Bad Hatter

Physical Description of Art Installation

It is an inviting, illuminated Mad Hatter’s hat constructed from 56 half meter long fully addressable RGB LED tubes, containing percussive solenoid instruments and surrounded with 8 seats. The sculpture is supported by four large metal legs with the electronic brain of the installation tastefully hidden inside with easy access for maintenance. There will be an enticing loop of LED animation attracting participants which spin counterclockwise around the hat whenever it is not being activated. As soon as someone grabs 1 of the 8 sets of handles the installation comes to life. The percussive elements start a rudimentary rhythm which gets more complex with every cycle of LED animations set to the 8-step beat.

Philosophy of your piece

The philosophy of the Bad Hatter reflects that of Burning Man presenting a shocking experience that can be both challenging and rewarding to participants that make it through the electric impulses and surprises. The piece reflects the theme Curiouser and Curiouser, drawing inspiration from the whimsical, unpredictable world of Alice in Wonderland. This art symbolizes the endless possibilities that emerge from playful, open-minded engagement with the world, acting as a tribute to the childlike wonder within everyone. It encourages participants to embrace the unexpected and have their laughter and screams get sequenced into a sonic symphony on the playa.

Neil Mendoza is a UK born, US based artist who blends sculpture, software and engineering to animate objects and spaces. He employs humor and absurdity as tools to investigate how we mediate our interactions with each other and the natural world. His art often repurposes found objects, offering viewers a fresh perspective that challenges their preconceptions. He holds an MA in Maths and Computer Science from Oxford University and an MFA in Design Media Art from UCLA. He has showcased his work globally, lectured at international conferences, taught art and technology at UCLA and Stanford, and co-founded the art collective “is this good?”.

His artwork has been exhibited by The Ars Electronica Center, Arena 1 Gallery, The Barbican, BBC Big Screens, The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, Cinekid, Currents New Media Festival, The Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology, The Exploratorium, ISEA, Kinetica, Minnesota Street Projects, Oi Futuro, The Museum of London, The Nottingham Playhouse, PICNIC Festival, Recology, SIGGRAPH, SITE Santa Fe, The Science Museum, Telfair Museum, The V&A Museum, Watermans, YouFab and Young Projects Gallery among others.

He has created digital artworks and installations for a wide range of clients including Accenture, Adidas, Adobe, AntiVJ, Arcade Studios, Audi, Bentley, Brother, Burton Snowboards, Doritos, Ford, Guild LA, HTC, IBM, Jason Bruges Studio, LCF, The Light Surgeons, Local Projects, Moving Brands, New Angle, Nokia, Nuit Sonores, O2, Orange, Poke, Swatch, Universal Everything, Wieden & Kennedy and Wired Magazine.

Winslow Porter is an award-winning director, producer and creative technologist specializing in virtual/augmented reality as well as large-scale immersive installations. His work focuses on embodying the unique timescales of non-human organisms, through various emerging technologies.  He is a Cultural Leader at the World Economic Forum, a seven-time mentor at the New Museum Incubator, an adjunct NYU Tisch professor and a founding member of ONX Studio in New York City.


He is an artist-in-residence at the Smallhold Mushroom farm in Brooklyn, creating an immersive experience featuring the first volumetric mushroom time-lapse called Forager. The experience premiered at SXSW 2023, and has since been shown at Venice Film Biennale,  SIGGRAPH, Unreal Fest, NAB and the London Film Festival.  


Previously, Winslow formed the pioneering, new media studio the New Reality Company in 2016 with Milica Zec, creating the critically-acclaimed cinematic VR experiences Giant and Tree. These experiences have been shown across the globe at events like Sundance, Tribeca Immersive, TED, The World Economic Forum in Davos/Tianjin, UN General Assembly and ONX Studio.

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