Photo by Carolyn Marut

Photo by Carolyn Marut

 Photo by Carolyn Marut

Photo by Carolyn Marut

 Photo by Carolyn Marut

Photo by Carolyn Marut

The Crypto Lotus (2013)

The Sacred Lotus is one of only three plants known to man to generate heat in its blossom. It is hypothesized that it does this to attract the insects that pollinate it.

When Branden stumbled onto this fact it made him wonder what a plant would be like that had human beings as its pollinator and inspired him to create his largest art project to date.

The Crypto Lotus is a human sized animatronic lotus blossom with over 2,000 LEDs in its petals. Colors cascade across the lotus' petals, gently waving through every color of the rainbow in beautiful, subtle patterns that draw viewers to it.

When the get close they notice six, glowing, hexagonal lily pads surrounding the flower. They discover that by stepping on the lily pads it makes them change color.

By playing with the lily pads clever viewers may figure out how to make all of the lily pads glow a brilliant white thus cracking the lotus's puzzle and making it bloom!

Using a complicated system of pulleys and levers the lotus will actually open as brilliant patterns of light and dark dance across the petals.

The Crypto Lotus was funded from a successful Kickstarter campaign as well as grants from two regional Burning Man events, Playa Del Fuego and Lakes of Fire. In 2013 it was the featured art at the 4:30 plaza at Burning Man.