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This project was successfully funded on July 24, 2017

Light Years Away

by Wynn Earl Buzzell Jr.


I seek to build not walls but doorways….connections between people, between places.




Light Years Away is a 2017 Burning Man Honoraria project. It is a naturally and supernaturally inspired interactive sculpture currently being built by a team of more than forty passionate volunteers in Denver, CO. The sculpture is a doorway between our world and the next. It is a tool through which people can send messages, thoughts, and wishes.


WHAT it will LOOK LIKE and HOW it works?


Light Years Away consists of a flat plane at 20’ above the ground. From this plane a massive central vortex spirals down to an altar. Above the plane three secondary vortices spiral up toward the heavens. These vortices are populated with over 4000 individual LEDs. On the ground you can approach the massive vortex and step onto one of six illuminated tiles which compose the altar. In the absence of people the spirals of LED lights slowly pulse upward around the vortex. As the altar is populated the system of spiralling lights gets increasingly excited. When the altar is filled with six people the system of LED lights explodes with activity and triggers the upper vortices to shoot fire up into the air.


This system of lights and fire is made from an aluminum frame, spiralling aluminum rods, acrylic discs and LEDs; all of which are suspended from stainless steel cables and aluminum pipes attached to three 20’ tall corner columns. These wooden corner columns create seating, are decorated with symbols, and are topped with continuously burning flames. At the sculptures center is a 40’ spire also topped with a propane torch that burns continuously.

WHAT will your donation be used for?The cost to build Light Years Away will be approximately $90K! However through a series of generous donations of time and services from our community of makers, vendors, and friends we have been able to get that cost down to $40K. Our team has been thrilled to receive a very generous grant of nearly $27K from Burning Man but we still need to raise the remainder of the money needed to fully realize the project. This is why YOUR donation is so critical in making this dream a reality.


Your money will be directly used to buy:

Building materials like aluminum sheets, aluminum rods, plywood, stainless steel cable, custom LED strips, acrylic discs, electrical components, hardware and flame effect components.

Consumables like welding supplies, sandpaper, welding gas, diesel for the generator, propane for the flame effects, and plotter paper and ink for printing full scale temples.

Transportation Costs like truck rental, insurance, trailer rental, fuel and lodging costs while traveling to and from Black Rock City.


WHAT does  Light Years Away represent?

Light Years Away is a beautiful tool, a doorway, a gateway, a stargate, an altar, an homage intended to have many meanings to many people, united by our presence in this place at this time, in a reality that is light years away from the default world, having experiences that are light years away from the ordinary, meeting people that are light years away from the familiar, making gestures to gods and demons that exist in places light years away from this world. Through it we pay homage to these spirits, these worlds. We send our grief, desires and prayers into the universe as if through a powerful doorway and through that connection to what is light years away we are brought closer together. It is for us to wield, and for us to revel in, as it is both a doorway to the other side and a doorway into ourselves.

Gifts in Gratitude of your Donation

Light Years Away T-Shirt


Light Years Away Water Bottle



Light Years Away Dog Tags

Final Note on Hatchfund-our funding platform

Hatchfund is a non-profit supporting artists. In order to operate they require an additional minimum 10% on top of your donation amount which covers Hatchfund's operations and transaction processing fees. So $50 will actually cost you $55. BUT the entire $55 or any amount you donate to this project is entirely tax deductible.

Match Funds are not currently available.

Previous donations matched by:

    • May 07, 2017 Wynn Earl Buzzell Jr. Artist

      Thanks so much to everyone who has donated during this soft launch weekend. Our team is incredibly grateful for your generosity. We will continue to fund raise and work hard to make this dream a reality. We could not do it without people like you. Stay tuned for ongoing updates as the stargate comes to life.