As Labor Day approaches, so does the yearly Burning Man festival in Nevada. For those who are not familiar with Burning Man, it’s an annual event where about 48,000 people come together for a week in the Nevada desert to create a temporary city called Black Rock City (or The Playa). It’s a place for people to hang out, view art projects and have imaginative fun. Each year there is a sculptural man built that is burned as a giant bonfire at the end of the festival – thus the “Burning Man”. What many do not know is a “Memorial” is also erected as a place to cry, grieve, and celebrate the memory of those who have died. The memorial is also burned following the Burning Man and is actually a larger bonfire. Once the festival is over, everyone departs the desert without a trace. This year, the Burning Man dates are Monday August 27, 2012 to Monday September 3rd, 2012.
Emma Frischmuth, who designed the SevenPonds site, is once again off to Burning Man and shares with us both her memories and Burning Man pictures of the “Memorial” from last year. Thanks Emma!
“The temple was so beautiful from a distance. I didn’t realize at first that this was a memorial.”
“Inside the highest tower of the temple, there were electronic bells set up that played a music that I imagined you would hear at a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. People were laying inside the main tower on the Playa listening to the bells and looking upward at the people and levels above them.”
“I wrote a message with a Sharpie on a high tower wall in honor of Papa (grandfather) who passed away the month before. There was an energy that you can’t quite describe, but everyone could feel it. The emotion was intense. On the night after the man burns, they burn the temple. I know some people also scattered ashes here.”
- Last year Rod Garrett, the renowned urban planner for Burning Man, died just as Burning Man was in process. Read our “Just Passed” post on him here.
- Read Founder Suzette Sherman’s review of David Rockwell’s book about public “Spectacles” along with her addition of spectacles of memorials of tragedy.