A Permanent Temple in Paradise

Debra Klein has written a great feature at the Daily Beast about David Best’s new Temple at the Paradise Ridge Winery in Sonoma- a permanent structure made of steel, now installed between “TRUTH” and “LOVE” in their outdoor sculpture gallery which features a lot of Burner Art.


Entrance to Paradise Ridge

Entrance to Paradise Ridge



Previously, they had burned a David Best Temple there. People (Burners?) knew to write notes on the Temple, without ever being told.


From The Daily Beast:

best temple paradise

David Best Creates a Temple Made of Memories Outside San Francisco

Most works of art convey a specific message from the artist. But at David Best’s new temple in Sonoma County, visitors help build the piece out of their own memories of love and loss.


What do we have, in the end, when a love has gone? When a person has left for good? All that was everything between two people—a romance, a friendship, or simply day-to-day life—disappears. Only our memories never leave. But what if we want them to?

These are the thoughts that might flood visitors to David Best’s Temple of Remembrance in a meadow on the grounds of Paradise Ridge Winery. Like a vaguely Asian-themed birdcage, the deceptively ingenious rusted lattice memorial to love and loss is part shrine, part interactive do-it-yourself art project, as light visually as it is heavy emotionally.

It’s a place to remember the people you’re carrying in your mind or your heart. You can scrawl something on a flat pebble and bury it in a bird-bath bowl, or send a message to them on a piece of cloth set aflutter in the wine country wind. And, in doing so, you release your own feelings, too.

Best and his crew helped put the “burning” in the Burning Man festival fourteen years ago when they built the massive Temple of the Mind memorial in Nevada’s desert, and then dedicated it to a friend who’d died before the event began. Droves of attendees streamed inside to vent their emotions over the course of several days. The structure ignited their passions, and then the creators ignited it.

The temple idea caught fire, and while that ephemeral tradition continues as an end-of-the-festival ritual each year, the new Temple of Remembrance, on a hillside in Sonoma County, is Best’s first constructed in steel and is permanent. It sits somewhere between Truth and Love (that’s not a metaphor, those are the names of two other large Burning Man sculptures relocated to the same grassy, oak-fringed field) in a place where—despite expansive tree and vineyard vistas—visitors will find themselves looking within.

While Best’s flammable work is fleeting, the changes people experienced inside seem to stick. Best recalls a grieving father confiding that a visit let him unlock the emotional door trapping his family in grief. “Our son is free now,’” Best remembers he said. It’s a reminder that the flip side of anger is love, isn’t that why we feel both so intensely?

Although Best doesn’t consider himself particularly spiritual, he has a sixth sense about what people need to heal emotionally, be it from a trauma or a lost love, or both.

“You have to provide a place where someone can feel private, yet safe. They can be there or run away, they are not locked in,” he says. Immediately after, as if to prove his non-guru bona fides, he mentions he’s putting the finishing touches on a hot rod to race at Bonneville.

[read more at the Daily Beast…]











Temple Deal Falls Through

david best sfgateToday’s issue of the Jackrabbit Speaks brought the news that the Temple design for Caravansary has changed. No longer will it be the “Temple of Descendants”, apparently they announced the deal before agreeing to the terms of it. It’s also not going to be the controversial Embrace design. Instead, David Best has stepped up and will have a new design, “Temple of Grace”.

We’re announcing an unexpected change for Burning Man 2014: this year’s Temple in Black Rock City will not be the previously announced Temple of Descendents. Unfortunately artist Ross Asselstine was unable to agree to the terms of our agreement and elected to halt the project.

If you contributed financially to the project, thank you for supporting this community effort. The Temple of Descendents Crew will ensure your contributions are refunded.

We are happy to report that David Best has stepped up and agreed to build yet another of his incredible creations for Black Rock City in 2014. It will be entitled “Temple of Grace”, and we’ll have design details for you very soon!