Watch the burning of David Best’s monumental ‘Temple’ in Minecraft.

Commissioned by Artichoke and The Space in collaboration with CultureTech, Templecraft was an innovative digital arts project inspired by a monumental real–world construction, Temple.

In March 2015 the community of Derry-Londonderry came together with carpenters, constructors and artist David Best to build Temple, a 72ft high timber construction inspired by the traditions of the Burning Man Festival, Nevada. Temple was created to celebrate community, art and freedom of expression, and was the result of over two years of hard work and dedication from many people across the city and beyond. Everyone was invited to leave a memory behind, let go of the past and look to the future. Up to 60,000 people visited over the seven days it was open, covering the inside of the structure and it’s pillar with personal messages.

In parallel, artist Adam Clarke, BlockWorks and Sparks built a digital reconstruction of the Temple in Minecraft, to allow people worldwide to explore the Temple, leave their memories and take part in this reflective artwork wherever they were.

The Minecraft structure replicated the Temple’s startling architecture and intricate internal spaces. Mapped onto a representation of the city of Derry-Londonderry, this extraordinary digital artwork created the impression of a temple high on a hill, towering over the city below.

Just like in the physical Temple, Minecraft players were able to explore the temporary structure online and leave their own messages, mementos or objects inside its walls.

On Saturday 21 March 2015, the Temple in Derry-Londonderry was ceremonially burned, with nothing left behind. At the same time, the Temple was burned in Minecraft, with viewers off and online watching the spectacle in real time.

Missed Templecraft? Watch Artichoke’s film to go behind the scenes of David Best’s monumental sculpture in Minecraft.

For more on Minecraft read about Playcraft Live, the worlds first play performed simultaneously in the Minecraft world and to a live audience.

About this artist

Templecraft was commissioned by Artichoke and The Space.

David Best is an internationally renowned Californian sculptor who trained at the San Francisco Institute of Art. His work includes sculpture and collage, using found objects to embellish cast porcelain figures and art cars.  Since 2000, he has built eight ornately carved Temples at the Burning Man festivals. Each intricate structure is built with the help of hundreds of volunteers. They have taken on a spiritual significance as spaces for remembrance and forgiving. At the end of each event, they are ritually burnt to the ground with the personal messages and mementos left inside by participants.

Sparks is one half of Accidental Games – the popular Minecraft YouTube channel, and helped recreate the burning of David Best’s Temple in Minecraft.

Adam Clarke is an artist who uses Minecraft, games, traditional art and technology to inspire and entertain. He works globally with institutions, museums, schools and companies to find groundbreaking ways to engage young game-playing audiences. He produces YouTube Channels Everyday Minecraft and 101 Ideas for Minecraft Learners, and is collaborating with Stampylonghead and Maker Studios on Wonder Quest, a new educational Minecraft show.