A gigantic 30’ spinning wheel with posed human skeletons mounted on its inner edge, Charon is fully powered by a minimum of 12 people working in unison. Onlookers are invited to pull a series of 6 ropes which cause the wheel to rotate progressively faster. When the rope pullers are coordinated enough to get the wheel spinning at the correct speed, a strobe is activated, revealing the skeletons’ animation.
The animation tells the story of Charon, the mythological gondolier and ferryman of Hades who carried the souls of the recently departed across the river styx, the last right of passage on the way to the afterlife. This piece debuted at Burning Man, 2011.
FOOT PRINT: 20’ X 30’ , 32’ HEIGHT
6 months. 6 thousand man hours. A core team of 20, and an expanded team of over 80 volunteers working tirelessly to complete a 34 foot tall kinetic sculpture consisting of 20 animated skeletons. Built from steel, aluminum, and wood, and weighing in at over 7 tons.
This is Charon, a highly interactive 3D stroboscopic zoetrope. Created by Peter Hudson and his crew, and unveiled at the Burning Man festival in 2011. Charon is fully powered by people. The custom power train is powered by a minimum of 12 people working in unison to produce what can only be described as a mass hallucination.
The animation tells the story of Charon, the mythological ferryman of Hades who carried the souls of the recently departed across the River Styx, the last right of passage on the way to the afterlife. When witnessed in person, the effect is nothing short of breathtaking.
Shot/Edited by Jason Tongen
Music by Lee Coombs
Written by Shawn Cunningham
Narrated by Thierry Chauvin