Bliss Dance by Marco Cochrane, 2010
Photo by: John Curley
This unique modern steel sculpture reaches 40 feet into the heavens and challenges all past engineering feats and techniques seen in previous years. The dancing lady has been crafted to celebrate humanity, feminine beauty, and the power that can be harnessed when there is balance on our earth.
Crude Awakening by Dan Das Mann, Karen Cusolito, Black Rock FX, Pyrokinetics, Nate Smith, Mark Perez, and MonkeyBoy, 2007
Photo by I Love Trees
Like the majority of American political projects, this creation is laced in controversy. The main theme of this installation was to envisage the downfall of the US Empire and fossil-fueled civilization. What better way to do that than with 900 gallons of jet fuel and 2,000 gallons of liquid propane? The installation was split into three parts: construction, destruction, and rebirth. In the beginning the constructors erected a 90ft oil derrick with stairs to the clouds, dominating the Playa’s southern skyline. Nine figurative steel sculptures, weighing 7 tons each and standing 30′ tall surrounded, the derrick.
The EGO Project by Laura Kimpton and Michael Garlington, 2012
Photo by: Bexx Brown-Spinelli
A small word with big connotations, it’s the simpler structures that really speak to me. Perhaps this is because, like me, Laura is dyslexic. This just goes to show the beautiful things people with this frustrating life hiccup can achieve — I may, however, have written “OGE.” The EGO Project introduces Laura Kimpton’s collaboration with Michael Garlington in the newest addition to Kimpton’s Burning Man Word Series. Each letter stands 20ft tall, 10ft wide, and 4ft deep, guilded with 10,000 gold trophies. Simple, clear, poignant.
The Temple of Stars by David Best and the Temple Crew, 2004
Photo by: eddy13
Temple of Stars arcs a quarter mile across the Playa, inspired by Japanese sculptural landscapes. The 100ft structure hold a system of paths that connect to smaller temples along the cardinal points, not to mention bridges, fabricated gardens, and benches placed throughout for participants to reflect.
Balloon Chain by Robert Bose, 2012
Photo by: Wolfram Burner
This may be my favorite installation over the years. No, it’s not breathing fire or reaching tangled metalwork towards the sun, but it has an essence of simplicity about it that I find enduringly calming. The helium-filled balloons wander through the sky, day and night.
The Man, 2009
Photo by: Michael Holden
I didn’t think it fitting to do this rundown without putting the spotlight on the magnificent Man himself.
The Temple of Transition by Chris Hankins, Diarmaid Horkan, and the International Art Megacrew, Reno, NV, Dublin, Ireland, and Aukland, NZ, 2011
Photo by: Michael Holden
It took a crew of over 150 people from around the world — most based in Reno; New Zealand; Vancouver, BC; and Ireland — converging in the Black Rock Desert to build this outstanding structure. Standing as the 5th-tallest wooden construction in the world at 126ft, the tiered, hexagonal central tower is surrounded by five 58ft tiered, hexagonal towers. Like the other temple installations featured here, The Temple of Transition offers a peaceful, contemplative, and deeply emotional space.
Duel Nature by Kate Raudenbush, 2006
Photo by:John Curley
The theme for the 2006 event was “Hope and Fear: The Future.” Raudenbush responded to the theme with this sculpture. Always one to pose questions with her art, Raudenbush remarked, “My response to both hope and fear was the same thing — the human race. How do you create a sculpture about the dichotomy of human nature? What’s the one thing that bonds us all together?” She answers her own question through this installation — can you guess what it is?
Key Note by Michael Christian, 2009
Photo by:William Neuheisel
Michael Christian makes the kind of art that resonates with everyone. Key Note is my favorite large structure of the decade. It’s made entirely from locks — all kinds of locks, from bike locks to padlocks. I can only image seeing this eerie man come into sight through the dust storms, dragging the large key behind him. Michael states that the man is in search of another key, the right key, a paradox of life as we know it.
Steampunk Treehouse by Sean Orlando and Steampunk Crew, 2007
Photo by: Dana Robinson
Steampunk invite you to imagine a future without trees – wiped out almost entirely by the Western sense of superiority, modernity, and greed. The treehouse stands as a message that humans must conceive life’s meaning in very different, plant-respectful ways. The lofty structure consists of a fabricated steel tree with a house perched atop its branches. The house, 20 feet off the ground, accommodates 40 people and is accessible via a ladder system on the interior of the trunk.
Big Rig Jig by Mike Ross, 2006
Photo by: Russ Atkinson
Big Rig Jig gathered a massive throng of eager Burners not only because of its poetic name, but because it is constructed from two giant tanker trucks, curving around each other while balancing on the Playa.
The Temple of Juno by David Best, 2012
Photo by: Peretz Partensky
Temples become a space of solitude and spiritual refuge at this festival. The theme of the 2012 Burning Man event was ‘Fertility 2.0.’ The name for the temple was inspired by the Roman goddess Juno, who has many epithets: the deity of fertility, a warrior protectress of women, and a guardian of marriages. Although this temple, like the many before it, opened a space for mourning, it also offered a vicinity for people to celebrate love and trust. On its final night, before burning, the temple held an exhibition of memorials, secret messages, and mementos, gifts from festival participants.
BELIEVE by Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg, 2013
Photo by: Ross Borden
Famous for their <href=”#1″>Big Words series at the festival, the duo’s installation yet again drew the crowds this year, becoming one of the most photographed of the installations. ‘Believe’ enticed onlookers to contemplate what they believe and how their beliefs effect the lives of others on the planet.
HELIX by Charles Gadeken, 2013
Photo by: Bexx Brown-Spinelli
The Bay area artist Charlie Gaedeken is renowned for his metal-and-fire installations. This 20-foot-tall metal tree rises from the barren Black Rock Desert floor. Its branches twist, intertwining in spinning orbs of flames, twinkling like clusters of stars in the night sky. The installation gave the illusion the tree was bathing in a pool of light. More than a work for art, this experience had Burners commenting that the encounter was out of this world, as if they had been transported to another galaxy.
Read an interview with Gaedeken at Ignite Me.
Coyote by Bryan Bedrock, 2013
Photo by: dvsross
Burners can mount the structure, which stands 25 feet tall and 24 feet wide, while its kinetic head is able to 360 degrees.
Truth is Beauty by Marco Cochrane, 2013
Photo by: Meg Lauber
Marco Cochrane gives us another installment in his monumental sculptures inspired by singer and dancer Deja Solis. Since Bliss Dance in 2010, Burners have been treated to Cochrane’s expression of womanhood, and the promotion of female rights and humanity.
Xylophage by Flaming Lotus Girls, 2013
Photo by: matt
Xylophage is a monumental structure, constructed of metal, wood, fire, light, and sound. Never a team to disappoint, the Flaming Lotus Girls again offer Burners an opportunity to engage and interact with their experiential art. The artists state: “The sculpture revels in the beauty of fungi and the critical role they play on this planet by capturing the eternal cycle of decomposition, renewal, and rebirth.”
Homouroboros, Tantalus by Peter Hudson, 2013
Photo by: Bexx Brown-Spinelli
The Monkeys are back by popular demand this year, and instead of bikes to make the carousel spin, Burners (with no instructions) had to figure out that they would need to beat the drums beneath the monkeys in unison to make them go. These guys (pictured) are going to need more people!
Church Trap by Rebekah Waites, 2013
Photo by: Neil Girling
A decaying church, propped up like a box trap…need we say more?
Pier 2 by Matt Schultz and The Pier Group, 2012
Photo by: Arno Gourdol
The Pier group braves the Playa for a second year constructing a shipwreck 60 feet long, 20 feet tall at the tip of its keel, and 12 feet wide. Lucky participants had the opportunity to explore the three levels of the ship’s interior (Hull, Crew Deck, Main Deck). A Pier team member said:
“The Pier resonated with people because it was a launchpad for imagination, it was a destination that was easily accessible, simple, a place where anyone could go and share in an imagined sense of nostalgia. How can we capture this sense of wonder and play and build on it? Like a ship out of the fog it came to us. Let’s ram a massive full scale Spanish galleon into the end of The Pier.”
Fire of Fires Temple by David Umlas, Marrilee Ratcliffe, Community Art Makers, 2009
Photo by: Lorenzo Tlacaelel
Drawing inspiration from India, the Middle East, Asia, the Americas, and Africa, the Temple centers on the element of fire. Encased in 32 vertical feet of clear Polycarbonate sheeting, 12 gas lamps come alive as a tornado of flame ignites during interaction with the wooden Temple.
via: Matador Network