The Waking Bird

Sparseland Studios

Charlie "Blackcat" Smith


The Waking Bird

Sparseland Studios

Charlie "Blackcat" Smith


THE WAKING BIRD = is on hold folks!

(Uncle Charlie's Red Hot Cock)

The Waking Bird, aka Uncle Charlie's Red Hot Cock, has received an Honorarium grant from Burning Man! We are creating a crazy, large-scale, steel and stainless steel rooster teeter-totter that is also a wood-fired flame effect people will ride while it's on fire!!  This artifact will be interactively created through community-building workshops, and we are accepting workshop participants now! We are offering 4 workshops ( 2 days - 7 hours each). Participants will learn basic welding skills and actually work on the artifact itself - no experience necessary!. COST $200-$500 (sliding scale, honor system) per 2-day workshop.      

                   We also encourage community involvement on all levels, from building the sculpture to attending fundraising parties to non-profit donations ("Click to Donate" up top!).

Click Here to Sign UP!

Super cool video above - check it out!


You, yep, YOU! can Participate in a 2017 BURNING MAN honorarium art project! 

Great SUCCESS! work weekend #1 - 4/29-30, over 15 people came out n kicked ass! Thank You!

Great SUCCESS! work weekend #2 - 5/6 So much painting! So many cocks! Look out, Atlanta! MAKE GREAT ART AGAIN!

over the weekend people came out, kicked ass, N Got all kindsa hands-on with Art at Sparseland Studios!  Thank You!



How-To workshop #3 July 8-9
How-To Workshop #4 July 15-16

{10:00 am - 5:00 pm}

2-day crash course on how to weld and create the sculptural volume

$200 - $500 sliding scale cost for 2 days!


What is this project about?

What a great time for “The Waking Bird!” Yes, it’s a literal symbol, a wake-up call that we are paying homage to this year! Our focus is to share our mission, our building techniques, and our ambition to create with the communities - both inside and outside of the Burning Man realm. We want to share the ethos of what our community stands for and, through this creative process, spread the message of cooperation and community to the greater mass at large locally, nationally, and internationally. This year we bring “The Waking Bird”  out to play a role in the Burning Man theme:  Radical Rituals. The Cock = the waking bird's ritual of calling the sunrise.  We will be creating a space for seekers of the dawn to unite and share their stories, to love, and to play. Ride the red hot cock!  We invite all who are interested to participate full throttle with us and make this amazing creature come to life!

Project scale: Dimensions = 12 ft wide x 30 ft long x 20 ft tall
The Waking Bird “Uncle Charlie’s Red Hot Cock”is a crazy large-scale, steel and stainless steel rooster teeter-totter that burns wood. This artifact will be an interactive, community built and operated, mechanical wood burning sculpture on the playa at Burning Man.

On the broad horizon: The fire rooster is a symbol for “waking the connection between art & community.”

The rooster crow is a waking signal for community involvement.

We are searching for ways to bridge the void between art & person.

For example: The Time Star (Giant 7 sided star) on the Belt line at 4th ward park. Did you know we built that in 2012 for Burning Man?! See the video BELOW!


Interactivity - HOW TO get involved


the sculpture relies on the participants to volunteer and invest in all ways.

1. Participants contributing through actual hands-on community building workshops creating the art!

2. Attending a variety of fundraisers that will be held here in the Atlanta area. (event schedule coming soon!)

3. ALL contribuitions and  donations can be made through our fiscal sponsorship program (please contact us directly for details, sparselandmedia@gmail.com)


Bringing "Uncle Charlie's Red Hot Cock" to Burning Man will add to the magic of the event and will push the interactive platform of the Burning Man culture this year to a new level by enhancing the experience of the participants and paying homage to... 


#1CSmith uncle charliesredhotcock.jpg

armature / sketch 

Concept renderings for the armature and the actual scale of the sculpture

#2CSmithprotoypeunclecharliesredhotcock copy.jpg


These images are of the original prototype that has been around for quite some time! This collage shows the action and illumination factors that we want to achieve in the large scale version we are building.


rooster parts

The basic anatomy of a rooster is important to understand in order to successfully build  a large scale fire rooster.

The outcome

Volunteers , camp mates, and crew at Burning Man  will join together to operate, fuel,and play with our amazing invention! A vibrant community created through the art form! Bringing people together to share their philosophies & visualizations through symbolism / verbal communication inspires the conceptual quality of the artifact. -  Incorporating individual talents and ideas into this develops group intention.  The group creates context, interest, and intention into the overall magic of the sculptural atmosphere = The art brings group ownership and connectivity through collaboration. This leads to the unity and super strength of our Art Culture.

This video of 24/7 time star is an example of what the new project will be like in all its action packed good times ahead !