Empire of Dirt

Serpent Twins

The Jormungand (Midgard) and Julunggul (Rainbow) serpents sit between 2 worlds; the old world that needed and revered them and the present which has shunned such monsters as fears metamorphosed into mythical form. The two 50-foot kinetic mobile sculptures are rendered in metal and cast off materials using modern science; restoring ancient mythos to the modern world.

Golden Mean

The Golden Mean Snail Car is a giant hot rod art car built by a group of artists in West Oakland’s Kraftworks building in 2008. Conceived of in a dream by artist Kyrsten Mate, this extraordinary vehicle was fabricated by Kyrsten, her husband Jon Sarriugarte, and the artist members of Empire of Dirt. This surprising vehicle takes its name from the golden ratio, a mathematical proportion that’s said to produce aesthetically pleasing art and architecture. Built on a 1966 VW bug chassis, the Golden Mean Snail Car features seating for six, rein-triggered fire shooting eye stalks, and a signature antiqued patina finish.


Kyrsten and I started on this project last Aug 2009 and finished it just in time for Burning Man this year. We took an old electric wheel chair and made it into a prehistoric creature known as a trilobite. I enjoyed working on another great project with my wife (these project keep us on our toes, I hear building a house together works too). This is the 3rd car we have made the 1st being the SS Alpha Fox and the 2nd was the giant snail car the Golden Mean. The scale of this one was great and I’m really liking working with hand hammered sheet metal mixed with forged steel parts.