Our team members have extensive experience in building and managing large-scale projects.
Stephen Powell - Lead Artist
Stephen Powell has had a lifelong love for kinetic art. After a career as a theater tech and Emmy award-winning production sound mixer, he earned an MFA in sculpture at Indiana University, where he taught for 3 years. He produced a number of large-scale sculptures, including a 100 foot-long teeter-totter and a commissioned 54 foot-high, wind-driven, kinetic sculpture comprising five 40 foot long pointers. Stephen lives in the Mendocino/Sonoma woods with his partner Susan and continues to work with large objects in motion.
Susan Miletich - Executive Producer
Susan Miletich is an Artist and Landscape Designer with a keen interest in merging human sensibilities with the raw forces and material of the natural world. She works at scale from tiny modern Asian gardens, with formal reference to geology and sea, to projects involving extensive earthwork and tons of natural boulder and stone. Her interest in how space works translates naturally into the sculptural world of TEETER, designed by her partner Stephen Powell. She is involved in all aspects of the TEETER Project, administrative and hands-on tasks as well. Informed by her love of making things beautiful, she is well suited to shepherd vision through the nitty-gritty of construction to the finish, where the work quietly supports a transcendent experience of space.
Yuan Wang - Technology Lead
Yuan Wang is TEETER's technology lead, manifestation architect, #1 best selling author and cryptocurrency entrepreneur who designs blockchain systems and transformational experiences that help humanity play its way to Abundance. For over two decades, Yuan designed, coded and operated some of the most popular 3D video games in history including Descent, Lucasarts' Jedi Knight and World of Warcraft. He has served as an executive at Blizzard Entertainment, Disney, and Midway Games and is currently an executive and advisor for several cryptocurrency and human performance technology companies.
Ali Lahijanian - Structural Engineer
Ali Lahijanian received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from a top three nationally ranked program at the University of California, Berkeley. He is passionate about work that is socially responsible and involves creative solutions for positive outcomes. Prior to Rbhu, he was a lead engineer in designing the first stabilization platform for offshore wind turbines. He also strongly believes that artistic expression in versatile forms enhances the human experience, inspires others, and ignites endless possibilities. He is honored to bring his knowledge and skills to make creative ideas a reality.
Aidan Bradley - Senior Design Consultant
Aidan Bradley specializes in the high-level design of engineered entertainment and has participated in depth in the development of many of the world's most innovative and iconic amusement ride systems.He holds eight US patents in the entertainment field. Neither Disney nor Universal has a park worldwide that does not contain his designs. From an early age Aidan has been involved in engineering and entertainment, first combining these interests more than 35 years ago, and since then has explored at the highest level every area of entertainment that has an underpinning of engineering – Music to Art, Thrill Rides to Theater, Movies to TV; all rely on engineering for success. He worked for many years in the music and stage production & technique and traveled extensively with some of the world's most well known artists.
Aidan's strong artistic streak, combined with many years of practical engineering experience makes him the perfect interpreter to move from the imaginative to the real world, while maintaining the creative vision and contact with the ground. Aidan continues to enjoy applying his accrued experience in the engineering and entertainment fields, and to enjoy working with the many talented and creative companies and people in those fields.
Gabe Manville - Senior Design Consultant
Gabe Manville has 25 years' experience in theme park ride systems. Working as an Imagineer, he developed new technology ride systems from trackless omni-directional platforms to self driven/self-leaning motorcycle ride systems. Working as an independent consultant, Gabe has worked for Walt Disney, Universal Studios, and others as the lead mechanical engineer developing flagship ride systems and critical show action equipment. Gabe has worked for world leading companies in high tech and aerospace industry in R&D and Manufacturing roles. Additionally he has worked on projects for world renown artists. Gabe has a Bachelor of Science degree cum laude in Mechanical Engineering from California Polytechnic University and holds patents in fiber optic test equipment and building transport equipment. He is the recipient of a TEA outstanding achievement award.
Alexander Green - Lighting Artist
Alexander Green is an artist and entrepreneur whose work bridges the digital and physical world. Long interested in pushing the boundaries of knowledge and expression, Green was trained as a physicist and jazz musician; science and music remain lasting sources of inspiration and influence in his work.
Over the last few years, Green has been focused on building modular 'light instruments': volumetric lighting blocks with sophisticated software that can be played like a musical instrument. His work has been featured in Gizmodo and the Creators Project, as well as the Discovery Channel's "In The Making." His music videos for Eric Prydz and Cathedrals have won international acclaim. Green is also the subject of an upcoming PBS documentary on the future of art, entitled "Ineffable", collaborating with world famous violin virtuoso Tim Fain. He has performed at the numerous conferences and music festivals, including the Future of Storytelling, Treasure Island Music Festival, Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Dreamforce, and was invited to give a keynote speech at the Cannes Lions Innovation Festival, titled "Beyond Sound: The Music Experience of the Future".
Keegan Olton - Lighting Lead
Keegan Olton is currently Head of Production at Symmetry Labs. Keegan's primary job is to ensure that custom projects are feasible to build, and estimate the man hours necessary to build them and plan each step of the build phase. He also handles client communication and coordination around site logistics and specifics. He has been working building sculptures since Symmetry Labs started in 2012 and grew up building everything from houses to art projects to fixing cars. His work is informed by his early training as a welder, mechanic and metalsmith, as well as his studies in philosophy and studio arts at the University of Rochester. On build sites, he leads fabrication and trains both internal and external labor how to do things the right way and minimize human error for the highest quality finished product possible.
Christen Lien - Music
Christen Lien's provocative compositions, hypnotic performance style, and entrepreneurial business approach all reflect her passion for challenging the status quo. Through her art she seeks to support her fans to process the complex and oftentimes dark emotions that oppress individual potential and hold back collective power.
Christen loves storytelling. Her new concept album, ELPIS, explores the dark side of hope. In Greek mythology, Elpis is the goddess of hope and expectation and was one of the original evils Zeus created and placed in Pandora's Box. But to her fate, Elpis was unable to escape as planned and became forever trapped in the box. Christen's concept album picks up the story at this juncture, where she aids Elpis' escape and scores her journey from the lonely confines of Pandora's Box into our contemporary world.
Branden Laske - Software Developer
Branden is a passionate mathematician, engineer and educator. He has written multiple papers in the fields of mathematics, traveled the world helping build schools and educate young children and adults who are without access to such resources. He is a self taught computer engineer with skills in Deep Data Mining, programming and Analysis. His mission is applying his skills and knowledge to continue helping and improving the lives of others in the world. On his free time, he is an admirer of the arts, theatre and music. Branden is looking to bring his skills in computer software to help build and create a memorable experience for others. For TEETER, Branden will be coding websites and creating lighting experiences.
Ken is a Partner at Nearwaves LLC. He is a founder and advisor to several venture-backed tech startups and has extensive corporate management experience with Microsoft, Intel, and United Technologies leading many global product innovation initiatives. For fun, he is currently running snow cats by night as a groomer at Northstar in Tahoe, was formerly a boom operator in the film and TV industry and is supporting TEETER with his business acumen and operational experience.
Zachary "Cactus" Rukstela - Logistics Lead
Cactus has a long history leading and contributing to Burning Man and other art projects. He is the founder and former Director of Kinetic Steam Works, an Oakland based Industrial Arts and Education origination. He was also the
Director of Logistics and Engineering for Fractal Planet/Fractal Nation, a Collaborating Artist on the Steam Punk Treehouse, and Head of Electrical and Mechanical for the Extra Action Marching Band's 16th Century Spanish Galleon "La Contessa." Cactus will be leading TEETER's logistics and transportation to and on the playa.
Brandon Gage - Head Rigger
Brandon Gage started rigging in 2000 on square rigged sailing vessels using traditional Nautical styles of rigging. He then worked his way into more modern styles of Nautical rigging. Brandon rigged/raced on turn of the century classic sailing vessels, including helping to build the 2013 USA America's Cup Boat. Currently, he is a rigger/operator for Burning Man helping place and finish large art pieces in Black Rock City and work with the I.A.T.S.E as an entertainment rigger.
Ely Gilliam - Construction Lead
Ely Gilliam is currently the owner of EMG construction, Ely has decades of experience in large scale construction projects including various roles in the 1970s and 1980s as Foreman on various pipeline projects in Alaska, and on many Bay Area underground projects with Bay Area Structural and Marinship Construction. Ely is a master of pipes (critical for the construction of TEETER) and has a deep knowledge of critical path for large scale construction projects. He will serve as general foreman at the home of TEETER construction site in Point Arena, California.
Dillon Nicholson - Fundraising
Dillon Nicholson is the Program Director of Hatchfund. He has been working to crowdfund creative projects for the last three years. Last year, Hatchfund helped to fund over $250k for 12 on playa projects. He met Stephen and Susan on playa and spent a few weeks together on the 2017 Temple Build crew. He is excited to help to fund TEETER because the project is a combination of his passions for technology, big art and building.
Shannon Riley - Art Consultant
Shannon is a creative consultant who has a knack for cultivating connections. Her passion is in finding the makers and doers of the world and helping them bring their creations to life. She is the founder of Building 180, whose mission is to bring more art into the world by supporting the creators who make it all possible. She hopes to help inspire curiosity and creativity. Shannon dedicates her vision to the wonderful artists who re-sparked her play and passion and introduced her to Burning Man. She is a 5-time Burner and has been Project Lead for several works including Peter Hudson's monumental Stroboscopic Zoetropes.
Meredith Winner - Art Consultant
Meredith Winner is a co-founder of Building 180 and has spent the past 11 years in various roles supporting the arts. In 2017 she co-founded Building 180 whose mission is to bring more art into the world by helping artists maintain sustainable careers. A 6-time Burner, Meredith has been involved in several momentous projects including Charon by Peter Hudson and R-Evolution by Marco Cochrane.
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