I am not the type of person that broadcasts my ignorance to others often. If I don’t understand something, I listen for more details in order to piece things together myself or I do some research on my own later. Yes, I know this isn’t always the best way to approach things, especially when I was in school, but it generally works for me. Sadly, the types of things I am most likely to be ignorant about is in regards to music and art. When I ran across some pictures on Burning Man it piqued my curiosity enough to ask my husband what it was. He pretended to be shocked that I was so out of the art scene loop not to know of this festival, considering that it is held in the state we currently live. He explained to me that it is an art festival held every year in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada and that it is called Burning Man because it culminates in the burning of a wooden statue in the shape of a man each year. They typically have a theme that helps to inspire some of the art, practices, and dress each year. For instance, the 2015 festival’s theme was Carnival of Mirrors. In the past, they have had such themes as Fertility, Evolution, Hope & Fear, and the American Dream. The festival has been held every late August through Labor Day weekend since 1986, inspiring some crazy things that were caught on camera. Here are some of the crazy things that go on at Burning Man that I had no clue about:
1. Now that is a HUGE typewriter!
2. Not sure what is going on here, but he is certainly expressing himself!
3. I love the idea of this giant picture frame!
4. What is more fun than flaming skee ball?!
5. This is part of the Carnival of Mirrors theme held this year, 2015.
6. The art is inspiring. I’m going to steal this idea of hanging mirrors for a reception or shower.
7. “The Man” is the effigy that is burned each year. He is generally on a platform but occasionally he is on the ground.
8. There is no judgment here.
9. This couple tied the knot at Burning Man.
10. I particularly like the lights on the guy with the dinosaur head.
12. I just like everything about this frame! I even like the dust storm happening in this picture.
13. These arches remind me a little of the Sydney Opera House.
14. Not just The Man is set on fire during the festival.
15. His wings remind me of a moth. Not sure what is connected to his belt though…
16. This statue was featured at this year’s Burning Man festival. It is Medusa with 25 snakes that blow fire from their mouths, protruding from her head.
17. The colors are amazing during the desert night.
18. That pink pony doesn’t look very comfortable, but she seems to be having a blast!
19. The Festival is extremely organized. It would have to be with 50 to 70 thousand attendees each year!
20. All I’m going to say is…. I love it.
21. I’m not pyromaniac but I can see the beauty in fire…
22. There’s just too much about this that I love. The only thing I would change is that he should actually be playing the saxophone.
23. Desert pirates are real!
24. A prime example of their principle, radical self-expression.
25. I’m not sure you should be sitting inside a structure as it burns…
26. I don’t think I would like this sculpture as much as I do if not for the guy on the extra tall bike.
27. This is the best head dress I’ve ever seen! Although it looks dangerous.
28. These are just absolutely beautiful, and they look comfortable too!
29. I’m not a fan of dust storms, but it definitely makes for an interesting backdrop for a great picture!
30. This is a cool semi-truck sculpture! I wonder what they did with it after the festival ended.
31. Taking advantage of a pitch black desert night to really show off the lights and colors!
32. Sometimes I wish I was a photographer so I can capture beautiful pictures like this using natural sunlight!
33. Some people have quite the imagination!
34. Viking ship stuck in a sea of sand!
35. The founders of Burning Man were a group of friends in California who had a bonfire on the beach during the summer solstice, where they burned a 9 foot wooden man and a wooden dog.
36. There are only a few rules at Burning Man, one is that you cannot interfere with anyone else’s immediate experience.
37. Fireworks in the desert are the best!
38. I’m not sure what this is or does, but it is awesome!
39. It’s hard to tell from a still picture, but I sure do hope that the wheel spins! It would be amazing!
40. Some people have tons of talent! This sculpture is huge, but still manages to look graceful.
Now that I know about this festival I might consider trying to get tickets since it’s held here in Nevada. It seems incredibly strange and interesting, which intrigues me enough to brave the art scene and see it for myself. I won’t commit to camping out in the dusty dessert for the entire festival, but I would like to be there for an afternoon excursion. I like what they stand for. Their 10 principles are: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodificatios, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation, and immediacy. I may not be into art, but I am concerned with the environment, and my first thought about seeing the amount of people who visit this festival (over 70,000 people this year) was that they must leave a huge mess, but one of their principles ensures that they clean everything up which makes me want to support them even more!