The Effigy

What is the Effigy?

In the tradition of Burning Man, the culmination of Apogaea is an effigy burn. The ePhoenix :: 2006/07ffigy can be anything you can imagine built out of burnable materials. In recent years, we’ve burned a Phoenix, a Squid, a Volcano, a free-form structure made up of smaller pieces decorated by the community, and an incredibly beautiful butterfly emerging from a chrysalis.

The effigy is a celebration of community. We help build it, gather around it, watch performances involving it, burn it, and dance to its warmth. There are no real parameters to the project except that it be of significant size and burnable. If you are interested in building the Effigy, please visit the Effigy Proposals page.

2015 Apogaea Effigy


The 2015 Effigy is Syzygy: The Library Angel 

Please note: Syzygy will be returning to Apogaea 2016 as an art installation and not the official effigy. A common experience many people have of synchronicity is known as a Library Angel. The Library Angel represents that moment of awareness when an answer to a question or the discovery of otherwise illusive information becomes known to a person, almost as if by fate. The effigy represents this experience of synchronicity and invites the viewer to reflect on their beliefs about the nature of discovery and knowing. Is the library angel a kind and helpful spirit here to bring about joy in knowledge, or a trickster demon laying clues that guide us down devilish paths? Do moments of synchronicity appear as challenges in one moment, but saving graces later in life? Perhaps they come as conflicting evidence that points to the same conclusion.

Participants are asked to share their stories of synchronicity at the foot of the Library Angel in her giant journal, which will be burned at the end of the event making space for new discoveries in the hearts and minds of all Apogaeans.

Along with sharing stories in the giant journal, Apogaeans are invited to climb atop of the Library Angel’s giant stack of books and await their own moment of chance discovery while taking in the view of the festival and surrounding scenery. In a return to the roots of the definition of an effigy, a figure representing the Library Angel is burned along with the Angel’s journals. Depending on the weather circumstances, the angel and journals can be burned along with her base of books, or somehow placed with the temple and burned together.

The base of books can then be donated as a stage for another purpose within the community, or gifted to an organization in Denver to be used as installation art.  The effigy is a beautifully detailed two sided figure representing both the light and the shadow, sitting on top of a large base of books that appear to be real aside from their giant size.

An 8 foot journal (or possibly two) stands open at the base of the effigy with turnable pages to contain the stories of synchronicity shared by participants. At night, colored lights and projected images/book titles add to the drama and allure of the books and figure.

>>See for more information.

Previous Apogaea Effigies

  • T.O.T.E.M. – The Throne of the Emergent Multitude (2014)
  • Blossom (2013)
  • Blossom (2012) (not burned because of fire ban)
  • Butterfly/Chrysalis “Transformation” (2011)
  • Communigy (2010)
  • VolCano (2009)
  • Squid “The Next” (2008)
  • Phoenix (2007)