Home Magazine The alternative world of the Burning Man Festival 2018

Every year on the remote and largely unknown dry lake known as Black Rock Desert, about 110 miles north of Reno (Nevada) there is another planet: a vast desert populated by a peaceful, friendly, out-there people, with a culture all its own. Not only… The Burning Man Festival is a rather unique opportunity to see huge art installation and access in a temporary metropolis populated by artists, many celebrity, fanatical and impassioned of the kind science fiction. If you want to take part of this event the next year explore more on the website burningman.org! Discover more about the last edition, read our article Boeing 747.


Also right now, from the August 26 to September 3 2018, you could be catapulted in over 5½ square miles of desert turned over as a blank canvas and filled with all manner of incredible art, weird and wonderful people, events and workshops to try. Dedicated to the various form of artificial intelligence, the theme of this edition is “I, Robot” inspired by the Isaac Asimov’s collection of short science fiction stories. As part of the interactive experience at this year’s Man Pavilion, the curatorial team had chose twelve burnable sculptures, to be positioned on twelve wooden plinths at the twelve clock-points of the giant clock-work.  


Are we entering a Golden Age that frees us all from mindless labour? Everything, it seems, depends on HMI, the Human Machine Interface. In a world increasingly controlled by smart machines, who will be master and who will be the slave? 


This is the input given to people who want to join the community and leave their creative contribution during this edition. Robot effigies, wooden cyborgs, wooden androids, wooden automata with human-sized and built to burn. 




Art grants are available to participants via a system of curation and oversight, with application deadlines early in the year. Grants are intended to help artists produce work beyond the scope of their own means, and are generally intended to cover only a portion of the costs associated with the creation of the pieces, usually requiring considerable reliance on an artist's community resources. People who go to Burning Man are no mere “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. Participation is at the very core of Burning Man, and there are many ways to participate also making a donation. 



Founded 32 years ago in 1986 on Baker Beach in San Francisco as a small function organized by Larry Harvey and Jerry James who built the first "Man" it has since been held annually, spanning from the last Sunday in August to the first Monday in September (Labor Day). Indeed the event takes its name from its culmination, the symbolic ritual burning of a large wooden effigy ("the Man") that traditionally occurs on the Saturday evening of the event. The important turning point for the Festival was in 1990 when Kevin Evans and John Law decided to create a separate event in the current location far from the city, the conventional rules conceiving this place as a dadaist temporary autonomous zone with sculpture to be burned and situationist performance art. 




Since this turn Burning Man primarily features large-scale interactive installation art inspired by the intersection of maker culture, technology, and a connection to nature. Many works invite participation through climbing, touch, a technological interface or motion. Because of its principles of participation and radical inclusivity, much of outsider art and visionary art, though a great variety of art forms appear during the event. Creative expression through the arts and interactive art are encouraged at Burning Man in many forms. Music, performance and guerrilla street theatre are art forms commonly presented within the camps and developed areas of the city. An example is an open playa beyond the streets of the city and each year hundreds of isolated artworks, ranging from small to very large-scale art installations, often sculptures with kinetic, electronic and fire elements are brought to Black Rock City. 




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 crazy world of the Burning Man is waiting for you...


Stay Tuned on Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the artworld.