Bay Area artists create sculpture for Burning Man

The annual party in the Nevada desert known as Burning Man is set to take place at the end of next month.

At this point, dozens of Bay Area artists are working on a new project that they say will offer something different. piece of art made of steel and wood is under construction in West Oakland. 

Volunteers are working on many pieces that will become La Victrola, a 35 foot tall gramophone that will be displayed at Burning Man next month.

"A lot of people think Burning Man is all electronic music," said Nick Fynn, project lead with La Victrola, "We think there's an audience who likes all kinds of music so the La Victrola - the gramophone is about jazz, blues, blue grass."

To entertain those with a varied taste in music, volunteers started creating La Victrola four months ago. 

When finished it will be three stories high and weigh 6,000 pounds.

Unlike much of the artwork at Burning Man, La Victrola will not be burned. It will be used for future events.

Because of its large size, an engineer designed the gramophone where it is made of pieces bolted together, so  it is relatively easy to construct and deconstruct

"The horn can disassemble in one piece into 24 smaller sections that can be lifted with a group of 2 or 3 people; manageable by hand," said Sean Cusack, the project engineer.

  Recordings of vintage music will be played from a sound system placed inside the artwork.

"We  obviously  don't have a 40 foot record we can play on it, but have a whole collection of vintage tunes from 1890 to 1930," said Fynn.

He says musicians will also perform music live from that era on the same stage on which the gramophone will be displayed at Burning Man. 

"The art is the big part for me. It's a huge draw. That's why I keep going back. I wouldn't go to a dance party in the desert for a week or two weeks every year," said Karen Allman, a volunteer.

La Victrola is built entirely by volunteers and its creators have raised about $70,000 of the $95,000 needed to fund the project.

All the pieces of La Victrola will be moved out of the West Oakland warehouse in the middle of next month.

Volunteers will spend about a week in the desert to put it all together. It will be ready just in time for the opening of Burning Man on August 28th.