The event certainly has its naysayers who in part claim that the event has strayed from its initial vision. As someone educated and experienced in urban planning, community development and creative culture my only reaction is Thank god! One of the most beautiful things about urban culture is its dynamism and knowing that as a living organism composed of a vast number of people it will morph and change through the vibrancy, needs and desires of its community.
It would be sacrilege not to mention fire in an article about Burning Man. Fire and the Playa is like Kyoto and temples, you come across it about once every 10 feet at night while cruising the esplanade.
Each year, Burning Man has an art theme. This year it was environmental and hence aptly titled, Green Man. To that end, there were many installations powered by solar energy (like the Cubatron – my favorite, pictured avobe) swamp cooling systems and wind power installations amongst other things. Burning Man LLC, the entity that organizes the event, set up a wood recycling station at the end of the festival, estimated a carbon offset calculation of over 600 tons and donated a Solar Panel array to the nearby town, Gerlach Nevada’s school. The panels will produce 120kw of energy per hour, saving the school $46,000 in energy bills a year. Next year’s art theme is American Dream. Organizers are asking event goers to consider love of country and culture and what post-modern American society can offer the world.
As I finish this article, I must…must implore that despite my humble efforts here in words and pictures, Burning Man is an event that must be experienced. As a SHIFT reader, this event is for you. Treat yourself and go next year. I guarantee you’ll thank me for it.
Burning Man 2007
Date: August 27th – September 3rd, 2007
Place: Black Rock City, in the Nevada desert, USA