Generous Gifts from “Profiles in Dust” Crew

At the 2011 Burn, a small group of talented video producers and friends got generous. As part of a public relations gift initiative, they undertook to produce video treatments of selected art projects. The idea was to give Burning Man artists the benefit of what Media Team members do well, and to give the artists new tools to promote their work, their teams and their dreams.

The videos on this blog have all been gifted to the artists, and are being simultaneously made available to you. They are an example of how unexpected generosity serves new friends in original ways, just as it serves art in new ways. These “Profiles in Dust” are a gift from the Burning Man Media Team to all artists and Burners, whether depicted in this collection of films or not.

We encourage you to share these videos with your friends, family, and others who are interested in Burning Man. It’s truly amazing what happens when talent and inspiration unite with the spirit of gifting.


Camping With Baby Burners: Kids at Burning Man

[Judes is the Burner mom of an 11-year old baby-Burner, and founder of Black Rock Scouts.]

Burning Man has been a family affair from the very beginning. When Jerry James and Larry Harvey burned the first Man in 1986, their 5-year old sons Robin and Trey built a Burning Dog alongside their dads.

PHOTO: A baby-Burner art car. Photo Georgie.

Because the playa is a colossal day-glow playground, children feel right at home. Kids already live in make-believe worlds, so when they experience the magic of Black Rock City, it feels natural to the way they view the world. Tots know how to play and have fun without inhibition, hesitation or fear of judgment. Follow that Art car! As a parent, I know it’s really my reaction that colors my kid’s reaction to something. Us grownups can learn a few things from tiny folk and how they embrace the art and culture of Black Rock City. (more…)

Thanks for everything, AG!

The other week Burning Man’s San Francisco office held a goodbye party for Andie Grace – Action Girl! – who is leaving us because eventually all the good ones do.  (That’s actually the 3rd noble truth of Buddhism.)  It was a good party:  there were heavy cocktails, helium balloons, hors d’oeuvres, and speeches.

A lot of people, it turns out, have been inspired in life changing ways by the gifts of Grace.

At the time I didn’t say anything.  As regular readers of this blog know, I only attend Burning Man functions for the open bar.  Andie gets that about me.  Still, in hindsight my silence that day was a mistake.

Andie Grace is entirely responsible for my taking up the volunteer work I have performed for Burning Man for the past five years – and the story of how that happened, while not entirely flattering, seems worth sharing in order to thank her properly.

This story also might be enlightening for those who think Burning Man’s organization works like a well oiled machine, and who think that the Org is always plotting five steps ahead.  It’s not.  From the very first experience I had volunteering for Burning Man, it’s been clear that rather than leading from the front the Org spends much of its time desperately trying to keep up with all the things the rest of us do.

The story goes like this:


What does living Burning Man 365/24/7 look like?

As you wander into your camp at the end of an amazing week at Burning Man, your friend turns to you and says, “I wish I could live like this all the time.”

Your immediate response is to yell, “What, are you freaking crazy?” Followed by a list of reasons from food to hygiene to exhaustion that it is not possible.  And ultimately, a seed is planted and you start to think what would a lifestyle based on your experience during that one week in the desert really look like.

Over the past 6 months I have visited 25 communities around the USA and Canada and I have found that living “like this” all year round is not only possible, it takes on a wide variety of shapes and sizes.


Burning Man 2012 Honorarium Art Projects Announced

The Temple of Juno, by David Best

This year, a record 349 applicants submitted grant proposals seeking almost $5 million in total funding. The grant committee did the difficult work to winnow down this list to 47 projects, awarding more than $700,000 – the most ever, and a $100,000 increase over last year. This year’s list of artists includes many returning artists, as well as some new blood. We’re also very excited to announce that David Best — Burning Man’s original Temple builder — will return after a three-year hiatus to build the Temple of Juno this year.

Thank you to all who submitted grant proposals, and congratulations to this year’s honorarium artists … we’re very excited by this year’s artistic offering. Here’s the full list of the honorarium art projects for 2012: (more…)