The Bone Tree was created as a site-specific sculpture with the vast Black Rock desert as its backdrop. It was first created in 1999 to lead a procession into the coming millennium, but since then has become a timeless sculpture that has returned to the playa year after year, until 2014. One of its original purposes was to lead people to the different installations presented at Burning Man’s annual theme, “The Wheel of Time”. Larry Harvey asked me to create a mobile sculpture, “something” that would travel into the past, as well as the future and I proposed the creation of the Bone Tree.
Bones are a window into the past. Paleontolgists use bones to decipher, discover and unravel secrets of bygone eras. When we die, it is what remains of us long thereafter...into the future. I wanted to use an artifact of death to create a tree, as a way of paying homage to the existence and precarious nature of all life, whether it be animal or plant based...it is a gift albeit temporary.