Kevin Dow has been working his ass off to build the Everywhen experience, and yet somehow still finds the time to make spectacular art. Juplaya 2021 saw the debut of Kevin’s Infinite Regression, a massive, 3D parallelepiped, LED-lit infinity box, likely one of the largest ever seen. Blistering heat, walls of airborne mud, torrential downpours, and, of course, a metric ton of gypsum dust could not stop this amazing piece from being seen. It quickly became one of the iconic visuals of this year’s annual playa gathering. We caught up with Kevin to pick his brain a bit...and you can too at the 2021 Everywhen event in the Mojave Desert, this October.
EWP: Infinite Regression was a standout piece at Juplaya, it drew people in like a magnet. Can you tell us what inspired you to create it?
Kevin Dow: I had seen an example of a smaller piece as well as infinity mirrors. The effect was quite striking, but I wondered how it would look if it was large enough for someone to walk around or feel like they could fall into when gazing inside.
EWP: Can you tell us about your background as an artist?
Kevin Dow: I really don't feel like I have much of a background as an artist/maker. It is something that I have been actively trying to develop over the last several years. In general, my journey has been inspired by some of the art pieces that small camps have done in the unplaced section of the event. While they tend to be a bit smaller they also feel more personal to the artist/maker who created them.
In 2018, I brought a small art piece that I placed outside our camp on K street that was used water and light in motion to create a spinning vortex.
In 2019 I got the opportunity to work on large art as a build lead for the 2019 Temple of Direction which was quite the experience. In the latter half of 2020, I was able to help out on Renzo Verbeck's Temple at Santa Rosa. Also in 2020, I created my own vision of a Lamplighter spire, that I called Lighting Spire and brought it to the 2020 Renegade Burn as well as the 2021 Juplaya. But as 2020 ended, I was looking for something more to develop my skills as well as test larger art structures, and build confidence in what can realistically be done by myself. This lead to Infinite Regression being born. EWP: Do you have a guiding philosophy when creating your art?
Kevin Dow: No, I just want something that will make people think is cool, or interesting.
EWP: Creating art that can survive the Black Rock Desert playa, especially if there are electrical components, is a feat of engineering. How did it do?
Kevin Dow: Overall I was pretty pleased with the performance of the piece. As you know for Juplaya 2021, we did not experience mild weather. It managed to survive the severe wind/dust/mud storm midweek that ended up damaging a lot of other structures and shade and later survived a significant rain shower the next day. Probably the toughest part was having to clean the piece after each event. Just when I thought I got it clean, the next storm rolled in.
By luck (or skill) the electronics were shielded from the elements and water and did not have any issues at all. The main superstructure is fine, though there were a couple of cracked panels that I feel were more due to how they were attached to the metal frame. Infinite Regression v2.0 will hopefully be even stronger with what I learned out on Playa.
EWP: Any special plans for Everywhen, And The Electric Universe event this coming October?
Kevin Dow: I will definitely be bringing Infinite Regression out to Everywhen. There are some thoughts percolating in my head for further improvements, but telling now would be spoilers.