Art of Burning Man

Images of art at Burning Man 2011.

47 photos
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A view of the Trojan Horse, by Alaya Boisvert, in all its glory.
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Josh Keppel
Peter Hudson’s Charon seemed to be a favorite in 2011. The piece is a zoetrope that spins by human power with the ends of six ropes coming down on each side for people to pull back and forth.
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Josh Keppel
At night, when the piece is up to speed, strobe lights flash on the skeletons giving the illusion of fluid motion of a skeleton rowing from side to side.
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Josh Keppel
On Monday night the Space Cowboys brought their Unimog to Charon to party for the night, attracting people and other art cars, like El Pulpo Mecanicos glowing in the distance.
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Josh Keppel
Theme camps around the city also provide a bunch of cool art for participants to explore. Here Zoom Camp members Breut (left) and Greg hold the coffin doorway up for installment on the Reincarnation Station.
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Josh Keppel
Jason Anderholm, aka Horse, commissioned this art car called Chester which was built in Oakland by members of the Department of Spontaneous Combustion like Don Cain, Rebecca Anders, Erin Dana and Aaron Scott. Anders, who built the 2010 Temple, made this incredible horse head out of tires that Jelena Malenica from Seattle, WA takes a closer look at.
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Josh Keppel
There are a lot of very cool art cars rolling around, like the Cinderella Carriage by Parable.
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Josh Keppel
This year there seems to be more art pieces on the open playa closer together, a "Main Street of Art" making viewing much easier for those on foot instead of bikes or cars.
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Josh Keppel
Bart Dorsa brought back his Duck Flambé kinetic sculpture, made by Scott Cocking and Ken Biedleman, after spending the last year in Moscow, Russia. Here lays the head awaiting recapitation.
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Josh Keppel
I couldn’t find the name of this beautiful ship, but my guess is that it must be the tallest art car ever on the playa. The Death Star may give it a run for it's money.
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Josh Keppel
Art comes in small packages as well in Black Rock City, with many camps and people making custom necklaces to hand out as “playa gifts.” Here Rockstar Librarian shows of a few from this year.
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Josh Keppel
Sunset is the best time to take a ride and see the sights.
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Josh Keppel
The Pier, by Matthew Schultz, is a very cool, long walkway with a slight incline that eventually puts people about ten feet off the ground at the end of the pier.
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Josh Keppel
Entry sign artist Mad Dog has again outdone himself with this stunning welcoming at the road turn off about 10 miles outside of Gerlach, NV, the closest town to the week-long art, music and community festival.
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Josh Keppel
It isn’t just man made art that is on display at the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, Burners with coveted “early arrival” passes were treated to a beautiful sunrise Saturday morning before the gates to the event officially opened at 12:01am Monday morning August, 29.
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Josh Keppel
Laura Kimpton and her Celtic Forest Crew brought a third installment to their recent art pieces with LOVE joining MOM and OINK from previous years.
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Josh Keppel
Marco Cochrane, who's sculpture Bliss Dance was a clear Burning Man favorite in 2010, brought out Truth is Beauty in a partially completed state, which allows viewers to see the inside of the sculpture, before the mesh gets put on.
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Josh Keppel
Aurora, built by Charlie Gadeken and his crew at the Box Shop in San Francisco, has 44,444 copper leaves and 39,330 individual LED lights, and looks beautiful at sunset, but really comes alive in the darkness.
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Josh Keppel
Detail of a few of the 44,444 copper leaves on Aurora.
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Josh Keppel
Rites of Passage is a fitting theme for this year's event, with "The Burning Man Project" non-profit recently being created "to facilitate and extend the culture that has issued from the Burning Man event into a larger world (according to the media guide)." As such, for the first time "The Man" is not standing still, but is instead seen on a precipice moving forward from one place to another.
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Josh Keppel
Thanks to a wet year with unseasonably late rainfall, the alkaline lake bed floor (seen here lit by The Nautilus), is incredibly well "packed" making bicycle riding over the nine-mile-circumference space much easier for participants.
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Josh Keppel
EMPTY_CAPTION"There's this duality of fatigue and excitement," said Trojan Horse artist Douglas Bevans early Sunday morning, August, 28, as crew members continued to work on the 50-foot-tall, 28-ton wood sculpture, scheduled to be pulled across the playa by 300-400 costumed "slave" volunteers on Friday evening before a midnight burning.
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Josh Keppel
Kinetic artist Duane Flatmo (driving) built El Pulpo Mecanicos in Humboldt County with the help of Steve Gellman and Jerry Kunkel. The kinetic sculpture has moving arms, eyes and mouths, and at night, "revolving fire bursts like a machine gun" shoot from the tentacle tips and head, said Flatmo.
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Josh Keppel
It has been said that The Temple of Transition is currently the largest temporary wooden structure in the world, and the third largest wooden structure overall. Artist Kiwi, Irish, and Beave headed up a crew of nearly 175 with people coming to Reno, NV over the summer to build the piece from more than 14 countries as a part of International Arts Megacrew.
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Josh Keppel
Detail from The Temple of Transition.
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Josh Keppel
A sewer manhole spotted just outside the Temple.
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Josh Keppel
Charlie Smith and Friends brought out Fire Birds of the Fifth Direction.
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Josh Keppel
This year, the CORE Project (Circle of Regional Effigies) surrounds the Man with twenty-two, twenty foot tall effigies created by Burning Man Regional groups from around the world. On Thursday night, what was being called the largest organized burn in history, these pieces were all set ablaze right at 9 p.m. This piece is ThunderBridge by Frank Broyles and Portland, OR.
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Josh Keppel
Dobharchu Doiteaine came to us all the way from Ireland for the CORE Project thanks to Vinnie Rafter and crew.
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Josh Keppel
Mama Nola by Andy Baker and the NOLA CORE crew came to Burning Man from New Orleans, with what appears to be a giant voodoo doll.
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Josh Keppel
Jackie Latendresse erected Burning Sheaf with the Saskatchewan CORE crew.
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Josh Keppel
There he is: The Man, The Myth, The Legend (some may add The Icon, The Trademark, The Copyright). Stepping over the precipice on his Rites of Passage leaving the past behind while bravely moving forward into the future.
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Josh Keppel
Jason Anderholm rides Chester, his newly commissioned art car from West Oakland. “Everyone got paid fabricator and artist wages.” The crew included Rebecca Anders, who last year built the Temple, Don Cain, who last year burned the Temple, Montana, Aaron Scott and others.
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Josh Keppel
Anton Bird holds up a piece from his Lego Truck from Seattle, WA, that was built with Jesse Jaches and Kevin Russell. The mutant vehicle cost $5000 to build with $1100 going into the truck, $1000 on Legos, and the rest in wiring the 3000 LED lights. “We want to take people back to their childhood and encourage them to be kids again,” Bird said.
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Josh Keppel
El Pulpo Mecanico, by Duane Flatmo, Steve Gellman and Jerry Kunkel out of Humboldt County, fires off to start the night.
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Josh Keppel
Some people hang out on a giant chair at Dustfish.
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Maria Del Camino, by Bruce Tomb, pulls into The Pier.
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Josh Keppel
The warriors from Abraxis do a dance in front of the Temple of Transition.
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Josh Keppel
William (sorry, last name unknown) plays the Earth Harp, an instrument created by attaching strings to the Temple and using rosin gloves to play songs.
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Andy Tibbetts (right) and Sparks from Portland, OR stand on the deck of Tibbetts’ Clock Ship Tere, a beautiful machine made completely from scratch with over 100 volunteers.
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Josh Keppel
Because of the harsh conditions at Black Rock City, project repairs must be made almost daily to most art installations and cars. Here Michael Angus scales the ladder to help Shawn Cunninham sitting above making repairs on Charon.
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A view of the Trojan Horse, by Alaya Boisvert, in all its glory.
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Josh Keppel
Suzy Stowell walks through Orion Fredericks’ Exsuscitare Traiectus.
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Sharky’s Conning Tower rolls down Graduation Street as part of the Black Rock Navy. There were at least three conning towers cruising through the streets of Black Rock city, with each one a bit bigger than the next.
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There are 259 registered art pieces in the 2011 “Art of Burning Man” guide, and some, like this one I couldn’t find on the map. Sorry.
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I celebrate my birthday out here every year, as do many other Virgos, and the Happy Birthday art car always makes me smile.
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Josh Keppel
The elements are hard on the body, mind and equipment. A few days in, my camera stopped focusing when zoomed in. Only wide shots from here on out, and maybe a few soft focus ones like this.
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