Cuuba Project — TAKE A CLOSER LOOK

A Vision for an installation for burning man 2019.

Project Summary

CUUBA is a physical manifestation of perception, and oneness. CUUBA invites you to take a closer look at yourself & others, while also looking back at you. It uses macrophotography & projection. You will never look into the eyes of another human the same ever again.


Blueprint for the idea.

Physical Description

CUUBA is a 10 ft. x 10 ft. cube that projects one large scale macro photography image of an eye of a Burning Man participant on each side of the cube. Throughout the event, hundreds if not thousands of eyes will be displayed. Participants will place their head in a chamber on one side of the cube to have their eyeball photography taken. The visual impact of this project will be giant eyes, visible from across the playa, beckoning burners to take a closer look, while also looking at burners. The macro photos will show the eyes as a close up, which almost renders the image as abstract---is it an eye, or an eclipse in some distant nebulous galaxy? The project will be made of wood, and taut high-grade fabric. The projectors will be inside the cube to protect from playa dust.

Physical Dimensions

10’ x 10’ x 10’


Participants will place their head in a chamber on one side of the cube to have their eyeball photography taken. Each participant will have the opportunity of observing their eye being displayed on each side of this big cube, looking at them and also looking at the entire playa. This visual experience is shared by all the audience, even if they are not participating for the macro photography. The installation invites you to look at it, while it also looks at you.


This art installation uplifts the shared perception of all burners at Burning Man. Participants will be able to explore the cube, stick their head in the chamber, and have their own eyeball photo taken, while also interacting with other observers to find each other's eyes as they appear on the cube. We believe that this shared experience of seeing others in a new and close up way can deepen connections not just on the playa, but that they will never look into another human's eyes the same again.


Jacob Rafati grew up in Iran, an Islamic country. Jacob was very inspired by Islamic art. He wanted to create a vision inspired by the art of his region, but that was secular in nature and open for all humans of all belief systems to experience their shared perception and ultimate unity. To give more detail, the Kaaba in Mecca is a cube that Muslims travel to and walk around in a circular fashion. Thousands of people walk around it in the same direction---it creates a very beautiful flow. We hope to create a flow around CUUBA that invites participants to TAKE A CLOSER LOOK not only at the sculpture, but at each other, with race, religion, gender, sexual orientation aside. What is our shared perception? What is our shared humanity?