by Paige Tashner


Long time Burner, first time art installation creator here! Although I hesitate to call myself an artist, I am fortunate to run with an exceptionally creative crowd and I created my own mutant vehicle (Devils Food Cupcake) in 2014. Yay! People’s reaction to the cupcake art car has been the most satisfying aspect of that project. So satisfying, in fact, I wanted to make something bigger…and this is the year I do it!

Paige in her Devil's Food Cupcake art car at Burning Man 2015. (Photo by Scott London)Photo by Scott London

The original idea was inspired by the murmuration of Vaux's Swifts around Chapman Elementary School’s chimney in Portland, Oregon. I wanted to recreate that motion someway in an art installation. The vision morphed into a more celestial realm as I saw stars, planets and little UFOs replacing the dots of birds in the vortex. I felt that people could be just as moved looking up at dots of “stardust” as I was witnessing the earthly creatures.


The Black Rock Desert night sky is breathtaking - it's easy to forget when you're surrounded by so much stimuli! Stardust is my gift oasis to those who find themselves overwhelmed. Its overall look is both ethereal and otherworldly.

By night, playa travelers are drawn to a glowing, pulsing, low-lying mystery disc. As they venture closer they’ll see it’s actually a flying saucer – and a comfy bench! Their motion triggers landing lights.

An illuminated Galactic Tube extends from the bench’s center. Cosmic Rays, dripping with end glow fiber optics, splay up and out of the tube, creating “stardust” overhead. Hidden-in-plain-sight buttonstrigger shooting stars.

Seated, travelers face out, absorbing Black Rock City lights in the distance. Reclining, they look up, exploring the installation’s “stardust”, its interactive shooting stars and, inevitably, the Black Rock Desert night sky itself. Hidden wind chimes further enhance the twinkling above.

By day, Stardust is a gathering spot, a place to chill. The gentle sway of the Cosmic Rays and the soothing sound of the wind chimes continue to quiet the mind.

The 8 ft. diameter flying saucer-shaped bench’s 3/4” 5-layer plywood is the bulk of the materials. A 12 to 24 in. diameter, 3 to 6 ft. tall, galvanized metal pipe and a metal interior support cage create the Galactic Tube. The Cosmic Rays consist of fiberglass rods and thousands of end glow fiberoptic cables.

Stardust received a generous grant from the Black Rock City Honoraria Program. I am so grateful and excited - and still quite giddy! However, as plans have progressed, I’ve come to realize I undershot the projected budget. The grant will cover about 75% of the build so I’m asking the Burning Man community - and those who love us! - to help me raise the remaining funds needed to complete and ensure Stardust makes it to the playa.

Your wonderful contributions will support my Elements (Stardust crew members) with better tools, safety equipment and leave no trace provisions; cover fees, taxes, and shipping costs for construction supplies; build a stronger support cage; add more interactive lighting to the installation; secure a safe vehicle and enough fuel for transportation to and from the playa. And most importantly, I can feed my Elements!! You can’t build a spaceship without sustenance.

Please support Stardust on this space odyssey by sharing this campaign link with your friends and making a tax-deductible donation today! And to express our appreciation we have TANG! No, we actually have an assortment of fun thank you gifts.



Thank you for exploring Stardust.

Stardust Construction Timeline


My backyard. Richmond, CA


Me, my husband, family and friends - both long-time and new!

Late March/Early April

Spaceship bench CAD drawings finalized; CNC templates cut. 

Galactic Tube support cage construction starts. 

Cosmic Rays fiber optic bundles created; test lighting/weight on fiberglass rods.


Bench pieces cut, sanded, and sealed; Install hardware.

Lighting added to bench, Galactic Tube and Cosmic Rays.  

Programming and testing begins.

July/Early August

Complete build/lighting; test lighting; disassemble/reassemble/test again.

Mid August/Late August

Disassemble; load/transport. 

Playa arrival approximately August 20th. Fully assembled and tested by August 25th. Woot!