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Project status and description:

It’s All Salt is a proposed concept for an installation at Burning Man 2024. We recently submitted our full grant proposal to be considered for the 2024 Art Honoraria Program. It’s All Salt will be a brain-shaped, 2-story sculpture created from wood. It is composed of slices taken from the x,y, and z dimensions of 3D structural MRI data that are cut into sheets of plywood. We strive to produce a unified representation of an often isolating event: imaging of the brain in an attempt to understand a symptom, behavior or experience of unknown origin. Our concept relies on participation and collaboration with community members who share their MRI scans with us. Citizens of BRC will physically interact with these intimate moments by walking through the brains of fellow burners as they hear recorded audio from the people who shared their scans as they share their stories. What is your relationship with your brain?

Project inspriation:

Do you cherish all that it enables you to do?

Engage, feel, move, breathe.

Do you struggle with the multiplicity of experience?

Empathy, expectation, fear, doubt.

Underlying the richness of all that we do, the brain and mind operate in multiscale, complex patterns that even neuroscientists are only beginning to explore.

Whether you study the brain, explore conscious states, admire all that it subserves, or battle often with your mind, when it seems overwhelming, impossible to understand - you might find solace in one simplicity:

it’s all salt.

Our brains, and thus all that they underlie, depend on the balance of these soluble, tiny ions to function.

Every impulse, every signal.

Our installation invites participants to explore the intricacies and unknowns of the human brain by literally climbing through the peaks (gyri) and valleys (sulci) of brain “tissue”. As you wander through the wooden brain, light, sound, and text will serve as tools - encouraging you to reflect on the complexities of the brain and mind, as well as the variability of human experiences. We aim to capture the duality of the brain’s intricate functions and its fundamental reliance on simple elements like sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride. This principle unifies the immeasurable variety and diverseness of human experience.

Thank you to those who have already been a part of the conceptualization stage and those who have expressed interest in our project, or in sharing their MRI scans with us.

If you would like to share your brain MRI scan to be used in our installation, follow this link to get started.

Want to join our volunteer crew? Apply here.

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