whatisburningman sectional graphic


Click an area of Black Rock City to see the theme art installations which existed in that space.

The Observatory - The Keyhole - The Plazas
Solar System - Deep Space - Mobile Art


about this photo
11:11 Diamond Portal & Quasar Wave Transducer
by Harlan Emil
11:11 Diamond Portal is a structure manifesting the threshold to the next dimension we are approaching. It houses the Quasar Wave Transducer, a device that transduces the transmissions of quasars into a complex sonic waveform that is both audible and physical.

Contact: h (at) harlanemil (dot) com

Alien Semaphore
by Hedley
This large kinetic white light sculpture features twelve lines of light whose formation and dynamics are controlled by participants.

Contact: hedleyd (at) microsoft (dot) com

Ambient Armchair Encounter
by Maxim Abelev
A rest area for the explorers of the Cosmos, Ambient Armchairs is a place to relax and to be with the magnificence of the sky above and the desert below, within a never-ending stream of soundscapes. Open and operating 24 hours a day, 60 minutes an hour, 60 seconds a minute. Seats 6 people.

URL: malchik.net/aae/
Contact: kovrov (at) yahoo (dot) com

by Robert Clarkson
Upon entering this polyagonal dome, one must leave behind all earthly posessions in order to objectively observe and be observed within space completely void of light and time. "Even the blind man sees the cosmos, become unseen in seeing the unseen, and the vault of heaven shall open unto thee."
A Saturn's ring-like protrusion extends from the Bobservatory, and may be accessed for heavenly viewing once internal initiation has been achieved.
Near the Bobservatory participants may enter the Polaroidascope, where they can photograph Uranus as viewed from behind a Black Hole.

URL: malchik.net/aae/
Contact: rfclarkson (at) aol (dot) com

by Logan Tautenhahn, John Daniel, and Projekteers Group
Walking across the playa at night, stars overhead, whole universes unseen, it feels like you are stepping over the face of the moon. In the distance you see faint lights, and the playa earth looks stripped back, ruptured from the inside out.

You walk through ripped earth, zigzagging to reach the center. Once there, you see a large thin Chasm, stretching through the buckled playa. Arcane periscopes are pointing down into it, as if inserted there by an earlier civilization. There are portholes to look through, and as you do so you see the cosmos below the flat earth on which you stand. Except the heavenly bodies on the other side are closer, much closer.

URL: www.horg.com/chasm/
Contact: logan (at) soundhive (dot) org

by David Biggs
When we look above into the night sky, we see the moon, the stars, and the planets. While we focus on them as individual, discrete objects in the cosmos, we also know that they are held together by invisible strings of connectedness that we learn to call gravity or space-time. The unique constellations and movements of these heavenly bodies gives meaning to all of our lives as we too spin and move in space. "Constellations" honors these invisible strings, the space in-between the cosmos, our memories, and the matter around us. It is envisioned as a connective, participatory piece that signifies particular connective arrangements within a celebratory Black Rock City playatime and playaspace. It will be a participant-reconfigurable set of elements at the city limits where playaspace merges into a greater void beyond. It will consist of three pieces anchored in three modes of space-time: one in the cosmos, one in memory, and one in matter.

Contact: dbiggs (at) u.washington (dot) edu

Furvus Saxulum Nox
by Lewis Zaumeyer
A colossal 50' diameter jigsaw puzzle consisting of 150 4' square pieces is scattered on the playa. Once successfuly completed, it provides a map of the constellations.

Contact: archideaz (at) aol (dot) com

Jadu Beta
by Saul Melman
A massive object born of the cosmos, Jadu Beta descends into the playasphere. Looming in the distance, animated by the wind, it awaits our approach. Adventure near to this astral body and discover an organism whose form mimics fractal imagery and the architecture of cellular membranes. Tunnel through its thick walls, built of an intricate network of organic shapes, touch its translucent skin, and discover an inner sanctum alive with other-worldly sounds. Space is the primary material for this conceptional entity, a physical manifestation of Inflation Theory. Describing this idea of parallel universes, scientist Max Tegmark writes "Our universe and contiguous regions of space is a bubble embedded in an even vaster but mostly empty volume. Other bubbles exist out there, disconnected from ours..."

Contact: saulmelman (at) earthlink (dot) net

Keyhole Experience
by John Baden and Michael Dolan
The swirling colors on the outer walls of this structure were originally created over 2,000 miles away on the side of a barn in the middle of a cornfield. As a gift to Black Rock City, they've been transplanted here in their new form: a wondrous swirling silo with a platform for star-gazing, whose only roof is the canopy of stars high above. The soft sounds emanating are perfect for quiet conversations and galaxy-finding.

Contact: michaeldolan (at) sbcglobal (dot) net

about this photo
Little Blue Planet
by Jessica and John Hoelle
The wide open Black Rock Desert offers a unique context within which to build a scale model that can impress upon the viewer (more accurately than mere statistics) the size of our universe and our significance within it. In this model, The Observatory represents the center of our solar system, the sun. "Little Blue Planet" is a model of the planet earth whose size and distance in relation to The Observatory is proportional to the size and distance of planet earth in relation to the sun.

Contact: j_hoelle (at) hotmail (dot) com

Macroscopic Microcosm
by Erik Poulson
Out in the deep unknown, erupting from beneath the playa surface, appears a vast city of an unusual composition. To those who wander through it, it might be a place of peace and serenity, where existence is based upon thought and awareness. Those who gaze into it from afar might see nothing but a spiralling pattern of light, much like what humans see when they peer deep into the night sky toward places untold.
Upon encountering this world the mind is free to explore and wonder where this place came from and why it might be here...

Contact: erik_poulson (at) yahoo (dot) com

M (Luminous Bodies)
by Aaron Ximm
On orbiting this constellation of fragile oil lamps, one may discover a galaxy, mirroring those above, with its own central bluge and "milky way" effect visible on a personal scale "M" is the designation in one nomenclature given to galaxies as celestial objects.

URL: www.quietamerican.org/bm2004.html
Contact: ghede (at) well (dot) com

by Kate Raudenbush
On the horizon sits a mirage, a shimmering mosaic vault of reflected light, a 10x10x10ft hollow cube made of 125 panels of two-way mirror. During the daytime, it is a sparkling jewel, beckoning people to gaze at the mountains, the playa and their own refracted reflection. Meanwhile, in the vault's dim interior, those inside will (while remaining unseen), observe those on the outside observing their own reflections... in a most voyeuristic way.

As the sun fades, a transformation occurs: illuminated by a giant mirrored ball, those on the inside will see themselves reflected to infinity on the mirrored walls. But now they cannot see through the two-way mirror to the dark night outside. Instead, those standing outside the cube become the unseen observers: watching the revelers in the translucent sparkling interior, while remaining unseen.

Contact: kateimages (at) earthlink (dot) net

by Craig Michael Nathan
Combining tips, tricks, and techniques from ancient astrolabes and nocturnals with playa-resistant art, SkySHow provides observers with simple keys to unlock, explore, and understand the nightly sky show.

Contact: cnathan (at) SkyShowCamp (dot) org

about this photo
Sol Henge
by sol system
By adopting the name Sol, we pay tribute to the science, tradition and power of our sun and the light it bestows upon us. To honor this burning star, we assume the responsibility of preserving the sun's light throughout the dark of night. Daylight is absorbed and stored in the stones of our monolithic observatory. The pulsing glow of these stones, synchronized to the beat of music, keeps the sunlight active while our earthly bodies, through the motion of dance, continually fuel the energy of the light. This pulsing light is then shot, at the speed of sound, down a single ray 1000 feet into the playa and caught by a statue of a human figure receiving the gift of sunlight. Throughout the night, participants will interactively release a solar flare - a burst of light rippling across the entire installation. At sunrise, we return the power of light to the Sun.

Contact: bigbadbunny (at) mac (dot) com

Sound Sun Pleasure
by Douglas Wolk
Sound Sun Pleasure is a device that people can enter to rearrange the stars in the night sky, and contains an extra little treat.

Contact: burningman (at) douglaswolk (dot) com

Star Chamber
by Jay Justice
A sparkling silver star hangs from the apex of a glowing linear pyramid, which changes color each day. Desert wanderers may take a glow stick from the pyramid to light their way home.

Contact: jayjustice (at) earthlink (dot) net

by Luke Egan and Pete Hamilton
Inflatable Systems presents an expanded family of giant inflatable stars (stellated dodecohedra) from 2m up to 15m in size. These tactile pieces are scattered onto the playa as if crash-landed from space. Pure in math and colour, the white crystalline environment by day turns into a surreal arena of coloured glowing forms at night, also becoming exquisitely animated in the playa winds like huge alien anemones. Our spiralling Firetube slices through this galactic environment like a burning transtellar worm.

URL: www.designsinair.com
Contact: is.ys (at) virgin (dot) net or info (at) designsinair (dot) com

about this photo
Sunrise Moonbase
by David Van Brink
Sunrise Moonbase is a remote, lost mission in the far reaches of the Playa.

Contact: poly (at) omino (dot) com

Temple of Stars
by David Best and the Temple Crew
Somewhat grander in scale than previous temples, but horizontal rather than vertical, the Temple of Stars arcs a quarter mile across the Playa, inspired by Japanese sculptural landscapes. A central Temple, 40' wide by 100' high, is surrounded by walkways, platforms, and fabricated gardens. Walkways will extend to smaller towers at each compass point. Further outposts will extend from the left and right of the Temple, in turn leading to a bridge on each side. Long approach paths lead up to each bridge. Benches and other contemplation areas will be set up along these paths. The entire structure will be primarily composed of wood, with some metal support elements.
As with previous Temple projects, it will be a place for participants to reflect, honor, remember, and celebrate those they have lost.

Contact: will (at) pinkpifflepoof (dot) com

Twinkle Toes
by Nicole Zlotnikoff
On the distant playa rests the 10' X 10' corpse of a creature from a place unknown to any human eye. This unearthly bleached carcass, with no discernable human characteristics, symbolizes the unknowable descendants of the Vault of Heaven. It represents a simple possibility of what might be, yet only exists now as a parched weathered husk of its former incarnation. One can only wonder what it experienced as it crashed to earth and perished in the Black Rock desert, alone, so long ago.

Contact: julius54321 (at) yahoo (dot) com

by Russell Wilcox
The Vault Altitude eXperiment (VAX) is a construction of laser beams that end at the top of a dusty layer of air, far up in the sky. Two lasers 1000 feet apart aim four beams to two other points 6000 feet (2km) above the ground, where the beams seem to disappear because the air above is cleaner. This reveals the height of the Planetary Boundary Layer, which is full of dust and vapor from the earth's surface, lofted there by the heat of the sun. VAX suggests the end of the earth's atmosphere at the boundary of space (which is actually much higher, at 100km). It also serves as a scientific instrument because it reveals the unseen workings of nature. As the earth's surface cools during the night, it is expected that the height of VAX will change. Who knows. It's an experiment.

Contact: rwilcox (at) jps (dot) net

White Noise
by Emily Trutt
On the horizon is a small white house. The white picket fence, white tree and glowing window all have a sense of ghostly familiarity. Entering a darkened bedroom one discovers a bed, an end table, a shelf with a few books and a window. Everything is white, undefined - even the books have no words and the white picture frames hold a field of white. Participants can rest their tired bodies on the bed and watch the lights of a car come through the window and slide across the wall, onto the ceiling and away. They will be left alone with distant sounds of the hum of cars and of trees rustling in the breeze; nearby a dog barks and another joins in. Far away a train rumbles by while soft sounds of footsteps, talking and laughter pass outside the window.

Deep in outer space participants will find themselves in the last place they would have expected. They will find themselves at home.

Contact: emtrutt (at) yahoo (dot) com

You Are Here
by nick thompson
YOU ARE HERE is an interactive map of the earth and sky. A magic window shows participants the constellations, stars, and planets. The horizon, and the continents below, are visible in outline, making it possible to look down through the earth and see the stars on the other side.

URL: nixfiles.com/youarehere/
Contact: bman (at) nixfiles (dot) com