Check out GeoEye‘s annual high resolution picture of Burning Man from the sky, taken on Thursday, September 1st, 2011. The image is remarkably sharp, but it’s over 12MB in size so it’ll take a few seconds for it to load. See if you can find your camp!
Burning Man is something every futurist and transhumanist should be aware of. Black Rock City is a model that could serve for the development of entirely novel alternative communities and societies. Indeed, the Burner term for the real world is “default society,” and after a few days at Burning Man one can’t help but gain a growing appreciation for what that actually means.
This year, a group of Chillagers, led by a designer from Zynga, the social-network games developer behind Farmville, spent months building a car modelled after a giant USB stick, surrounded by barstools. They called it the Universal Sereal Bus, “a serendipitous breakfast destination”, and travelled around the playa serving riders breakfast cereal and electronic music. “Working in Silicon Valley and steeped in the ever-accelerating pace of technology, we have witnessed connections of all types forged between people and ideas,” writes Diana Dinh, one of the USB’s creators, on the project website. “At the risk of sounding unbearably geeky, we believe that technology brings us that much closer to a bright, wondrous future.”
Burning Man finances are fishy. This has been the source of my discomfort with BM for many years, and I’m not alone. A “red flag” was raised for me many years ago when I had an assignment to cover BM for a major publication and was told by BM that I had to sign a long disclaimer and was not to ask about money. I refused to sign, as any real journalist would. More recently, two publications declined to print a piece such as this, as “we get free tickets” — a time-(dis)honored way of heading off hard questions. As for photographers, a recent San Francisco Chronicle piece said the BM rules on this were “fascist” and that seems a bit hyperbolic, but I can see both sides on that topic, as some people still do value their privacy. But they are extremely strict and legalistic at a minimum.
This year’s Burning Man theme was “Rites of Passage” and it turns out that the Burning Man organization is undergoing its own rite of passage. The “Borg,” as it is often referred to by Burners, was the topic of Jessica Bruder’s piece in the NY Times, “The Changing Face of the Burning Man Festival,” that ran on Burning Man’s opening day. It turns out that the Burning Man organization will be shifting from a for-profit company to a non-profit. How much will the payout be to the six owners? Burners want to know. Those who gripe about the degeneration of Burning Man into a consumer event could add this sale to a long list of complaints: rules and more rules, opaque finances, increasing law enforcement presence, and more “spectators” in RV comfort palaces running noisy generators. Burners are a suspicious lot and many of them believe the Borg has caved in to the very values of corporate America that it seeks to challenge.
[Elon] Musk, through his assistant, confirms he hired an RV service but declines to give details or say how much he is paying.
For those who bristle at making the long pilgrimage to the desert by car, there is flytoburningman.com. Run by Centurion Flight Services, it picks up travelers in the San Francisco area and deposits them on a makeshift air strip here. The cost to avoid dusty roads: $825 per seat in a five-person Cessna, or $4,325 for the whole plane.
Reuters: As Burning Man leaves desert, growing pains continue
As the anti-establishment arts festival and survival project disappears piece by piece from the white sands of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, participants and organizers say Burning Man — which just had its largest week in its 25-year history — is going through some growing pains as plans to expand its size and scope moving forward over the next year.
Adam Lambert’s ‘Spirit’ Gets Revitalized at ‘Burning Man’
On Tuesday morning Adam Lambert confirmed recent rumors that he attended this year’s “Burning Man” art festival in Nevada. Although he was busy working on several new songs during the earlier part of last week, he eventually made it to the festival, which ended on Monday. Adam tweeted: “Hi folks! Burning Man was wild!!! My spirit needed that!!”
Burning Man is unlike anything else on the planet, and the people and art seen there are unique and compelling — just look at some of the shots from the one man studio Human Light Suit. However, the level of nudity and people getting involved in activities they don’t want their boss seeing, combined with the widespread nature of digital cameras, has led to the last few years seeing Burning Man cracking down on photographers in some confusing ways.
BURNING MAN: A Vision of How People Should Live, From Desert Revelers to Urbanites - NYTimes.com
How many city planners get to see their ideas take shape all around them? The short list includes Georges-Eugène Haussmann, who bulldozed much of Paris in the mid-19th century, and Robert Moses, who remade New York during the 20th. And Rod Garrett, who, beginning in 1997, laid out Burning Man, the annual festival of self-expression in the parched northern Nevada desert.
A peak crowd of 53,735 was reported late Saturday afternoon, which was nearly 4,000 people more than the maximum limit set by the agency and roughly a 9 percent increase over last year, said BLM spokeswoman Lisa Ross.
A phone call to Burning Man spokeswoman Marian Goodell was not immediately returned.
Elon Musk, chief executive of electric-car maker Tesla Motors and co-founder of eBay Inc.’s PayPal unit, is among those eschewing the tent life. He is paying for an elaborate compound consisting of eight recreational vehicles and trailers stocked with food, linens, groceries and other essentials for himself and his friends and family, say employees of the outfitter, Classic Adventures RV.
Burning Man is like any other community, with “a lower class, a middle class, an upper class,” says Dane Johnson, a Classic manager, standing outside the Musk compound. “We cater to the upper. People with money do not wish to stay in a tent.”