Larry Harvey Interviewed on Charlie Rose [VIDEO]

Burning Man co-founder Larry Harvey appeared on the Charlie Rose show on March 20, 2014. He talked with Mr. Rose about the event’s origins, how and why it’s grown from humble beginnings into a worldwide cultural phenomenon, the ethos of this burgeoning community, and his vision for the future. It’s a great interview.

Here’s the video of the full interview:

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28 thoughts on “Larry Harvey Interviewed on Charlie Rose [VIDEO]

  • i agree — it’s weird to see him without the hat! i wish this interview was an hour long… there’s so much to say, and not enough time to really give the average viewer a good picture of it all.

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  • I’m very interested in being a part of bio regional burns that manifest into permaculture designing with green energy solutions bringing creativity Into village in all forms!! I have big hopes for this new non profit venture.

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  • I am, We are, It is…. has a different meaning now after looking into it. After watching the program.. I am really disappointed! The inte rview gave me hope but now its just another scam like contrast ratio on HDTV’s!

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  • It’s good to see BM continuing to go mainstream. More bucket-listers on the playa, more school teachers on spirt quests, more business leaders pretending to be anarchists for a week, and the like.

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  • He said he agreed with anti consumerism, not all market activity, David Allen. The money goes to pay for stuff without which the event simply could not happen. What a ridiculous criticism.

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  • @James Keeler: To praise Larry (himself) for “creating” the event is… preposterous. Do your homework and learn your history. Yes, on Day One, Larry built a man and burned it on Baker Beach. And guess what? Even on Day One, he had help.

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  • This is a reply to Sam I Was. I notice in your post that you list schoolteachers, particularly those who might embark of spirit quests, as undesirables. This has relevance for me, since I often think about Eugene Johnson, my 4th grade teacher. He is the person who first encouraged me to exercise my gifts: organizing my classmates to produce little theatricals that I wrote and directed, while recruiting my fellow 12-year olds to collaborate by playing parts and designing costumes and scenery. Looking backward, I can honestly say that this seminal experience changed my life—but apparently you would exclude him as a member of the mainstream.

    You also dismiss “business leaders pretending to be anarchists”. But I recall the early days of Burning Man, that Golden Age when anarchists presumably ruled. Even then, in that pristine spring, there were those such as yourself, who grumbled about the uncool. Finally, I asked some of these people to list those groups they deemed unworthy, and discovered that when these lists were combined they canceled out nearly half of the people who were already there. I remember one group of machine artists who despised another artist (ironically, the most talented) because his work employed electric motors, instead of diesel engines.

    I sometimes think that this method of anathematizing the mainstream has a lot to do with a certain kind of hipster insecurity. My experience has taught me that people who continually parse what is cool—and use cheap and stereotypical signboards to identify the uncool—are often motivated by two basic insecurities. They are afraid that they won’t get invited to the party, but are equally afraid that they might get lost in crowd.

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  • @Sam I Was

    You just got a 3 paragraph dis from the co-founder of Burning Man. granted a very discreet dis, but a dis none the less. That’s pretty hilarious in my book.

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  • @Larry Harvey
    > Even then, in that pristine spring, there were those such as yourself, who grumbled about the uncool.

    Perhaps those people sensed the inevitable outcome (or evolution) – that what they created and even their entire cultural aesthetic would be co-opted and commodified by certain authoritarian elements within the community. They were probably more grumbly about that than electric vs diesel engines.

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  • For most of our lives, our greatest fear is we are different. Our second greatest fear is we aren’t special. I am different and I am special and so is everyone else. The playa is a sanctuary for our cult of everyone. Radical inclusion means there is one requirement to be a Burner; you want to be a Burner. Perhaps even that is wrong. The person who cashed my check at the bank, the guy who changed the oil in my truck, the CEO or politician I saw on TV, they are Burners as well. They just haven’t gone through the experience of being in a place where you don’t have to hide your actual self behind a persona deemed acceptable in the default world. For fun we call people on the playa, Sparkle Ponies, or Hipsters, or Hippies, but when you meet the individual, you have a much better chance of meeting the actual individual on the playa than you do in the default world. One of the greatest problems facing the world is the loss of creativity which occurs when people are forced to define themselves into some category in order to fit in. “Cool” is just one of these categories. Everyone has something to contribute to the birthing of a new kind of being, a better way not yet conceived of. Categorizing people stifles our greatest hope for change. The “powers that be” have forced the individuals to go to the middle of nowhere to be themselves. One of my first impressions when I went to BM for the first time was how great all these people were, how vital there contribution was to the world, and how criminal it was they were forced to hide in the middle of the desert (yes I have since become enamored of playa dust). Perhaps there is a silver lining to the ticket shortage. Perhaps when we don’t have an outlet, away from the world, to be ourselves, we’ll start doing it in our own communities, and perhaps that will spark the change we need.

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  • Black Rock Desert would have inevitably been rediscovered and used just as it is now. Maybe not the same time in late eighties but eventually it would have been rediscovered as it always has been. As a place where people go to have some sort of ritual/festival/gathering. I’m sure EDC/Bonaroo/The Dust Festival or Rock the Desert Fest or any of the other festival types would love to get their hands on the Black Rock Desert or a place relative to it, despite it’s remoteness. It could have grown big and then dissolved, a couple times already. It surely would have been snacked up by now. So, being grateful that it fell into the hands of those who are trying to preserve ‘what is’ seems to fit the most. Seeing contrast with having BM and not having BM is tough, since there is no other place like it. It’s also seems that BRC would be/is an anarchists dream. A city where pranks are whole heartedly welcomed. Sounds as if they are the most disgruntled about how BM currently is. Change is where it’s at. Always has been. Always will be. Having things the way they used to be would be a total bore. Besides, nothing is ever the same for long. Embrace the change you feel. Stay focused on being present within your creativity. It never stopped being your desert city space. Just be thankful it’s still there for you when your planets get out of retrograde.

    an·ar·chist :
    1. a person who seeks to overturn all constituted forms and institutions of society and government, with no purpose of establishing any other system of order in the place of that destroyed.

    Wait. I see now that I need to make full retraction on the above.

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  • I am a 18 year burner without a ticket. I have always gone with the intention of restoring my soul with the creativity that flows both from myself and others. It restores my faith in mankind knowing we can survive without cell phones and constant connection. the only connection is with earth and the playa is a magical place to connect. the artists who build and bring the projects enrich the world. they must create and I am blessed to share in their creativity. burning man is a unique experience that will be different for everyone. The only rule is to be conscious.

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  • @Heidi O

    Really! You’re 18 and you need your soul restored? You should have a bright shinny fresh soul. Sounds like your soul is just fine. You seem wise beyond your years. It’s old crusty, cynical, bastards like me who need a good soul cleaning. But I feel like you’ll get a ticket and will vastly improve the event by your simple presence.

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  • I am going for the first time this year, I am so excited to see incredible works of art and beautiful people. I already know it will be a great experience, I am very grateful that this art and life event exists!

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  • Hi Larry Harvey and crew,
    Greetings, from Sunny South Carolina !
    Larry , I too had very bad teeth up until two years ago. Nothing is worse than losing your smile. You deserve happiness, and freedom to not get that “second “look” I am all too familiar with . I was so proud to see your relaxed, healthy smile.
    The interview was amazing. I’ve had Burning Man on my list for years, and this year applied to the income app. Not focusing on that -I know it will come, if not this year, then next . I am not worried. Good and intended things come to me often . Gifting has been my practicing nature for life and I know it’s the way to a trouble free soul.
    I’m happy to connect with so many Burners all over, and cant wait to ring your bell one day . Keep this up , please ? many are are needed to grow this world .
    Thanks for the great interview ! Jen

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  • Someone should tell Larry that the artists do now, not only sign their work, but give out their websites for future purchases in the cafe….is that where we are heading, where artists are the only ones who can self promote? I don’t really care unless you are telling me that isn’t so and in fact it is……

    love you all

    colleen

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