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The Temple of Five: Reuse and Evolve
by Gabby Levy

Published on February 2, 2022

I am super happy and excited to be rejoining the Everywhen Project (EWP) for the 2022 season and can’t wait to be reconnected with friends and meet new ones on the mystical adventures waiting for us all. I'd also like to briefly share about my piece that accompanied the Temple for Seplaya 2020, and why it's such an honor to be a part of the Everywhen Project City Production Team this year. Like myself, many of the build team members over the last several years have been long-time festival, event, and or regional attendees, builders, or contributors in some shape, way or form. They come from various career backgrounds and have volunteered their time in many ways to help make the magic happen.

The Temple of Five, four years of evolution through material reuse

I warmly welcome, and invite you on this transformative journey of the “Temple of Five", as I share the evolution and one of the core ethics of the EWP, the reuse and the recreation of existing art. To me, what makes their art pieces so uniquely beautiful is the symbolism behind the materials they use.

UnScruz in 2018 the pioneer design was first called the Bamboo Temple Complex.

Its original formation was three bamboo structures. Bamboo has a higher tensile strength than steel, making it a higher resistance to breaking or splitting under pressure. Centered in the middle of each, was a chandelier made from the same material. They made a picture-perfect spot for friends to gather and have a shared illuminated moment together.

The Water Temple - UnScruz 2019

The Bamboo Temple Complex transformed into the The Water Temple in 2019 keeping only one of the 4 legged structures. The other two, once a part of the trio, were redesigned, reusing the materials. They became 5 towers; two on each side; as you can see from the beautiful light image of them at night. The fifth one was battery-operated and placed on the hill by itself. This sole tower was named Tower 5. A bamboo bench was displayed centered in front, inviting visitors to sit, while accompanied by the sounds of relaxing soothing music.

Tower in the Monterey Bay (Pacific Ocean) 2019.

Did you make it to the Monterey Regional; better known as MPRYE later in 2019? If you did, then you would have had the opportunity to see part of the Water Temple actually in the water. Waves crashed against it, as it was anchored by prayer flags just like at UnScruz. When the wind blows on the prayer flags tethered down each temple leg in a diag, it is said they are sending blessings to the far corners of the world. Who wouldn't want to promote a pervading sense of peace, compassion, strength and wisdom, spreading good will everywhere?

As lanterns and light towers, The Temple of Five continued its multi repurposing use, casting light upon the art installation camp, Chapel of the Chimes, later in 2019 at Black Rock City. It was here it earned its first coat of playa dust.

The Tower of Five as the frontage of the art installation camp, Chapel of the Chimes; 2019.

Juplaya 2020 is where I met these lovely bunch of coconuts. The Water Temple had taken a small break from its festival road trip. The design and build team wanted to unify people and have a sacred place for visitors to go to. They had created “The Everywhen Shrine.”

Everywhen Shrine, Juplaya 2020

Four pillars on the outer corners joined by a half size thin bamboo thatched wall, met in the center by a 5th pillar making an X shape. Each light the night, and they face the directions of the sunrise and the sunset. The bench design had been changed, but still comforted those who sat upon it with soft sounds.

I enjoyed meeting The Everywhen group during Juplaya 2020 so I decided to meet up with them again for Seplaya 2020. During this time one remaining center piece from the Bamboo Temple Complex, and 4 of the five towers united together, once again making the Water Temple. I had the privilege of being on the build team on The Black Rock Desert playa. Adding to this sacred space, I was invited to add the Destiny Well in honor of my baby sister who had passed away during the time between Juplaya 2020 and Seplaya 2020 due to an overdose. Growing up my baby sister Destiny was my shadow, always tagging along while I was in middle school and partly while in high school. She was with me so much, people mistaken her as my daughter. With conflicting schedules as adults, we did our best to try to hang out. She had asked me several times to let her join me on playa; ever since I had first started attending Burning Man in 2016. Unfortunately, she had developed a reoccurring struggle with a hardcore drug addiction. To me, BM wasn't the proper place for her to work through her sobriety. The promise was if she would get sober, then and only then would I bring her to playa. Dishearteningly after 128 days sober, she passed away. Part of me wished she would have stayed sober and part of me wished I would have brought her when she was still alive. Keeping my promise to bring her one day, I now had to come up with a different way. So that year I made an art piece in honor of her life.

The Water Temple and the Destiny Well, Seplaya 2020

The Lotus shadow is a symbol of purity, enlightenment, self-regeneration and rebirth. No matter the flaws that make us human, we are all still beautiful in our own way. Lotus’s are grown from mud, yet produce the most beautiful flower. My sister wasn’t perfect, just like none of us are; yet she was still beautiful and wonderfully loved by many. She showed love to everyone she met with all their imperfections. The solar powered flame lights represent the passion and fire in her soul. When one feels lost, you could have always found home in her embrace. The Sun's power is never ending just like her love for her friends and family and our love for her. The Well part is for Future and Destiny. May all everyone's wishes, hopes and dreams be fulfilled. Destiny lived every day to its fullest. She would want others to continue on living and doing the same. This art piece was reusing parts of a decorative display that was a part of my personal camp, going back to 2018. Other materials were gifted to me on playa; to help bring the vision, and symbolization to a reality. As a whole, my hopes from the contributions to this piece were a reminder to myself and others that we aren't alone in our struggles. There is always someone wishing you will make it through. The remainder of the Bamboo Temple Complex and The Tower of Five that had once brightened the way in front of the art installation camp, now welcomed those who came to camp or visit the space created by the folks at The Everywhen.

Tower of Five, The Electric Universe 2021

During this groundbreaking, first official Everywhen event, the “Tower of Five” graced the desert of the Mojave Desert for The Electric Universe, 2021. The test of its strength and structural integrity competed with the high winds and the desert sun. The continuous flapping of prayer flags in the breeze during this inaugural occasion signaled success for the hard work and dedication towards its creation, and continuous reuse of its materials.

The four year long path and evolution of the Tower of Five is just beginning. You are cordially encouraged to join me and The Everywhen Project, facing all the elements and all the magic, in both the Black Rock Desert (permit pending) June/July, and Mojave Desert in October, 2022.


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