The Art of Burning Man

Imagine spending a week of self-discovery in the Nevada desert. Every year on the last Sunday in August to the first Monday in September thousands of people gather in the Black Rock desert for an experiment in community and art, influenced by ten main principles: radical inclusion, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leave no trace. Participation is key being apart of this experience and one of the many generous ways to contribute is expression through building interactive sculptures. The Renwick Gallery has put on display a few of the contributions from artists that have attended Burning Man.
Here are a few:

“HYBYCOZO” by Yelena Filipchuck and Serge Beaulieu
“Generating tension between hard geometric surfaces and soft interior illumination, promoting a sense of contemplation and awe of the inherent beauty of universal forms”

“NOVA” by Christopher Schardt
“A massive canopy of programmable LED lights that dance in celestial, earthly, and psychedelic patterns to classical musical accompaniment”


“FoldHaus Art Collective’s Shrumen Lumen”
“The elements of this sophisticated, interactive cluster of fungi each has its own particular character and all delightfully respond to human interaction. As participants step on the footpads located beneath each cap, the mushrooms gently grow and “breathe.zzzzz’ In daylight the grouping appears ethereal white, while at night, it magically transforms with embedded LEDs that glow through the translucent outer skin to bring the installation to life.”

David Best’s Temple
Established as sacred spaces of reflection and prayer, the temple is a massive, incredibly intricate, wooden structure. During the week of Burning Man, the Temples are adorned by participants with memorials and inscriptions. The structure is burned in a cathartic ritual to inspire healing and community.

My goal when doing Art exhibit posts is to make everyone aware of exhibits that they can visit. However, I became aware of this exhibit late in the game and so many of you won’t be able to visit. I chose to still post this because I regard this as one of my favorite exhibits and it simply is just too amazing not to share. If you are in the area and can make it to Washington DC, “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” exhibit is on display until January 21, 2019.
Renwick Gallery (Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW)

John Waites
A veteran who enjoys travel, photography and art

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1 Comment

  1. Dope exhibit!!! Wish I could get there!!

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