Posts for category Culture (Art & Music)


December 20th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

The Combinatorial Whimsy of Interactive Art

Whether you can twiddle it, tweak it or twirl it, Burning Man art oftentimes requires the viewer to somehow complete the piece through their engagement with it.  With interactive art, the viewer becomes an active part of the experience, rather than a passive observer. They become a participant.

Fish car, entrapped

And an awesome corollary to this is the unexpected combinatorial whimsy that spontaneously happens in what is essentially a community of 50,000+ performance artists spending a week in a giant dusty idea factory.  Here’s a place where you’ve got fish, and you’ve got fishermen.  You’ve got maids, and you’ve got dirty people.  You’ve got folks running around in animal costumes, and you’ve got Animal Control officers.  You’ve got platforms, and you’ve got performers.  And you’ve got an appreciative audience that might just get involved, given the opportunity.

This, of course, makes for a fabulous melting pot to brew up those magic playa moments … those serendipitous vignettes you stumble across and find yourself uttering “Oh my God … only at Burning Man” before chuckling, shaking your head, and smiling as you head off to the next adventure. Yes, if Burning Man offers us one thing, it’s the permission to rediscover our inner child … to be spontaneous, and PLAY.

So here you go … here’s a quick collection of some great ones that were caught on film.  If you know of others, pop a link to them in the comments, and tell us the story! Read more »

December 13th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

The Bay Lights Project

The Bay Lights, artist rendering

Internationally renowned artist Leo Villareal has been attending Burning Man continuously since 1994 … in fact, he got his start creating LED and illuminated sculptures for the playa, and is a founder of Disorient. He’s gone on to have his light sculpture and installations presented at museums around the world, including the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. Today, Leo sits on the Burning Man Project Board of Directors and The Black Rock Arts Foundation Advisory Board.

We’re excited to tell you about Leo’s next (and most ambitious) project …

The Bay Bridge, which links San Francisco and Oakland, celebrates its 75th Diamond Anniversary in 2012. To commemorate this auspicious occasion, Leo will create an installation that will turn the bridge into a light sculpture of epic proportions: The Bay Lights Project.

The plan is for Leo and his team to secure arrays of 25,000 energy-efficient white LED lights to the vertical cables of the west span of the bridge, and create elaborate computer-controlled light animations to delight visitors and locals alike.

This amazing sculpture will be in place for two years, including during the America’s Cup yacht races, which are slated to draw an unprecedentedly large international audience to the Bay Area — and we fully support such a grand opportunity to show off San Francisco as a world-class city for the arts.

To learn more and see a video simulation of the project in action, visit www.thebaylights.org. To support the project, please visit www.causes.com/thebaylights.

Leo Villareal's Fine Art

December 5th, 2011  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), News, Photos/Videos/Media

The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man

Long-time Burner Philippe Glade has completed his new book “Black Rock City, NV: The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man“. This photographic encyclopedia contains 196 examples of the various forms of rugged, functional and temporary desert architecture to be found at Burning Man.  Philippe has painstakingly documented these structures over the course of 14 years, from 1996 to 2010.  Even if you’re not (but especially if you are) into architecture porn, this book will make a great addition to your Burning Man library.

Visit his blog at This is Black Rock City.