On-playa, our headquarters is located in Center Camp and functions as a check-in center for artists, as well as a hub for information about art. Off-playa, we operate all year round, kicking into high gear from February to October to make sure that artist applications are processed and art-i-facts are catalogued.
MISSION STATEMENTThe mission of the ARTery is to serve and defend artistic expression at Burning Man. The goal of the ARTery is as an Artist resource center that facilitates the placement and display of art on the playa during the Burning Man event.
WHAT THE ARTERY DOES
- Read your art applications and help you through the subsequent process.
- Give you support and guidance at the event.
- Keep records on the art that has been and will be, so participants can be inspired again and again.
- Promote community and art.
WHAT THE ARTERY DOES NOT
- We don’t tell you what you should create.
- We don’t rate, rank or rankle your artwork.
There’s a lot of pre-event activity with the ARTery team. From February through July, we accept your art applications, spend time reading them, asking questions, giving advice and sometimes even document your project’s development. We also pre-place art; that is, we decide with your input where your installation will be located.
On-playa, your artist registration begins and ends with us. Whether you've pre-registered or just walk-in at the event, we help you to accomplish some essential steps. These steps include having adequate light on your artwork at night, helping you understand the precautions you must have to create safe fire art and determining a cleanup plan of Leave No Trace.
Some artists like to be placed on the bustling Esplanade, while others prefer the serenity of the 'deep' outer playa. Some folks come with a burn plan but others are unaware that they need one. Most people aren’t familiar with the issues of safe night lighting or protecting their art against theft. The ARTery guides you through these choices and happily explains why guidelines are in place so they work better for all participants of Black Rock City.
Once an artist has been fully registered, we escort them to their setup location. The ARTery liaisons with other Burning Man departments, including DPW and Fire Safety, to assist with artists' needs. You see us again at the end of the event when we inspect your area for MOOP and burn scars…but otherwise we try not to bother you except to say thanks and wow.
Great info about art placement: Top Ten Burning Man Art Myths
OTHER STUFF WE DO
The ARTery Head Quarters, in Center Camp is constantly filled with artists and other visitors. Some simply enjoy the lively atmosphere and chill out on couches in our shade structure. Other folks want to learn more about the art installations. We also provide info about previous years’ art and artists.
For this purpose, one wall of our shade structure has a large map of the open playa, that diagrams where the art installations are located. An informal art gallery on the other walls features diagrams, drawings and plans. ARTery staff (in costume, of course) also directs a limited number of driving tours of the art installations. We also have printed ‘self-tour’ guides that you can take with you – just don’t MOOP them!
The ARTery is a drop-off point for contributions to the Material Culture archive. This is a collection of interesting playa artifacts – like stickers, toys and jewelry – given as gifts from participants to participants. We accept your contribution and catalogue it post-event for the Burning Man website.
BE AN ARTERY VOLUNTEER
Over 2000 registered art projects since the beginning of Burning Man
- 300+ Honorarium projects
- 40+ ARTery volunteers who make these impressive statistics happen
Interested in joining us? We're a full-service department dedicated to helping Burning Man artists. If you enjoy interacting with people and have a passion for art, we would love to have you on our team!
- Insight into the art of Burning Man—early "insider's" knowledge of what is being created.
- Working closely with the artist, learning about their process, their drives and their passions.
- Helping support the art of Black Rock City—handling the placement of art pieces, sharing of information with participants, enjoying interactions with folks who recognize Burning Man as the premier art event.
- Belonging to a community, having fun, and making new friends—the ARTery is a close group of dedicated volunteers within the larger organization.
Here are some of the roles that we staff for:
Best traits: friendly, social, calm, and the ability to skillfully manage crowds of Burners. We’re looking for the ultimate people person! The Greeters are the first point of contact at the ARTery and are able to direct the flow of artists during the registration and placement process.
Best traits: Process-oriented, attention to detail, good querying skills, and problem-solving ability. We’re looking for the ultimate playa consultant! Those at the Concierge desk review a detailed checklist with the artist regarding their installation. During this process, we ensure that the artist is informed and understands our requirements.
Best traits: Sturdy constitution, able to work in the elements for long stretches of time, good with directions, and technologically savvy. We’re looking for the ultimate handyman! Field Ops ensures that all the art is placed and logged via GPS (Global Positioning Unit) by taking the artist to their location on the playa. This is done via golf cart!
- You must have attended Burning Man at least once prior to volunteering. This is a strict policy with no exceptions.
- We request regular attendance in-person at headquarters or via conference call at the monthly ARTery meetings held on the second Thursday of every month from February through August.
- A minimum of three 4-hour shifts during the event.
To join, please fill out the Volunteer form and check ‘Art Team’ as your department of interest.