Temple of Floating Compression


The Temple of Floating Compression went to Burning Man 2023!

Previously it was at Arizona's regional burn Saguaro Man, and served as the temple for San Diego's Regional Burn, YOUtopia. 

The main structure is permanently installed in Bombay Beach, on the shores of the Salton Sea. Instead of the central tensegrity icosahedron, it features a swing!

The Temple of Floating Compression is a large tensegrity sculpture inspired by MJ's father, who enjoys making small models and suggested it would be fun for us to make a large one. 

The photo on the right (below on mobile) shows the final shape.  The central piece is suspended by the shallow pyramid, and can rotate and swing freely.


The structure consists of 3 basic components: end caps, steel cables, and wooden 4x4s.  This simplicity is core to its aesthetic quality.

The 4x4s of the towers are 12ft long and are sanded, but otherwise untreated.  The 4x4s of the central icosahedron are 8ft long and have a char finish.  The end caps are plasma cut and welded steel.  Each steel cable is custom made to the appropriate length. 

The central icosahedron went to Burning Man 2022 - you can read more about it and the fabrication here and a video of part of our last test build is here.

The photo below is a gallery!  Click or swipe through.


More than a hundred people helped with this art in various ways - thank you!  Without you all fabricating, assembling, driving, lifting, sweating, playing, donating, bleeding, crying, designing, and dreaming this would not have happened.

Our letter to our Burning Man Art Support Services liaison has some good stories about the help we needed on playa.

If you are so moved, you can still donate here.  Our final budget is there, and we still have significant expenses.

You can see more of MJ and Colin's previous art at https://www.deldiosglasshouse.com/stuff-weve-made 


Putting this thing together is totally mind bending.  Each time we do it a bit differently, and get totally confused along the way.  If you want to follow along, here are some helpful diagrams made by Ander on our crew.