Labor Day weekend is approaching and that can mean only one thing—Burning Man is here. Black Rock City, a temporary oasis in the desert, has already been built as Burners pour in for a week of community and culture. In the leadup to the event, a group of dedicated volunteers helped build the temporary city that 70,000 participants will call home until September 2.
Each year the theme of the festival changes, inspiring Burners to create their extravagant camps and art installations. The 2019 Burning Man theme is Metamorphoses. It’s apt given the transformative nature of the festival and Burning Man’s code of ethics that many dedicated Burners apply to their lives year-round.
“This year’s theme is a celebration of change, and an exploration of uncertainty,” reads a statement from Burning Man. “As such it invites a consideration of time; not its circular nature, or its attendant ritual, but in this case the relentless flight of time’s arrow, and an embrace of the elusive now.”
As part of Burning Man’s ethos is to bring people together for an experience that will inspire change and lift the human spirit, we look forward to seeing the grand designs that will come out of Black Rock City as imagery begins to come out online. Of particular interest is Geordie Van Der Bosch’s Temple of Direction, which is the focal point for rest and relaxation prior to its ritual burning on Sunday night. The simple design is based on traditional Japanese tori gates and is a big change after architect Arthur Mamou-Mani’s complex, spiraling temple Galaxia in 2018.
The other high point of the event is The Man, the large wooden effigy that gives name to the festival. This year, Burning Man favorite HYBYCOZO helped design the piece. This is a huge honor for the duo, who made a name for themselves with their spherical, laser-cut geometric installations in year’s past. Their selection to build the base of the effigy came after a long process where multiple artists submitted designs. Since this is the first year that Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, who passed in April 2018, has not been involved in The Man’s design, its reveal has been highly anticipated.
While most material comes out after the conclusion of Burning Man, as participants are asked to live in the moment and stay offline, there are still a few glimpses of what’s in store. As we wait for more, we’re able to have a sneak preview of the incredible art and architecture from Black Rock City thanks to some photographs that were placed online prior to the opening of the festival and a few sneaky participants who have decided to break social media silence. Consider this an appetizer for what’s to come!
Burning Man 2019 is here and a group of volunteers gathered to erect the temporary Black Rock City.
Glimpses of Burning Man are already appearing online, including looks at The Temple and The Man.
Both will go up in flames during ritual burnings over the weekend.
Here’s a preview of more art and architecture from Burning Man 2019, whose theme is Metamorphoses.
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