Last week your local arts and culture blogger was away…. far away…

She nestled into a temporary city somewhere within the vast desert of Nevada, closest city being Reno, which is about 2 hours away.  The temporary city is called Black Rock City and it is only in operation for one week out of the year.

During the week that Black Rock City is in operation is when about 50,000 other artists, eccentrics, and adventure-lovers come together to experience the not just the unforgiving desert’s extremities… but also the radical art and functional community.

The magic that is created by the general attitude of the everyone-participates-somehow-someway community (opposed to your typical concert experience where everyone is just a spectator), the larger-than-life art, and the complete and utter acceptance of radical self-expression is hard to capture on film, in text, or through audio.  It’s definitely a “you have to be there” kind of thing.  For example, it’s extremely difficult to try and capture the infamous dust storms on film… in no way can you feel the playa dust hitting your skin or smell the aroma of ancient soils almost suffocating you via a photo or Youtube video.  Like any other “real-life” event, the magic happens there… in the moment.  But, lucky for us in 2011, we have these great things called cameras that capture life’s precious moments in a two dimensional format.  And we have these other great inventions such as Internet and blogs to share these two dimensional images with.

  I’ll be honest, I am going to deprive you of a full length, day-to-day, in-depth Recap of my time spent at Burning Man.  However, I won’t deprive you of a Photo Recap (with one-liner commentary below).  I hope that these photos inspire you to at the very least research what Burning Man is all about.  And maybe, just maybe, I might see some of you out there next year….

Till then….

Bird’s view from within

Human’s view from within (our camping/living headquarters)

People helping people in the community, lending helping hand(s) in time of need.

To get around, bikes are crucial…

or you can always opt to get around by cupcake…

…or by van(s).

Whatever floats your boat.

Around town you might see stuff like this…

or like this…

or like those…

or like that…

or like those…

or things like these…

… and/or be able to climb crazy things like that.

Sometimes you see super awesome things like this one day…

…and the next it’s burnt down to nothingness.

All this really makes you start to wonder if you’re going crazy?….

And just when things get a little too kookie, you find an awesome party like this, with music bumping out of speakers like that at 11am to normal you out.  Trust that after dancing in the blazing sun for an hour or so everything slowly gets back to normal once again… as long as you remember to drink water.

But, if things start getting hazy for you, you should definitely head to the Temple.

It’s a place of peace, prayer, respect, reflection and remembrance.

And inside the Temple is where you can see, read, hear and feel all of that.

Clearing your mind during the day is good for you…

… because at night you might feel like taking a trip on the wild side…

and occasionally have the desire to dance in front of huge sound systems disguised as boom boxes.

(request to hide identity of this party-goer has been granted)

Or you might feel like checking out super amazing art cars that blow fire.

And/or see the art explode into flames.

However, in the end, we are all there to see the Man burn.  And what it means symbolically to ‘watch the Man burn’ is all in the eye of the beholder.  And it is for that same reason why you came in the first place.

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all photos taken by Sarah S. (except the ones of Sarah, duh)

and to those wondering, yes, that is Alf Alpha.  he came too.

for any questions about the photos, contact Sarah at thecoachellavalleyartscen@gmail.com

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Information on Burning Man:

www.burningman.com

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