Amazing Burning Man Pictures
The Burning Man is a famous festival in Black Rock City, located in the desert of Nevada, around 100 miles north of Reno. This city is only alive when Burning Man members from all over the world get together for this awesome festival! It is held every summer, and people get together to burn wooden sculptures, which is a tradition of the yearly event. It might seem weird, but some of the most beautiful art has been seen there! Let's look at some mesmerizing photos of the festival.
The Van der Graaf Generator
You might remember seeing a small Van der Graaf generator back in high school. This is like a huge version of it, and it’s incredible. Interestingly, most people think that only celebrities and influencers go to Burning Man, but that’s not true at all. There are no limits, even regarding age. You just have to follow certain rules.
Facepaint And Fresh Faces
Painting your face is a common fashion activity at Burning Man. Some people go all out, and some people go with a more conservative approach. It looks like these two went with the latter. It's probably good to use a bit less since the heat melts most facepaint. Having plenty of sunscreen on is important to keep the sun from completely burning your skin too.
A New Summer Tradition
In 1986, Larry Harvey built a 9-foot sculpture of a man made of wood, and at the end of summer, he burnt it on a beach in San Francisco. This became a sort of ritual for him and friends, but every year, more people wanted to participate. This enticed Larry to continue doing this, making the sculpture increasingly bigger as the years went by. In 1987, the sculpture measured 15 feet, while two years later, it was almost three times as tall!
Share and Share Alike
The only thing you can buy at Burning Man is ice coffee. That's not too worrying, though, because people attending the festival love to share! There are specific camps where you can trade or share anything you have with other attendees. The festival relies on this communal effort of sharing, and members are usually more than happy to comply.
If you can't make it to Nevada while Burning Man is happening, don't fret! The festival has inspired many people around the world to host their own events with the same spirit, in places like New Zealand, Australia, New England, Kiwiburn, and China. Although very similar to Burning Man, they are not all officially affiliated with the festival, but they are still held with the same spirit.
To keep this tradition of gifting alive, there is nothing for sale at the festival, aside from coffee and lemonade at the center camp. Once you're at the camp, you must rely on sharing and trading for anything. Thankfully, the members are very communal and are more than happy to share anything, from art to massages.
Lights and Love
In 1991, neon lights were added to Burning Man as there was a risk that people might get lost in the desert, and it can be very dangerous. A group called The Black Rock Rangers was founded by Michael Mikel, who also goes by "Danger Ranger," and its purpose was to keep everybody safe and break up any fights or incidents.
Since so much free stuff is given out at Burning Man, burners will often create scheduled events. Live performances, wine tasting, making art, and lots of other activities all go on at Burning Man. They're all free of charge, but the leaders of these activities are still bound by federal, state, and local laws. It's the leaders' job to make sure that those are being followed, and their responsibility if they aren't.
Leaving No Trace
This rule is very specific. Everyone is expected to clean up after themselves at the end of the festival. Trash, tents, food, and other waste is to be disposed of properly. The idea is to leave the place of the festival better off than when it began. Anyone who comes back to the festival grounds when it is over shouldn't even know that the festival had happened. Ideally, the place is left better off than when it began.
Another incredible piece for Burning Man. It’s true what they say that bringing artwork to the event could end up being incredibly expensive, but there are some mistaken preconceptions. Theresa Christine from INSIDER said, “It's a myth that you barter at Burning Man and must always have something to trade in order to receive something. As an attendee, you are given the responsibility of bringing a gift to share with people.”
We have discovered that this piece is called “Mariposita”, which translates to “little butterfly”, and it was created by New York artist Chris Carnabuci. There seems to be a sense of freedom in this Nevada desert, where sculptures like this one look even grander. At night, this one had a bunch of colors, and it was just as enchanting.
While other artwork is designed to burn at night, this kind is so much better in the daylight. There is an incredible play of light in this image. It’s so polished that it’s almost like water. Interestingly, it was created by artist Michael Benisty from steel and shined to perfection by hand. Anyone would want to see it up close.
Another giant-sized statue of a woman, this one is 50 feet tall and made of metal and plexiglass. Notice how the figure appears to be holding two torches in her hands. These two are not even the tallest sculptures at the festival. Keep reading, because the next picture we have will give you an idea of the scale of this particular statue. It will blow your mind!
Mourning And Tributes
At the festival, there is a temple built in the desert for people to mourn their loved ones. Burners who are grieving are encouraged to write a letter and leave it at the temple. At the end of the festival, the temple is burned, and during this ritual, some like to spread the ashes of their loved ones.
The Barter System
As cash exchanges are forbidden at the festival, it is highly encouraged to give gifts. It is nearly like a trading system where people do something in exchange for something else. Originally, at the very beginning of Burning Man, gifting meant exchanging favors, but throughout the years, the gifts have become more physical.
Every piece of artwork has a huge meaning behind whatever is shown. This pair of bees might be a commentary on the fact that the insect that produces honey is slowly decreasing in numbers all over the world. That’s a huge concern because, without them, flowers would not reproduce. Without pollination, there would be no food.
The Burning Man
While the event goes on for a whole week, on Saturday, the Man burns, which is indicative of the name. Theresa Christine from INSIDER said, “Many people know about the Man — the effigy after which the whole event is named —burn on Saturday, but fewer people realize the yin to this yang is the Temple burn. The Temple is a structure where Burners head to let go of things, whether it's pain from a lost friend or family member, a breakup with a partner, or the death of a pet.”
Let It Burn
It’s incredible what humans can do when they let creativity flow. There is a lot more to this event than just a couple of parties. Unfortunately, some tickets can cost more than $1,000. Not everyone will get to experience it. However, if you can, try it. There is something in it for people from all walks of life. It’s not just a performance, party, or regular musical festival. It’s a lot more.
Scoop The Poop And The Moop
One of the words from the Burning Man lingo is "moop". It's an acronym that stands for "Matter Out Of Place". Volunteers clean the area of moop before the festival-goers arrive to give them a clean slate. Littering is, of course, forbidden (see: Leaving No Trace) and attendees must use porta-potties. That last bit is one of the few things that can cost you money at the festival. It's a $125 ticket if you soil the ground.
Burning Man Fitness
There are, of course, many activities at Burning Man. Really, there is something for everyone! Beyond art, music, and drinking, there are also lots of healthy activities as well. There are normally roller skating parties, meditation, pole dancing, and even fitness classes. There was a marathon, but you have to be pretty brave to join it in that kind of heat.
Creating The Peace
Many business and community leaders have followed the principles behind Burning Man, including the ten rules. One of the most famous was Dustin Moskovitz of Facebook. He followed the first principle of radical inclusion and invited the Winkelvoss twins to be part of Facebook. These events were dramatized in the 2010 movie The Social Network. The purpose of the rules were to avoid conflict, and they worked...eventually.
Changing Your Identity
Most of the participants at Burning Man don't even know each others' real names. They give each other meaningless temporary names that are referred to as "Playa Names". The key is that you don't get to come up with your own name. Someone else has to give it to you. These names are always friendly and add to the communal aspect. You can become a totally different person!
The Cool Kids Ride Bikes
The best method to get to Burning Man? Ride a bike! Bicycles fit into the Burning Man ethos perfectly. They are personalized and environmentally friendly. It makes it easier to get around the camps too. Many people will specially decorate their bikes with paint, feathers, or whatever for the festival. A few people even buy special bikes or ride unicycles.
Burning Man Photos
Every year, the imagery of the festival gets crazier. So, it should be no surprise that professional photographers love to attend Burning Man. There are amazing artists and lights, and lots of crazy and bizarre costumes. Photographers must sign a contract with the organizers to enter, and there are various conditions that must be met. There are privacy issues involved, but more importantly, the organizers want the festival to feel as liberating as possible. Any photo that could be objectionable is subject to censorship.
The name of the place where Burning Man is held is called the Playa. Even though it is in a desert, the most abundant material on the ground is an alkaline residue. This material is lighter than sand and is a result of the area being an ancient lake bed. Some people are allergic to the residue, and if it enters a cut or other part of the body, it can cause a painful reaction. This is commonly referred to as "Playa Foot".
One of the few permanent structures at Burning Man is the Black Rock Observatory. It was built in 2014. The observatory has two twenty-foot domes and a twenty-inch telescope. Due to the lack of light pollution in the desert, it's much easier to see all of the stars and planets in the night skies. Participants can see as far as Jupiter, Saturn, and even all the way to Neptune!
Now we're going to take you on a tour of some of the coolest and most interesting art projects ever seen at Burning Man. Most of them are anonymous because remember, everyone gets a different name. This is a 24-foot high ballerina sculpture. It's an impressive creation, and the picture was taken at exactly the right moment at sunset. It almost looks like a beautiful toy, only giant-sized!
Aside from simply sharing and trading, people are encouraged to participate rather than just observe. This is because the festival runs on the idea that social or individual change can only come about with deep and personal participation. So, new members are encouraged to learn the Burning Man Lingo and hop around and meet other attendees.
The tallest structure ever built at Burning Man up until that point in time was called Crude Awakening. It was a 99-foot tall sculpture of an oil derrick, and it produced a 1000 foot tall column of flame. They used 900 gallons of jet fuel and 2000 gallons of liquid propane to do it. It was one of the most impressive performances ever at Burning Man, and it left many participants in awe. However, many from inside and outside the community found the use of fossil fuel to be wasteful and not keeping in line with the Burning Man ethos.
The organizers took the criticism to heart and had a unique response. They built 30- and 50- watt solar arrays as permanent installations the same year as Crude Awakening. These solar panels create a carbon offset of 559 tons annually. Most of the power for the festival that is not user-generated is now provided by these solar panels. It's a pretty great way to use the hot sun of the desert!
The Jungle Gym
This structure looks almost like a pyramid-shaped jungle gym from a playground. If you look closely, you'll see others like it in the background too. Artificial light is a popular medium to work with at Burning Man. It contrasts beautifully with the night sky and it's a fun challenge to keep it environmentally friendly. Also in this picture, someone has dressed up as Tron from the eponymous 1982 movie. Even costumers work with light!
The Light Shark
This is another cool installation that uses light as a medium. It's made out of metal, and LED tubing. You can just walk right in and settle down. Like all art installations at Burning Man, the intent is that this is burned to the ground at the end of the festival. The artists are responsible for disposing of their own waste, just like everyone else.
Squid On Fire
Another popular medium to work with for Burning Man installations is fire. Ever since 2007, when the Crude Awakening performance happened, fire has become an important way for artists to express themselves. Like artificial light, it also contrasts with the desert skies. It has the added benefit of not using electricity. This sculpture is really impressive! It looks like something from a Mad Max movie, but it's real!
Some artists like to combine everything. This is a brightly lit sculpture that looks like a rocket ship! You can climb right into the middle or top and use it like an observation deck. It's a testament to the artists that work on the art at Burning Man that there are so many incredible installations. In 2018, there were 383 pieces of placed art at the festival, and probably even more in 2019, although that figure is not public yet.
The Burning Man Temple
The most important building at Burning Man is the temple. Even though most of Burning Man is highly decentralized, the Temple serves as the center for spiritual activities for the festival. This is where people get married, mourn loved ones, and perform rituals. The Temple is built every year, and every year it is a little different. The 2018 version is pictured above, and like every other structure at Burning Man, it's burned at the end of the festival.
Under The Neon Lights
Here's a group of campers underneath a simpler statue. It's a wire-frame that is ornamented by simple LED light ropes. They're the same ropes that you might see on a Christmas tree. These kinds of art are common at every Burning Man festival. Not everything there must be 100 feet tall. All forms of self-expression are encouraged, and some of the simplest ones are some of the most beautiful.
Legos and Rabbits
This is a cool ride, and it's every kid's dream. A real truck that is mostly made from Legos! You see all kinds of "mutant vehicles" at Burning Man. One thing you won't see is guns. They're banned from Black Rock City. You will see lots of rabbits running around, and if you can catch one, you're allowed to eat it. For whatever reason, people love to bring bacon to Burning Man too. It has become a very popular snack!
The Size Of Burning Man
This is a really great view of the entire festival. The giant fire in the middle is the actual Burning Man sculpture, lit up to signal the end of a festival The festival accommodates exactly 70,000 people per year (plus staff). Most people will stick around long enough for this moment because it's the climax of the entire week. It can be a spectacular view, and well worth the effort to stick around.
The High Priest
Pseudo-religious gear is popular at Burning Man. It is possible that this man helps to run the Temple, which would make his look here appropriate. There are no formal religious entities at Burning Man, but there are a lot of spiritual experiences to be had anyway. Whether it's mourning a loved one, practicing transcendental meditation, or just trying to feel some good vibes, it all happens at the festival.
The most popular accessory in the costumes at Burning Man? Why it's feathers, of course! Whether you use them as wings, a headdress, or simply as an accessory, feathers are everywhere. And why not? They look cool and don't get messed up in the heat. Plus, they can be used to spruce up any piece of clothing and make it look special - or bizarre!
In heat and cold, it's always a good idea to have some kind of head covering. Headdresses are a popular item, but the weather is only one reason. Feathered headdresses are also connected with desert culture. They are easily customized, and they are not an item that one would wear much outside of a special event. They really can fall into the "radical self-expression" category.
Bring A Friend
These two are both in shocking pink...maybe they knew each other beforehand, and maybe they didn't. Burning Man is a good place to connect with all sorts of new people. It's a great bonding experience for any group of friends. Staying out under the lights of the desert at night, and surviving the heat of the desert by day will do that for you.
Sometimes, More Is More
Some people change their costumes for the evenings too. And why not? It's cold in the evening! This man has a full praying mantis outfit on. It's hard to imagine that he's not sweating profusely in that outfit. He's standing right in front of the Burning Man effigy too. We wonder if it's hotter in his costume!
Burning Man is a truly unique and special event, and these photos do a great job of showcasing that! Born out of a tradition in the 60s, it is now one of the largest festivals in the world. Why not plan a trip to attend it with your friends?