Burning Man: Inside Black Rock City

A look at the people and inner city of Burning Man

44 photos
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Josh Keppel
“I’m trying to find a friend,” said Dixon Taylor who was looking at a map at Playa Info showing the locations of most ofthe hundreds of registered and placed theme camps for Burning Man 2012.
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Josh Keppel
Norm Tucker, from Auburn, CA, and crew used scrap pieces of metal after the Trojan Horse burn of 2011 and created this sculpture, Phoenix Risen in part as an homage to the giant wooden horse, and as a memorial for Harlan A. Payne, a burner who lost his life at Black Rock City in 2011 to arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
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Josh Keppel
First Camp is where many of the organizers of Burning Man stay during the event. Here (from right to left) Michael Mikel, Dusty, Will Roger, Harley K. DuBois and Crimson Rose gather to sign copies of Karen Kuehn’s MetropoLOVE book of images from the 2010 event.
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Josh Keppel
A dust devil swirls through the city streets.
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Josh Keppel
David Silverman, director of the Simpsons Movie, is a long-time burner and brings out stickers that he has illustrated to hand out as gifts.
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Josh Keppel
Silverman’s camp, Mansonian Institute, is filled with illustrations Silverman has done from over the years.
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Josh Keppel
David Silverman, with the help of Joe Olivier, put together this Burning Man Timeline, that has pictures and factoids from each of the previous 26 years of Burning Man.
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Josh Keppel
Sailing the dusty seas.
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Josh Keppel
Citizens watch the sunrise from a six-story-tall scaffolding, complete with couches on the upper floors.
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Josh Keppel
JohnJohn Deehan leads the march with Brass Tax following behind with a shade structure framework.
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Josh Keppel
A giant, two-story Westfalia cruises down Geranium Street, trailing a large ship.
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Josh Keppel
At Grilled Cheese Camp, a line forms at noon Monday thru Friday where 300 servings of grilled cheese sandwiches and PBR are the only things on the menu.
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Josh Keppel
Meghan Zuccarello, from Colorado Springs, CO, takes a shift on the skillet.
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Josh Keppel
Pets are not allowed at Burning Man, unless you are working for the event. Some still get through the gates, and sadly, it looks like this cute guy got lost.
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Josh Keppel
Surprisingly, kids are not a rare sight at Burning Man. Anton, on the left, is seven and Sofia is five. “What you need to give them is fun on the kid level, like the trampoline, or painting, or racing,” said their father who has taken them to Black Rock City for four years.
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Josh Keppel
Here five-year-old Sofia walks along a rope bridge.
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Josh Keppel
Vehicles are not allowed to drive in Black Rock City, unless they have been transformed into Mutant Vehicles.
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Josh Keppel
“I have this new term I’ve invented for people who live in the area, ‘Neighbor Baber,’” said Lucy Van Helsing (right), while walking with Sarah Keithly, from Vietnam, Oliver Beluze, from France, and Sanae Pastor, from Spain.
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Josh Keppel
7:30 Plaza decorations
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Josh Keppel
MegaFlame singers Meghan “Megs” Rutigliano (left) and Angela LaFlamme hang out in Media Mecca, where Rutigliano helps out in her roll as the Regional Network Mananger.
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Josh Keppel
El Pulpo Mecanico sleeping at sunrise.
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Josh Keppel
Recycle Camp has been around since 2000, or so. Citizens of Black Rock City can bring their aluminum cans here to have taken away and turned into cash. The money is then donated to the neighboring Gerlach and Empire School District. Here Nic Hanneku (left), from Sydney, Australia drops some cans off as Robert Wilkinson helps him sort through the pile of metal.
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Josh Keppel
In the afternoons at Recycle Camp, crew members from the Dragon Smelter come over and turn the aluminum into tokens during a hands-on process where participants line up for hours to be able to take home a coin from the event. Here Dusty Dog readies the ingot for the 55-ton jack that is operated by hand.
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Josh Keppel
Tom Wilson, who lives just north of Detroit, MI, takes a sunset cruise with Nahji, an art car making its first trip to the desert in 2012.
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Josh Keppel
Photographer Karen Kuehn (left) shows copies of her book MetropoLOVE to Crimson Rose and Harley, two of the six-members of the Black Rock City LLC.
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Josh Keppel
$teven Ra$pa on the scene.
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Josh Keppel
Low flying helicopter.
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Josh Keppel
Dinner is a time where many camps gather between to two, very different parts of Burning Man, daytime and nighttime. Here the crew with Duck Flambé and Mutant Machine Town wait for Henry to cook up some steaks, with leftovers later being handed out to people passing by.
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Josh Keppel
Late night bacon cooking is also a common sight. Here Christian Yuhas (my cousin) cooks up the first pound of dozens at The Inflation Station.
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Josh Keppel
EMPTY_CAPTION"I got it for free of Craigslist and the guy said he was going to be near 9:30 and G and wanted to see it,” explained Cuco, who was looking for help to get the Hamster Wheel contraption in operating order.
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Josh Keppel
Having something tall to use as a landmark is a great way to see your friends, and for your friends to find you.
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Josh Keppel
That Camp Over There gathers for dinner as the sun set on Tu Tu Tuesday.
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Josh Keppel
This year, it isn’t just the porta potties out in the open playa that get blue lights at the top. ALL the porta potties get the blue lights, a great move that will hopefully stick.
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Katrina Byars from Carbondale, CO enjoys some dinner at her new camp. “Yeah, I guess I upgraded,” she said upon considering her new camp perks.
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Josh Keppel
Hanging out late night by the fire at Vamp Camp.
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Perfect spot for a snooze…
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Josh Keppel
Sardines can drive-by.
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Josh Keppel
Cowboy fills up on some coffee at Coffee Grounds, a camp celebrating ten years of serving coffee and tea to the masses each morning. “We average 40 gallons of coffee a day,” said Tom Wilson who came from just north of Detroit, MI.
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Josh Keppel
Painter Lee Harvey Roswell works on a canvas that showed up to Black Rock City completely blank. This photo was taken after about five days of work here and there.
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Josh Keppel
The Berzerker, one of the original fire breathing kinetic sculptures to pedal around the playa.
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Josh Keppel
Finding cheap or free stuff to take to the desert party is fun, and it makes life much easier when stuff breaks, as it often does, new or not. This alcohol dispenser, fridge and sturdy table were all procured for a total of $2. Painting on the fridge included.
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Josh Keppel
Tom Wilson, who lives just north of Detroit, MI, stands next to Nahji, an art car that made its first trip to the desert in 2012.
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Josh Keppel
This about sums it up from inside the city walls of Black Rock 2012.
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