to write their dreams, goals, wishes, aspirations and deposit in the Cube, tapestry walls, multiple murals, photo archives of old Downtown LV, write-boards, and satellite Cubes in businesses and schools. Very exciting to be involved in this project. More details to follow. Below are some photos I’m using to tell the story to people in the Las Vegas community. #ephemeralart #lifecube #lasvegas #dtlv http://www.facebook.com/thelifecube
Friend created this logo for The Life Cube Project.
Happy to share that we will be creating a Life Cube installation in Downtown Las Vegas in March/April 2014. The success of The Life Cube – Art at Burning Man over the last four years could not have happened without the 100s of supporters, contributors, volunteers, and an ever-growing community of Cube-ists. Creating a Life Cube Project in a major city is a big step and an exciting moment. The location will be part of the Downtown Project Las Vegas in the East Freemont District, and we hope to partner with as many local artists, volunteers, and members of the community as possible. As with each progression of The Life Cube, there’s a plan for a new level of interactivity and engagement, which we are going to incorporate. Stay tuned… more news to come!
#thelifecube #lasvegas #downtownlasvegas #downtownproject #dtp #lifecube #burningman #urbanart #art #blackrockcity #eastfreemont #eastfreemontdistrict #downtownprojectlasvegas
Niobe Burden of Niobe Burden Fine Art Photography volunteered her time and professional expertise to work with photographers that donated their amazing photos of Black Rock City, going all the way back to the first Burning Man, including Scott London, Tomas Loewy, Stewart Harvey, George Post, Barb Traub, Tom ONeill, Kim Roseberry, and Matt Freedman Photography, plus some of Niobe’s own fantastic work. And thanks also go out to Mayumi Elegado from Moonshine Ink, who helped organize and lay out the photos for the RB Technologies the printer of the photo-boards. Click on image to see each of the 24 boards.
#burningman @lifecube #thelifecube #niobeburden #ScottLondon, #TomasLoewy, #StewartHarvey, #GeorgePost, #BarbTraub, #TomONeill, #KimRoseberry, #MattFreedman, #photography #blackrockcity #art
This has been a phenomenal year for The Life Cube Project, and it could not have been possible without the help of so many supporters and friends. I’ve been back from Burning Man a little over two weeks, and every time I try to list all the individuals who contributed: workers, designers, vendors, planners, vision executors and partners in virtually every phase of the project, it occurs to me that there are many more that I almost forgot.
In an attempt to recognize these fine folks, I would like to document the list as best I can, and hope to add to it as my memory gets better or friends help me remember. With literally hundreds of contributors who helped in one way or another, this is likely to take a couple of entries to get right.
Starting Off: First, none of what I did, do, or hope to do in the future would happen without the support of my wife and daughter, Madeleine and Natasha. From there, I’d like to start at the beginning; many of the team that has worked with me over the last four years were originally introduced to me and the Life Cube project by my good friends, Tigger and Niobe. And the first Fire Safety Experts included Gordy and Christian, along with the support of many of the friends from Camp Titicaca who celebrated the first burn and made a perimeter to insure that nobody was hurt.
Lighting: Post the first Cube, Trevor made the Cube come alive with spectacular lighting and donating his time and experience in lighting and SFX. (Trevor is known for lighting concerts and festivals.)
Design and Build: On the construction side, Mark was our chief carpenter and a magician with wood in both 2012 and 2013, and this year brought on Aaron and Toby, who are master carpenters and worked both pre-Burning Man and on the playa to build a very strong, stable, and solid installation. And there was Jerry from Texas who added his outstanding carpentry skills too.
We’re grateful to Courtney, a last minute add to the Cube team, who not only brought her welding skills for rebar bracing, but was always on site to help whenever someone needed an extra hand. And to Mike, who was on the team in 2012, and stepped up to be an amazing add to the construction crew this year.
Kevin and Cristina of dsb+ Architecture & Interiors were enthusiastic Life Cube boosters, who donated their time, architectural creativity and knowledge, taking what was in my head and putting it into formal plans, blueprints, and CAD drawings.
The Burn: Christian, Gordy, Elliot, and Jay took major responsibilities this year in helping burn the Cube in a safe and stunning fiery blaze. And the fire-spinners that practiced their craft at the Cube last year and this year pre-burn were just spectacular.
Inspiration: I will never forget Maggie (sunshine) and Jason, who were so inspired to write down their goals, dreams, wishes, and aspirations that they got engaged at the Cube in 2012, and married in 2013. Their love and commitment was an inspiration to us all. (They were both a terrific help during Playa construction and Jason managed the perimeter during the burn, too!)
Burning Man: The people involved in the Life Cube project now number well over 100, and that is not including the 800+ donors who contributed money, equipment, time, and materials. And none of what happened at Burning Man could have happened without the help, encouragement, and growing support of the Burning Man organization, specifically including Bettie June, Maria, and Brody, the Artery, DPW, Heavy Equipment Group, Artist Support Services, and the FAST Team. Ben at the Artery helped us coordinate resources, took late night and early morning calls, and worked out some last minute problems; his counsel was invaluable. Also, many of the other BM artists helped out in a pinch with tools or materials, advice and expertise.
The Generator: This year, we especially have to recognize The Generator in Sparks, NV, which offered our project a warm welcome and generous space for pre-playa construction. There were Matt, Andy, Ira, and Roger at the Generator, and the many other artists who made it easier for us with their referrals, suggestions and encouragement. Special thanks go out to Trevor for taking on additional responsibilities to coordinate volunteers and vendors.
Photography: Niobe volunteered her time and professional expertise to work with all the photographers that donated their amazing photos of Black Rock City, going all the way back to the first Burning Man, including Scott London, Tomas Loewy, Stewart Harvey, George Post, Barb Traub, Tom O’Neill, Kim Roseberry, and Matt Freedman, plus some of Niobe’s own fantastic work. And thanks also go out to Mayumi, who helped organize and lay out the photos for the printer. Many of these, and other photographers and videographers as well, recorded special moments during the many phases of this year’s Cube. Special note to Andrews (Jov), who has taken enormous time and made use of his extraordinary talent to document (both with still photos and video) the burns over the last three years. Some day, we might make a documentary about the Cube in these early years, and his footage will be instrumental in telling the story.
Visual Arts: Angelina Christina, a fantastic muralist, with her team Jessica, Heather, and Richard, created a spectacular addition to the Cube in 2013. And there were over 120 friends and artists from around the world, who each painted a panel for the Tapestry Wall, too many to name individually (and I don’t even have everyone’s name!), but who created a mosaic that was so beautiful.
Navid was invaluable working with us on documenting & assembled the Tapestry Wall and photo-boards (along with Thomas and Linda). JT and Susan introduced sacred geometry, which both added to the design and attracted even more people to interact with the Cube.
Party and Provisions: I can not begin to thank Jay and Donna for all they did this year – including both electrical skills to assist Trevor, artistic talent to help with signs and design, and the abundance of delicious food they brought and prepared to feed volunteers on the playa construction team.
We’re grateful to Lori, David, and Kim, who worked on the Cube pre-Burning Man, and helped with the Cube Party at the Sands. Lori made sure there were supplies and a plan for the party, and was also invaluable in decorating the Cube this year.
Web and Graphic Design: Thomas redid The Life Cube website (now that was a pleasant surprise!), and assisted with the Cube’s Facebook page. Dan created a new logo and the design for this year’s official wish-sticks this year; Julio created the Cube’s aesthetic exterior design and our wish-sticks in 2012.
Our Vendors: Among the most supportive of all the vendors were RB Technologies, which printed our wish-sticks, and Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Co/Home Concepts, which sold us materials for the project at cost. Lisa and Ferenc at the Sands Hotel were incredibly supportive as well, providing us with rooms for our crew’s overnights and space for the art party in the weeks leading up to Burning Man. Neil at Skyline art supplies gave us a link and special pricing for canvases, and there were numerous other vendors and suppliers for lighting, paint and hardware, beads and crafts, chimes, and a million other elements that went into creating this year’s Cube.
More Helpers: Jeff offered his contacts and advice. Arthur, Yaniv, and Ryan led the clean-up of the site and made sure that we LNT. Others that have been involved in no small part in making the Cube a success included the original build team (2011) of Ben, Eric, and Anastasiya. And that first year, Arthur and Dominique carried the message far and wide throughout Black Rock City, for its citizens to write down their wishes, dreams, or aspirations and deposit them into the Cube.
I can’t forget Hank and Swami for adopting me into the Camp Titcaca family. Many added thanks for a variety of good works and contributions go out to Curtis, Charlie, Matt, Roger, Ben, Dave, Jeff, Elliot, Adam, Barb, Beer, Benjamin, Betsy, Chris, Duff, Dennis and his 53’ flatbed truck, Eric, Arlo, Erik, Mimi, Frank, George, Jennifer, Kathy, Joe, John, Kirk, Susan, Kit, Kristie, Ladd, Lori, Lauri, Leah, Linda, Marc, Toby, Mimi, Tom, Mike, Maria, Christian, Christopher, Ryan, Chip, Jeff, Rick, Steven, Jake, David, Ty, Masha and her First Wednesday crew, Jodie, Brian, Lisette, Aaron, Annie, Ariel, Todd, Alan, Stephen, Jeff, Pamella, Michael, Joe, Andrew, Stu, Ron, Leah, Raymond, Abbie, Tizzle, Sally, Josh, Brian, Justin, Jason, Lior, Karl, Richard, Pani, Sara, Danny, Elisabeth, Lee, Pam, Alan, Mia, Jerry, Nancy, and the many more as yet unnamed that I know that I have inadvertently failed to remember or acknowledge in this post.
Last, those of us on the Life Cube project team are all grateful to the Citizens of Black Rock City – for without their contributions, interaction, and participation – the Cube would have never have succeeded and grown beyond our wildest expectations.
To all the above, every one of you, I want to say thank you! Thank you for your time, your friendship, your help and your dedication to making The Life Cube a dream come true.
This is a beautiful photo by Tomas Loewy. He wrote the following: “I really, really had that feeling at that moment you WERE the happiest person in the world. You couldn’t believe it, although you believed it. You never expected it to be this big. You (maybe) dreamed of it, but it was overwhelming. I felt that, I loved it, and that’s why i photographed you in your unique emotional state. Many years of hard work and whatever else came with your track to where you were/are then and now … released in one single moment.”