GREEN MAN PAVILION
An Open Invitation to Artists, Innovators, and Visionaries
A city is in many ways analogous to a body, and certain areas perform specific functions. The center of Black Rock City is like the solar plexus. Here, within a civic plaza, our community converges, sharing a rich and nourishing flow of constant interaction. The heart of Black Rock City might arguably be found in the Temple, far out on the open playa. This architectural marvel is devoted to the remembrance of the dead. Between these two impressive nodes may be found the base of the Man. This central landmark of our community may be likened to the mind.
In 2007, we will expand the pavilion that surrounds the Burning Man into a 30,000 square foot exhibition space that combines art, earth sciences and technological innovation. Traditionally, this space has been exclusively devoted to art, but the Green Man Pavilion will be different. Our goal is as simple as it is profound: create a visually and sensory rich space where breakthrough ideas and proven environmental technologies can be displayed and interacted with against the backdrop of the world’s largest participant-created event. We believe this exposition may well be the only place in the world where such a wide range of technologies and solutions can be displayed in an interactive environment.
Already, many artists are creating works intended to address these issues. Some projects will be small and intimate, while others will be huge. One example is the Mechabolic, a large-scale bio-imitative installation of hydrocarbon based fuel production and transformation. In the artist’s words, this piece will, “…take the form of an exploded assembly of digestive and respiratory organs, laid out across the desert floor, and mashed up with their associated mechanical metabolic machines (i.e. internal combustion engines, refining gasifiers, anaerobic digesters, liquefiers, process tanks, condensation towers, etc.)”. From the maceration of organic matter to the actual production of fuel that will power some of Burning Man’s mutant vehicles, this project will engage the public in compelling ways.
Other artists will address environmental themes through a variety of visual and sensory experiences. We’re open to your ideas on how to explore these issues, and how they might be expressed in the Green Man Pavilion. If you are an artist, or if you wish to be one, we are eager to hear from you.
And if you’re an inventor, we invite you to participate in re-imagining the world upon the blank slate of the Black Rock Desert. Work with us to show off the best, most innovative, most cutting edge solutions to the environmental problems confronting our planet. Because Burning Man is a non-commercial event, no corporate branding will be allowed in Black Rock City. You may be wondering then, why bother? The answer lies in the nature of our community. Burning Man has long been recognized as a nexus of ideas, information, and culture, a physical collection of human nodes for information exchange. It is a place where artists, innovators, and the media interact like nowhere else on Earth. The old paths of connecting product to consumer are well trod; we invite you to participate in a world where ideas triumph on their merits, not marketing.
This topic of how we fit a greater public world into our temporary one is something Larry Harvey addressed in a cover story published in last year’s Burning Man Journal, our annual newsletter. “I think the question we must contemplate is whether our community can learn to apply its unique culture to the world while using worldly tools. How can we do this without muddling our value systems and corrupting both? The choice of how to do this is entirely ours to make,” he wrote. Please read the entire article in context.
For participants worried about the preservation of our commercial free environment, rest assured: no one will be selling anything in Black Rock City. Furthermore, the Burning Man Project will receive no subsidies in exchange for displaying innovative technologies. Instead, our environmental exposition will allow you to learn things that you can take back and put to use in your life and your community, continuing the flow of gifts; from artists and innovators to you, from you to the world.
This year’s event, perhaps more than any other, marks a quantum evolution in the ways we’re taking what we learn on the playa and putting it into real world, practical application. The Black Rock Desert is a very challenging environment, but this journey to desert (and the journey back into the greater world) will be rewarding. You will be the better for having made it. We invite and welcome your feedback, support, comments, and most of all, participation. Welcome to the Green Man.
For information on how to propose a contribution to the Green Man Pavilion, please email greenman-exposition (at) burningman (dot) com.