Portland was one of 22 cities that participated in the first year of the Circle Of Regional Effigies, or the CORE Circle, at Burning Man.

The design of the ThunderBridge was both rooted in Portland and symbolic of the Pacific Northwest. It was an arched climbable structure reminiscent of the St. John’s suspension bridge spanning the gap between the chaos of Black Rock City and the majesty of the Man. It was flanked by two majestic thunderbirds, each powerful as a storm, yet guarding the journey. As residents prepared to ascend the bridge from the outer limits of BRC, they could not see what lay on the other side. But, a bridge is a passageway connecting more than just two points in space. Reach the apex, and the Burning Man was revealed in splendor.

ThunderBridge depicted first and foremost the legendary Native American thunderbird. Two fierce thunderbirds stood back-to-back, facing the world; watching, guarding, eyes reflecting the fire of the gods, thunderous voices shattering the peace of the playa. To further illustrate the legend of the thunderbird, we incorporated thunder and lightning into ThunderBridge. As participants cross, their steps generated tremendous crashes analogous to the rumble of thunder and flashes of lightning.

In addition to being art unto itself, the bridge was a canvas for local artists who were invited to decorate and embellish the sides via fundraising parties and during SOAK*, our regional event.

Brainstorming and Building ItEdit

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Video of build crew at work

Bringing and Burning ItEdit

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Video of the Thunderbridge burning