“Creating art, participating in art, reveals the parts of ourselves that we do not yet know. These revelations change the stories we tell about ourselves, which changes who we are in the world. We have always done that outside of Black Rock City. This year we proved we can do that without it.”– Caveat MagisterAuthor of “The Scene That Became Cities: what Burning Man Philosophy Can Teach Us About Building Better Communities“
Virtually Gathering a Community of Storytellers
Since we raised that first Man on Baker Beach, Burners have been spinning yarns — some true, some half true, and many profoundly moving.
Pre-COVID, many of the storytelling projects that came to life in 2020 were already in the works. When the Black Rock City event cycle became a little longer than we’d anticipated, we got to work: listening, creating, writing, coding, and recording.
We synced up with the global community, who stoked the virtual burn barrel with digital imaginings, Multiversal collaborations, and inventive new events and convenings.
ArtSpeaks: Our Monthly Burning Man Artist Storytelling Series
Just because we hit pause on Black Rock City didn’t mean our intrepid community of Burning Man artists took a break. Radical Self-expression must go on! Starting in June 2020, all were invited to join the monthly live episodes of ArtSpeaks, Burning Man Arts’ thematic series of conversations with past and future Black Rock City artists. Art lovers from around the world tuned in to each monthly episode to explore a theme — from flame effects to sustainable art, playa magic to art for social change.
“BUILT TO BURN: Tales of the Desert Carnies of Burning Man”
Burning Man Project published our very first book. “Built to Burn” tells the story of how Tony Perez (aka Coyote) came to lead a ragtag band of circus runaways, freaks and geeks who would become Black Rock City’s Department of Public Works. While the pandemic made it more complicated to release Coyote’s book, we’re delighted that we can now call ourselves publishers. There are plans to publish more books in the future, bringing forth stories of Burning Man culture to the world.
“Our event takes practice. We have armies of people that only dared to dream of “impossible” projects until they came and saw an entire city of makers and doers. Building together is as natural as the evolution that brought us here.” Even this book is a testament to the opportunities of growth that emerge from the fabric of our community that strives to weave in all the yarns.”– Tony “Coyote” Perez
Burning Man LIVE: A Podcast From the Heart of Burning Man Culture
Sure, there are some great Burning Man podcasts out there. But until 2020 there was no podcast emitting from the very heart of Burning Man Project. Launched in June 2020 by the Philosophical Center, Burning Man LIVE hosts and guests have conversed about topics far and wide — from transformational experiences to law enforcement, playa restoration to the true nature of the multiverse… and everything in between.
Kindling: A Digital Portal into Global Burning Man Culture
Kindling emerged as an online portal where anyone could share and participate in live virtual events — from workshops to celebrations, conversations to co-learning experiences. Thousands of people from within and outside the Burning Man community tuned in to enjoy our artist storytelling series, ArtSpeaks, and Burning Man Project film premieres such as Burning Man: Art on Fire. As we headed into a Burn Week without Black Rock City, Kindling pivoted to become the entry point for tens of thousands of people to participate in the endlessly emergent Recognized Universes of the Burning Man Multiverse.