2014 to be burned "Man" designed by Larry Harvey and Don Clarke, illustration by Andrew Johnstone and Jim Pire
Courtesy Burning Man
The Burning Man migration to experience sharing and survival in Black Rock is underway. Also in transport, after a slight delay from thunderstorms that left the playa under a layer of mud, are the site-specific spectacles. The collection of ritualistic large-scale works by trained artists and craftsman are one part "outsider art" reappropriated as contemporary art, and also serves as temporary public art for a ritualistic city. This year's theme for the nomadic pop up gallery is "Caravansary" that reflects how "The Silk Road was the world's first information superhighway." From Burning Man:
For countless centuries, travelers along the Silk Route crossed paths in caravansaries, a network of oases and sanctuaries that dotted the 4,000-mile road from Europe to East Asia. These bustling caravan stops offered more than just shelter from the desert wilderness; they were vital centers of cultural exchange, bringing together traders, pilgrims, monks, nomads, traveling entertainers, and wild-eyed adventurers from all points of the compass to share their stories around a common fire. Though fueled by mercantilism, their legacy to us is a grand commerce of ideas — a swirling exchange of languages, legends, technologies, philosophies and art that helped shape nearly every aspect of our modern world.
Rendering for "Embrace," a large-scale sculpture by the Pier Group for Burning Man 2014
From Atlantic's article on the economics and art of Burning Man:
Burning Man is best known for its abundant art, including large-scale installations that protrude from the monotone earth like surreal trees in an unruly forest. The organization dishes out art grants to nourish these expensive projects ($825,000 to 66 installations last year), but many builders also turn to crowd funding.
That's not to say there's no pastiche in the playa. On the list of returning art installations bestowed a Burning Man honorarium is "Bathroom Beacons: Welcome to Fabulous" by Starpony Labs. They write: "Welcome to Fabulous is a redux of the iconic Las Vegas sign, guiding travelers to their #1 or #2 destination spot on the playa."
Via BATHROOM BEACONS: "Bathroom Beacons is a civic art project for Burning Man started in 2012 to make it easier to find the bathrooms at night with three unique art installations located by the portapotties at the Temple and the 3:00 & 9:00 promenades. Each installation is lit at night to guide you to the nearest restroom, while contributing to the unique artistic aesthetic of Burning Man– quirky, ironic, amusing, and blinky! When we were dreaming up the original project, we realized you can’t take bathroom signs too seriously, so they all have a twist or pun that should leave everyone who encounters them with a smile. Or at the very least an urgent sense of relief."
ABOVE: Luis Varela Rico