Posts in photography

November 12th, 2013  |  Filed under Afield in the World, Culture (Art & Music)

Peikwen Cheng Exhibits Burning Man Photos at Paris Photo 2013

Five-Star Ride (photo by Peikwen Cheng)

Five-Star Ride (photo by Peikwen Cheng)

Photographer Peikwen Cheng writes:

“I want to share some good news. Burning Man and its community has been a huge source of inspiration. And now I’ll be exhibiting photos taken on the playa from my series Lost and Found at Europe’s most important photography fair Paris Photo. If you think the Burning Man community in Europe would appreciate visiting, please feel free to share the details for the exhibition:

Paris Photo 2013
Vernissage: November 13
Exhibition: November 14-17
Location: Grand Palais, Avenue Winston Churchill, Paris – Galerie Magda Danysz, Booth B03″

 

September 20th, 2013  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music)

3 Things

Photo by Paul Duane, 2013.

Photo by Paul Duane, 2013.

Here’s a sweet story for you.

At Burning Man this year, first-time Burner Paul Duane decided to pose this question to Burners he encountered:

“Imagine that I handed you a microphone; when you speak into it, the whole world can understand and hear you at the same time.  You can make 3 statements. What would you say?”

People wrote down their answers, and he took their pictures. Here’s what happened.

OK so wait. That’s not the cool part. The cool part is that an elementary school teacher in North Carolina saw his “3 Things” photo essay, and decided to have her students do it too. And she posted their photos.

Paul said, “I was excited to see my Burning Man experience make it clear into the classroom of some kids on the other side of the country …”

We’d most definitely have to agree.

August 5th, 2013  |  Filed under Culture (Art & Music), Participate!

Spencer Tunick Nude Art Installation at Burning Man 2013

Spencer Tunick group shot at Burning Man 2000 (photo by Richard Denat)

Spencer Tunick group shot at Burning Man 2000 (photo by Richard Denat)

World renowned photographer and 2013 honorarium art grant recipient Spencer Tunick (check out his awesome (NSFW) website) is doing a photo shoot of one of his amazing art installations on playa this year. Spencer tells us how to be part of this epic experience:

“Desert Spirits by Spencer Tunick
Date/Time(s): Friday, August 30th, 2013 5 a.m. – 7 a.m.
Contact Email: projects here: projects (at) spencertunick.com

We would like to invite you to POSE NUDE in a group photographic installation by artist Spencer Tunick. Spencer will choose men, women and any gender identity to be part of this unique installation. In order to be chosen we ask that you please send in a low resolution photograph of yourself. Participants will be selected based on photographs submitted to the email: projects here: projects (at) spencertunick.com

Please send the image sooner rather than later. Most installations by Spencer do not have limits to the number of people participating, nor do they require the submission of a photograph. However, for this art work for Burning Man, there is a cap on the number of people participating due to the specific concept of the work.

Mexico City 4 (Zócalo, MUCA/UNAM) 2007, by Spencer Tunick

Mexico City 4 (Zócalo, MUCA/UNAM) 2007, by Spencer Tunick

We are asking for a photograph because we want to have a wide range of body types and skin tonalities represented in the final work. Although everyone is unique, If you are not chosen, it is simply because we may have reached the amount of people with similar specific characteristics. We apologize in advance if you are not chosen for this particular idea but please do not let it deter you from posing in future works by Spencer where there are no number limits.

Chosen participants will be contacted by email prior to August 24th with: location and further instructions. Please only sign up if you are committed to participating and able to wake up before sunrise (or stay up all night). The work will take place before sunrise in order to utilize the pre-dawn light. You will be in position when the sun rises. You only will be nude for a short period of time. …we know it’s chilly…so you will not be nude until right before the sun rises over the horizon and as the sun hits your body. 5am is just the call time to get you registered. We need everyone to be on time. In exchange for taking part, you will receive by mail, a limited edition print of the art work. PARTICIPANTS ONLY.

Thank you!”

May 16th, 2012  |  Filed under The Ten Principles

How Not To Burn: Commodifying Burning Man

Some people just don’t get it. It is sad and upsetting for Burners when brands ignore our cultural expectations and try to pull marketing stunts on the playa, and worse yet when they pretend it’s not happening.  Due to diligent staffers and volunteers, we usually find and stop these marketing stunts, and protect our community, before the commodifiers make it into the city.

The scene. Photo by Peg Ortner.

But some slip through.  This year, one company tried literally to bottle up the Burning Man experience, and turned it into a product shoot. They amplified their marketing efforts by co-opting some major publications to publish articles with photographs that violate our core principles and media policies.  They knew what they were doing, but they did it anyway.   We are sharing this story in explicit detail in order to keep the community alert to these transgressions, and to deter others who are eyeing our event as a place to launch or promote products or companies.  Let us be clear: this is not the kind of marketing activity that raises brand value. Our culture just won’t tolerate it, and it often backfires. (Burners, remember this brand, and perhaps you’ll want to weigh this as you choose your next bottle of champagne.) Read more »

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.

June 30th, 2011  |  Filed under Afield in the World

Pen Pals

I have a pen pal.

We’ve never met. Not in person, anyway. Well, not in the flesh, I mean. I find it hard to define what constitutes “in person” lately. It seems like a good bit of my person is having an out-of-body experience in a virtual world. And that’s where I met my pen pal.

We’re both Burners, of course. That’s how it started.

We met by the Internet’s water cooler, reading the same Burning Man posts and feeling giddy about summer coming on. Soon, we were sharing photos, little windows into each other’s days just 600 pixels wide.

That’s actually a pretty wide window into someone’s life, if it’s open and the blinds are drawn. Human beings are pretty vast, but we’re also vivid. A lot of light gets through even a tiny aperture, and our sensors are pretty sensitive.

Burners are not special in this way, but maybe we just tend to focus on the same scenes. It’s a startlingly immediate connection, a confluence of perspective, meeting a fellow Burner in the wild.

Not that I met my pen pal in the “default world” at all. I’m not ready to extend that burnerism to the Internet. That’s a little too @GreatDismal a vision of the future.

But wherever we are, screen names and avatars, we’re still living the principles, making normal moments into works of art and giving them to each other. Just because we can’t feel them doesn’t mean they aren’t there, and vice versa.

We can’t be all virtual, though. Our bodies have mass, and the enormous gravity of our eventual meeting at Burning Man exerts a powerful force.

“Will you be my pen pal?”, I asked in a direct message.

She said her heart skipped a beat when she read that. Strong stuff.

And now we make letters and send them to each other. It takes five days for them to traverse the west coast of the United States from south to north, and five again from north to south.

It’s incredible how, in 2011, this still-modern marvel feels like such a long wait. Read more »

January 14th, 2011  |  Filed under Digital Rights

Updated Terms and Conditions for 2011

artistry meets artistry (image by Brad Hetland)

artistry meets artistry (image by Brad Hetland)

[This post is part of our ongoing Digital Rights blog series.]

January 19th is the big day — tickets go on sale for Burning Man 2011, Rites of Passage!

As you take your place in the electronic queue and wait your turn to click for your ticket to paradise, we invite you to pay special attention to something you might otherwise not notice: Burning Man, after spending much of 2010 working with volunteers from Creative Commons and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has updated our Terms and Conditions relating to the use of cameras at the event.

The Terms and Conditions is the standard ration of legal language that governs the agreement between you and event organizers when you use your ticket to Burning Man. The language about image use was the subject of much discussion back in 2009, when the EFF first took Burning Man to task over the language restricting image use contained in the T&C. (If you haven’t yet seen our original response to that blog post, it’s worth reading too.) The EFF – and you – talked, and since we already knew that the time for evolution had come, we listened.

In our subsequent meetings with photographers, filmmakers, participants, the EFF and Creative Commons, and other interested minds, it became clear that the time was ripe to update the Terms and Conditions — not only to update existing policies regarding the personal use of imagery online (specifically accommodating uses like Facebook, photo sharing apps, and the like) but to actually make the language more “human readable” and better describe why Burning Man is such an unusual zone for photography in the first place.

Read more »

October 26th, 2010  |  Filed under Tales From The Playa

On the Ground in the Dirt — Burning Man 2010

Tales From The Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by its participants.

The Man and Fire Conclave burn night

We arrived Saturday afternoon under iron gray skies. It had been an effortless jaunt from Sparks; we had taken a lazy lunch in the parking lot where the weather alternated between chilly in the shadow of the clouds and blazing hot when the sun poked through. We had heard the reports: that though last week had hit 115°, this weekend promised rain, and the forbidding horizon did not dispel that fear. But we were not worried: we’re varsity. We’ve done this before.

Replicating the success of last year, we — my old friend and stalwart companion, Evan — packed little past essentials and stayed the night in a hotel in Sparks. Too tired (unmotivated?) to move our gear inside, plan “Let’s Leave it and Hope For the Best” was successful, and our pickup truck of dusty gear was unmolested in the morning. Refilling our ice chests from the free hotel ice machine, we headed to our usual supermarket to load up on water and last minute essentials (beer we had in spades; Irish cream, cup-o-noodles, eggs, cheese, crackers, some vegetables, more ice were procured) and we were off.

The Temple of Flux; us photographers all discussed how we didn’t really know how to capture it.

Read more »