Daniel Pinchbeck writes:
"Harlan Emil Gruber's sculptures at Burning Man have been an underground favorite over the last few years. Combining sound installation with geometric form, they have offered a beautifully multidimensional experience to visitors who often spend hours lounging on the sculpture's platform, bathing in the aural frequencies from his unique Quasar Wave Transducer. In my book 2012, I explored the possibility of a global shift in consciousness. Gruber's piece represents a valiant effort to capture that evolution in its melding of science, sacred geometries, and ambient sounds. Such creative dedication and ambition deserves to be supported and rewarded generously."
Gruber says: "The original 11:11 Diamond Portal was built for Burning Man 2004 as a key to shifting the Earth into the next vibrational dimension. It started this focused phase of my current creative output. Prompted by my interest in Buckminster Fuller and Paolo Soleri, I received a degree in Environmental Design from Parson's School of Design in 1985. While there I thought of the shape of the Diamond Portal based on my studies of the golden ratio. I made a small paper model of that shape without any regard as to how big or small it would ever be and packed it away in a box of models that I made for other assignments. In the fall of 2003 I started thinking of the shape again and in the winter of 2004 decided to build it as a large sculpture for Burning Man, including within it a sound sculpture I had invented in 1980 that produces low frequency vibrations using bass guitar strings tuned subsonically, a speaker and an amplifier, called the Quasar Wave Transducer. This sculpture was then located at 11:11 on the Burning Man layout, utilizing its position as another aspect of its significance. It returned in 2005 and was burned in the Temple of Dreams the last night of the event. I designed the two subsequent Portals, the Emerald and Sapphire, based on my studies of the Earth's interactive energy body."
MR: What does the role of Artist mean to you?
HG: Artists have historically been employed to create religious and spiritual work. Only recently has the role of an artist expanded to include wide ranging issues. I believe the prime objective of an artist is to manipulate materials so that when other people encounter their art, they have an experience or insight into the more profound aspect of our physical existence. I'm often quite appalled at what passes for art in the contemporary art world, and am embarrassed to call myself an artist lest I'm thought of producing such work. I see my role as an agent of transformation, providing a form of technology that is a key to shifting the Earth into the next vibrational dimension.
What is driving force behind your creativity?
I'm driven to create my work to assist and participate in the evolution of human existence and the Earth, especially relating to the "2012" shift. Burning Man provides the ideal venue and audience for the Portals I have created, and I'm now inspired to bring these projects to a wider audience in a variety of other venues. I sometimes feel like I'm a being from the future where this shift has already happened and I've come back to this time to bring this technology to facilitate it.
Why should your work matter to other people?
My work provides an environment that is conducive to creating an evolution and shift of consciousness. I intend my work to be community-oriented, providing a space for people to come together to interact not only with it, but also with one another, instigating social interaction. I've found that the Portals and multi-dimensional personal, planetary and galactic vibrational alignment tools. Only once all three are vibrationaly aligned can a transformation or shift take place.
What is the difference between craftsman, artist, and visionary?
To what extent do you intentionally try to accurately portray yourself in your work?
What was your religious/spiritual upbringing like?
I don't wish to share that.
How does your work effect consciousness, and what are your views on the evolution of consciousness?
My work is focused on the evolution of consciousness and the vibrational or dimensional ascension of the entire planet. The "Portal" sculpture series have been created for the Burning Man festivals since 2004 to act as evolutionary interfaces. They provide an interactive space for personal and planetary transformation by employing sound, color and sacred geometry to facilitate an evolution of consciousness so that one may become spiritually aligned with all of physical reality and understand our sacred relationship to it. This will help heal ourselves as well as the Earth, as all actions that are environmentally detrimental would not be perceived as viable options.
Have your dreams inspired you? If so, how have they influenced your work?
I haven't been inspired by dreams but the original Diamond Portal shape came to me quite intuitively in 1984, but I only thought to build it large for Burning Man in 2004. It wasn't actually a dream.
How long does it take you on average to complete a piece of work, and do you ever do several pieces simultaneously?
There is no average, but the two most recent, the Sapphire and Emerald Portals, were developed over the course of 8 months and built in 2 months.
What were you like as a child?
I always felt very different as a child and had a hard time socially. I was very smart, to the point where it overwhelmed adults. I feel that I had to dumb myself down to be accepted by them. I was very interested in outer space and learned as much information about it as I could as a very young child. I knew all the planets, their distance and length of their years by the first grade. I remember making up a game to play being the solar system with my friends.
Where would you like to go that you've never been?
I'd like to visit the more prominent power spots on the planet like Machu Pichu, Palenque and Egypt.
Name one/some of your heroes.
R. Buckminster Fuller is one of my greatest heroes and inspirations. I've been studying his work for nearly 30 years. One of his mottos is to "do more with less" and I like to think my work embodies this principle by using simple materials to create a profound effect. Its great to see that he is being recognized at this time with a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum this summer.
What's your personal mantra?
The Emerald Portals will be on public display free of charge at Fort Mason Center in San Fancisco, at the intersection of Marina Boulevard and Buchanan Street, in the Marina district (there is no street address) Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 in conjunction with the 2012 Conference. Call 800-984-0897 for more info. They were originally created for Burning Man and are now on tour to a variety of other venues and festivals. They incorporate geometry, sound and color to provide an interactive environment for participants to experience. The intention is to provide a portal to the vibrational dimension the Earth is shifting to.They can align the multi-dimensional vibrational body of the participant's to the Earth's and the Galaxy's by utilizing colors that influence participant's energy bodies, geometrical forms that relate to the Earth's energy body and the sound sculpture the "Quasar Wave Transducer" that emits low frequencies in the range of the Earth's Schumann resonance and human brain waves. Once a vibrational alignment is achieved between personal, planetary and galactic, a harmonious shift of dimensions can take place.
For more information on Harlan Gruber's work, go to http://www.2012portals.org