Burning Man

Once a year, tens of thousands of people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to create Black Rock City, a temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance. In this crucible of creativity, all are welcome.

Burning Man isn’t your usual festival. It’s a vibrant participatory metropolis generated by its citizens.

Art and Performance

The people who make up Black Rock City are not simply “attendees,” but rather active participants in every sense of the word: they create the city, the interaction, the art, the performance and ultimately the experience that is Burning Man. Your participation is a gift given to the larger community for everyone’s benefit.

Participation is at the very core of Burning Man — it’s one of our Ten Principles — and the only limits (other than basic public safety) are the bounds of your imagination.

There is no power grid and no running water, yet during this week Black Rock City emerges out of the dust to become the 10th-largest city in Nevada. Despite reports that the festival is losing its edge as wealthy tech titans like Elon Musk, Sergey Brin, and Mark Zuckerberg erect fancy luxury camps, I can report that this year’s festival was as wild as ever.

Much like when I first attended two years ago, I saw plenty of nudity, free hugs and massages, attractions like human petting zoos, dozens of weddings and memorial ceremonies, world-class DJs playing on Vegas-style sound systems at all hours of the day and night, buses and tractors turned into party yachts, fire-breathing dragons and other outrageous “art cars,” people climbing on giant art installations, and generous offerings of food and alcohol to strangers.

This year also saw unseasonably bad dust storms and freezing temperatures, but that didn’t stop 70,000 attendees from having the time of their lives.

Creating Playa Art

All participants are welcome to create art for the playa! This section will tell you everything you need to know to create art for Burning Man, register it with us, place it on playa, and remove it at the end of the event – all without leaving a trace.

It’s worth noting that most installations contain an interactive element, which allows participants to fully engage with the piece instead of viewing it from a safe distance as we are used to in our museum- and gallery-oriented world. Participants are encouraged to explore and interact with the art, and may well find themselves helping an artist to build a structure or performing some task to activate an art object. Touching, climbing, entering, spinning, engaging and exploring are encouraged.

Compound I” glistens like a totemic pillar of eyeballs as light undulates over its multifaceted orbs. Mirrored spheres, surfaced with lens-like convex mirrors, stack one atop the other to a height of 18’, referencing compound eyes of insects, forms of Buddha heads and the Mandelbrot fractal at once.

Circling around “Compound I”, reflected light follows us…as if we are being watched. Looking into the shifting centers of the glistening lenses, we meet our own gaze. As we realize it is our own sight and form that animates these pupils, our sense of separate-ness from the art is challenged.

Stepping away, we see our image simultaneously contract/overlap with everyone else’ onto the mosaic globes before us- a composite of shared reflection.

The eye as instrument of reflection and the ‘I’ as object of reflection; boundaries blur between perspectives of inner and outer, personal and collective, to convey a picture of interconnectedness, with us as facets of a compound ” I “.


You can see Wild & Crazy costumes at Burning Man here.

source: businessinsider.com / burningman.org

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