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« Burning Man Revived | Main | Maynard Dixon Country 2011: An Artists’ Artist »

Burning Man: The Desert Blooms in August

By Jim Poulton

Burning Man: A celebration of art and alternate lifestyles and transcendence and the counterculture and eccentricity and pixilation …

Credit: Michael Holden

A touch-down on an alien planet …

Credit: Michael Holden

A festival that began in 1986 when 20 friends burned an 8-foot tall structure on a beach in California … and has morphed into the annual blossoming of a full-fledged city in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada …

Credit: YoVenice

50,000 people a day, thousands of artists, and no one is a spectator …

Credit: Michael Holden

Gallons of sunscreen, reservoirs of water, all to survive the 107 degree heat …

Credit: Michael Holden

On Saturday night, the Burning Man is set alight. This year he was 50 feet tall, sitting atop another 100 feet or so of a modernist, flammable support structure. He symbolizes something different for everyone ... leaving the past behind, purification, nirvana, rebirth … As he starts to burn, a circle forms around him, like an ancient, primal Druidic ceremony.

There was the Ouroboros ...

Credit: Michael Holden

The Temple of Transition ...

Credit: Michael Holden

Tractors belching fire ...

Credit: Michael Holden

The Temple of Shame ...

Credit: Michael Holden

and Beauty is Truth ...

Credit: Michael Holden

And then Burning Man himself …

Credit: Michael Holden

Set on fire by explosions and fireworks …

Credit: Michael Holden

Look for Burning Man again next year … and a little friendly advice: start designing your costume now.

Credit: Mr. Nightshade

Many thanks to Michael Holden whose beautiful photographs we've used (mostly) in this post. In the spirit of Burning Man, he has graciously placed his work in the public domain.

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