Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

BURNING MAN: Art On Fire by Jennifer Raiser, Scott London and Sidney Erthal

  • Written by  Pat Thomas
  • Published in Books
BURNING MAN: Art On Fire by Jennifer Raiser, Scott London and Sidney Erthal
01 Nov
2014
A week-long exercise in creativity and consciousness-raising – not to mention letting go of boundaries – the Burning Man festival takes place in the middle of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert

Each year it draws more than 60,000 creatives, free spirits and the just plain curious to a sprawling campsite called Black Rock City, so large it can be seen by orbiting satellites.

One of the traditions of the festival is to do something extravagant and gift it to the gathered ‘community’. Selling things isn’t allowed, but your contribution could be a week’s worth of sandwiches, coffee or cold drinks, free haircuts, design -them-yourself t-shirts and, yes, even sex.

One of the most celebrated gifts of Burning Man is the art – larger than life pieces that inspire awe, installations you can write, sit or climb on, and constructions lit by any and every kind of light from neon to solar. At the end of the festivities, all of it is taken away or set alight wiping the desert slate clean for another year. The scope and ingenuity of the installations by amateur and professional artists from around the globe is a vital part of the whole experience and, up until now, most people have only seen it in person or through holiday snaps.

This hefty book features the only authorized collection of more than 200 images from 1986 to the present day. Enlightening interviews with the artists give some insight into the way the assembled ‘Burners’ interact with the geography of the desert and view the wide open space of Black Rock as both a metaphorical and actual tabula rasa, with no expectations and no limits on where their imaginations can stretch.

It may only capture only a small flicker of the clever, awesome, and occasionally weird world of Burning Man art, but as armchair experiences go, it is both inspiring and simply beautiful to dip into.

BURNING MAN: Art On Fire by Jennifer Raiser, Scott London and Sidney Erthal, Race Point Publishing, £21

This review was published in the November 2014 edition of Geographical Magazine

Subscribe and Save!

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

Sign up for our weekly newsletter today and get a FREE eBook collection!

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Books

Dead in the Water edited by Bruce Shoemakers and William…

Films

A brutally realistic film about a cruel and pointless confrontation

Books

by Mike Berners-Lee • Cambridge University Press • £9.99 (paperback)

Films

In our attempt to control the natural world, humans have…

Books

by Sudipta Sen • Yale University Press • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Jerry Brotton • Reaktion Books • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Colin Everard • IB Tauris • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Pete Brown • Particular Books • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Paul Dobraszczyk • Reaktion Books • £18 (hardback)

Books

by Parag Khanna • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £20 (hardback)

Films

It makes you angry - extremely. It makes you sad…

Books

by Rory O’Grady • The Conrad Press • £18.99 (hardback)

Books

by Penny Johnson • Melville House • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Monisha Rajesh • Bloomsbury • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Jon Mathieu • Polity Press • £19.99 (hardback)

Books

by Matthieu Auzanneau • Chelsea Green Publishing • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Nancy Campbell • Scribnern • £14.99 (hardback)

Exhibitions

Paris is home to Europe’s largest science museum. Its latest…

Books

by Richard Wrangham • Profile Books  • £25 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Yasha Levine • Icon Books • £14.99 (paperback)