Beyond its aesthetic aspects, the project serves as a spearhead to promote the cultural exchange between two fire cultures such as the Fallas of Valencia and the Burning Man. This American event is based on a series of principles that we deem interesting to share on both sides of the Ocean – merchandising and gift economy; the entire development, execution, and construction of this project were carried out through volunteering. The work of the community, the ability to overcome challenges together when with very scarce resources we can take a piece of ephemeral architecture to the other side of the world and manage to place it in the middle of the desert in very adverse weather conditions. The constructed element was just the excuse to generate a surrounding movement and served as a starting point for both communities to promote an exchange of knowledge and creativity.
Therefore, the main elements the piece addresses are the values that we consider essential to share and not so much the aesthetics of the Fallas of Valencia. Teamwork is represented by the mosaic floor of more than 25,000 pieces carried out by associations and volunteers. The skin with sculptures covered in gold leaf obtained from ancient molds of the Fallas workrooms symbolizes the tradition and history of the festival and a contemporary image to emphasize that tradition and contemporaneity are not at odds.
All these elements combined in an ephemeral element were the seed that created something more permanent around them, demonstrating not only to us, but to the communities we represented, the capacity and power of collective effort. Knowing that our environment (personal, affective, constructed) improves if it is shared and we feel part of the direction in which we are going. In the future we will either live in “glass cages” of overwhelming uniformity in any territory, or in personalized environments that citizens feel like their own if we are capable to do so.