by Logan and jD., with the Projekteers Group.
Walking across the playa at night, stars overhead, whole universes unseen, feels like you are stepping over the face of the moon. In the distance you see faint lights, and the earth looks as if it had been stripped back, ruptured from the inside out.
You need to walk through pieces of ripped earth, zig zagging to reach the center. Once there, you see a large thin chasm, stretching through the ruptured playa. It appears as if an earlier civilization was here, and had inserted arcane scientific apparati pointing down into the chasm.
You realize that you hear something … just barely, ambient sounds of a Very Large Space. You place your ear next to the chasm and realize the sounds are coming from inside. You stand up, and approach the periscope silently.
There are portholes to look through, and as you do so you see the cosmos below the flat earth on which you stand. Except the heavenly bodies on the other side of the flat earth are closer, much closer …
You see cloud nebulas, planets with ancient cities, asteroid clusters speeding along their course, super nova stars, all slowly moving around you. Each porthole offers a different view of the other side of the earth, and when you step back from the periscope, you automatically look up to view your own familiar night sky, so very far away.
Periscopes - Constructed of brass or copper metal sheeting, a tripod of rebar holds these cylindricals firmly into the playa. Each has a porthole or two, some will accumulate interesting gauges and dials we find along the way. Housed within each perisope is a monitor and mirrors to reflect the image properly to the viewer, the cables run down secretly through the chasm to the Tech Box nearby.
- The ruptured earth is simulated by parabolas made of thin wood beams
woven together. Each modular piece is connected by rebar to the playa. Ideally,
each parabola is covered with a thin amount of playa earth, hardened from
the sun to match the playa floor. The chasm is a smaller version of these
parabolas, so very little actual playa need be disturbed. Adapted solar garden
lights will be mounted about to light the space. The footprint in its entirety
would be about 30ft in diameter.
Technology - Three LCD car monitors are placed one within each periscope, each playing a QuickTime movie of the chasm space. The monitors play Chasm's sound over their built-in speakers, and are connected to a Tech Box nearby, which houses the car 12V DVD player(s) and car battery to charge the system. We'll be recharging the deep cycle battery every 12 hours or so, with a generator back at camp.
Deconstruction - All parts are coming back off the playa with us, except perhaps the parabolas, which we may decide to burn in one of the official burn pads.