The Art of Black Rock City
Burning Man is an annual gathering in the western United States at Black Rock City—a temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert of northwest Nevada, approximately one hundred miles (160 km) north-northeast of Reno. The late summer event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by ten main principles: “radical” inclusion, self-reliance, and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy, and leaving no trace.
The art of Black Rock City takes many forms, from cutting-edge musical performances to mighty mutant vehicles. Attendees experience light art, performance art, wearable art, and zany interactive experiences. But perhaps most famous are the iconic large installations that grace Burning Man’s expansive playa. Each year veterans and newbies alike eagerly await the massive landmarks that rise out of the massive and ancient lakebed. Towering monoliths emerge from dust storms like stalwart sentinels and transform entirely from day to night. They play host to art car parties, weddings, photo shoots and introspection. In harmony with the annual theme, they give the city a unique flavor every year.
At Burning Man, the community explores various forms of artistic self-expression, created in celebration for the pleasure of all participants. Participation is a key precept for the community – selfless giving of one’s unique talents for the enjoyment of all is encouraged and actively reinforced. Some of these generous outpourings of creativity can include experimental and interactive sculpture, building, performance, and art cars among other media, often inspired by the yearly theme, chosen by organizers.
First held 31 years ago in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco as a small function organized by Larry Harvey and a group of friends, it has since been held annually, spanning from the last Sunday in August to the first Monday in September (Labor Day). Burning Man 2017 was held from August 27 to September 4.
sources: wikipedia, everfest, newatlas