Where My (Robot) Heart Resides

Robot Heart, a name that resonates with a combination of creativity and unity, has been an integral part of my journey of self-discovery and artistic appreciation. Known primarily for its monumental presence at Burning Man, Robot Heart has evolved from its origins as a mesmerizing art car into a cultural beacon, radiating inspiration far beyond the dusty horizons of Black Rock City. 

At the core of Robot Heart is a foundation deeply committed to showcasing the spectrum of art and creative expression. This collective, renowned for its soul-stirring art experiences, has always been a personal source of inspiration for me. The deep, soulful electronic music and the visual allure of art installations create an immersive world that transcends the ordinary. 

The Robot Heart residency in Oakland, stretching from November 9th to December 2nd, was a testament to the collective’s ability to extend its philosophies from the dreamlike world of Burning Man to more permanent urban landscapes. This transition from playa to city was seamless, imbued with the same spirit of love and artistic experimentation that Robot Heart is synonymous with. 

I remember stepping into the Oakland warehouse, a space transformed into an artistic haven, where every corner whispered stories of creativity and every beat of music resonated with the heart. The range of showcases during the four-week stint was a journey in itself. From the ambient showcases that felt like a gently embrace to the soul to the late-night sets that energized and inspired, each moment was a unique experience. 

One personal highlight for me was the closing party during the late-night set. The DJ, Maayan Nidam an emerging talent whose music I had only recently discovered, played a track that seemed to speak directly to my soul. It was in that moment, surrounded by like-minded individuals, all swaying to the same rhythm, that I truly understood the power of music and community. It was more than just a dance floor; it was a shared experience of joy and connection. 

Robot Heart’s commitment to nurturing emerging talent is particularly close to my heart. Seeing underground DJs and artists take the stage in Oakland, feeling the crowd’s energy and appreciation, reminded me of the power of recognition and support in arts community. These artists, who had honed their craft often in obscurity, were given a platform to shine, a chance to share their passion with an audience that understood and appreciated their art. 

The attention to detail in every Robot Heart event is something that always leaves me in awe. Whether it’s the meticulously selected music, the thoughtfully curated art pieces, or the overall ambiance, the team behind Robot Heart pours their heart and soul into creating an environment   that fosters connection and inspiration. Each event is not just a gathering but a carefully crafted experience designed to leave a lasting impression. 

My experiences with Robot Heart, whether on the playa or in a warehouse in Oakland, have been transformative. These events are more than just parties; they are celebrations of art, music, and community. They are gatherings where you can feel the heartbeat of creativity, where every beat, every note, and every brush stroke creates a tapestry of shared human experience. 

As I reflect on these experiences, I am reminded of a particular moment during the residency. I ended up running into a friend from Playa named Chris. He made my day at Burning Man gifting me one of my most prized possessions, my Robot Heart glasses. I share with him the story about how I gave more thanks to him. We shared a moment and an embrace together and he thanked me for spreading the love of gifting. Our conversation started with me not remembering his name but ended in genuine love that resonated so deeply with both of us… It was a connection made possible by the environment that Robot Heart had created, a testament to their philosophy of building community through shared artistic experiences. 

In essence, Robot Heart is more than collective; it is a movement. It’s a journey of music and artistic exploration that invites everyone to be a part of its ever-expanding narrative. Whether amidst the surreal backdrop of Burning Man or in the urban setting of Oakland, Robot Heart creates spaces where art, music, and human connection not only coexist but thrive. My journey with Robot Heart has been one of discovery, inspiration, and profound connection, a journey that I am eager to continue wherever it may lead. 

As I look forward to my next encounter with Robot Heart, I carry with me the memories of the playa, the warehouse, and the countless moments of joy and inspiration they have provided. It’s a story that continues to unfold, a story that I am proud to be a part of. 

– Kai 

*All photos are courtesy of Kai McNaught*

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