Monday, September 07, 2009

The Burning Man City

(image source: Telegraph. More images here)
The Burning Man annual event in the Black Rock Desert in Northern Nevada this year witnessed approximately 50,000 participants coming together and forming a temporary 8 day settlement with the wooden effigy of the burning man being the focus of the event and the settlement.

(image source: Telegraph)
The event is organized by Black Rock City LLC. With valid entry ticket being the only strand that facilitates the formation of this 'city' (the temporary settlement is named The Black Rock City, also one cant help but draw comparisons to Masdar city proposal which will be in the middle of the desert and is projected to have same population), in the absence of collective history, common aspirations and various other things that form a community, the result is an array of images with a Mad Max like post apocalyptic flavour.

The plan of the settlement is equally dystopian with street names of Hysteria, Fetish, Ego, Catharsia, Amnesia etc. The satellite images shows the settlement forming concentric circles like garden-city-dream-gone-sour in the middle of a a desert landscape and the Burning man as the centre.

(image source: wikipedia)

(image source:
it also has some more images of the event)

50,000 Strangers brought together by an event managing company, The Burning Man festival according to me is a prime example of a festivity with no history, a carnival with no reason and ritual with no tribe, somewhat similar to contemporary City design proposals that attempt to form communities through a valid entry ticket of property ownership.


  1. also see the water woman festival

  2. The Burning Man Festival is challenge to participants. The process of rituals, burning wooden man from all the undesirable bondages from within & its final disappearance into ashes is significant to conspicuous sense of liberation. For more details, refer: