The Man


Metamorphoses - 2019

Two thousand years before Kafka’s Gregor Samsa woke up as a cockroach, Ovid, the literary bad boy of First Century Rome, was writing about metamorphoses dire and diverse. In a world caught between human folly and godly whims, his luckless heroes find themselves transformed into birds and beasts, trees and mountains, even constellations of stars. In some cases metamorphosis is meted out as reward, in others as divine punishment. And looming over every verse is the specter of death, the final transformation, a terminal point at which change is irreversibly arrested. To read these stories is a potent reminder that life is by its nature a transformative journey, where fate and character interact in unpredictable ways.

2019


2018


I Robot - 2018

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through interaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Isaac Asimov - I Robot


Radical Ritual - 2017

This year's theme is an attempt to reinvent ritual in our post post-modern world. For this purpose, we will disregard assertions of belief and concentrate instead on the immediate experience of play. Beliefs contain, define, and limit meaning. They can reduce truth to a rational commodity. But play can free us to envision truths of which we have no proof or warrant. Such play, as we conceive it, breaks down the distinction that divides belief from make-believe. Whole-hearted and creative play induces self-surrender to experience that is beyond the realm of reasoned thought.

2017


2016


Da Vinci's Workshop - 2016

Burning Man’s 2016 art theme is inspired by the Italian Renaissance of the middle fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, when an historic convergence of inspired artistry, technical innovation and enlightened patronage launched Europe out of medievalism and into modernity. Our story will focus on the republic of Florence, for it was here, in a city-state of about the same size and population as Black Rock City, that humanist ideals, a rediscovery of science, and funding from a newly moneyed class of entrepreneurs fueled a revolutionary cultural movement that redefined Western civilization. Five centuries later, we will attempt to recreate this potent social alchemy by combining Burning Man art, maker culture and creative philanthropy to make Black Rock City the epicenter of a new renaissance.

Carnival of Mirrors - 2015

The 2015 theme was about mirrors and masks, mazes and merger. It was a kind of magic show that takes the form of an old-fashioned carnival. This Carnival of Mirrors asks three essential questions: within our media-saturated world, where products and people, consumption and communion morph into an endlessly diverting spectacle, who is the trickster, who is being tricked, and how might we discover who we really are?

Classic carnivals, as theaters of illusion, upheld a very strict dividing line that separated carnies, cast as showmen, from members of a naïve public who were labeled chumps and suckers, marks and rubes. Our carnival, however, will perform an even more subversive trick - its motto is "Include the Rube." The wall dividing the observer from observed will disappear, as by an act of magic; through the alchemy of interaction, everyone at once can be the carny and the fool.


Caravansary

2014

Cargo Cult

2013

Fertility 2.0

2012

2014


2013


2012


Rites of Passage

2011

Megatropolis

2010

Evolution

2009

2011


2010


2009


American Dream

2008

The Green Man

2007

Hope and Fear - The Future

2006

2008


2007


2006


Psyche

2005

The Vault of Heaven

2004

Beyond Belief

2003

2005


2004


2003