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


1 to 2.7 Billion
by Morley John
The Sun is ninety-three million miles from the Earth, a distance so large that it is beyond the comprehension of most humans. We know how long a mile is because we can walk it -- we understand how far Tokyo might be since we can imagine how long it would take to get there. But how big is our solar system, which, huge as it is, is inconsequentially tiny in comparison to our galaxy, one of billions? Most people are not even conscious of the vast scale of this little planetary system we call home. In conceiving of this project, we have come to stand in awe of it. We invite others to stand with us."1 to 2.7 Billion" is a precise scale model of the solar system, extending from Center Camp to the farthest reaches of the playa, inviting participants to appreciate the reality of our isolation.

URL: www.2point7.org
Contact: morley (at) hellyeah (dot) com

Alien Mothership And 9 Robot Rovers
by J Chrislock
A metallic pyramidal alien mothership and its nine robot rovers have landed at the Black Rock Desert. By day the solar-powered rovers will roam the playa.

Contact: blzhunt (at) hotmail (dot) com

As Above, So Below
by Pam McGaha
"Close your eyes and hold your breath. Prepare to fall into the sky." As Above, So Below is that magic space on the playa where you can see yourself becoming one with the heavens above. A space for reflection...

URL: pauseandponder.homestead.com
Contact: stranjbrew (at) memphismojo (dot) com

by Chuck Piotrowski
Astrokhan is a model city of the future, like those found in World's Fairs. The entire city - buildings, streets, monuments, radio telescopes and other urban architecture - exists within a 30' equilateral triangle.

Contact: freakusmaximus (at) yahoo (dot) com

by Ethernight
An ancient race of extraterrestrials from the Proxima Centauri system, visiting Earth for the first time, chose the Playa as an ideal location for touchdown. The aliens perished when exposed to the unexpectedly high levels of oxygen in our atmosphere, but their tetrahedron-shaped landing craft is still functional. All of its remaining power cells have been put to use powering an enormous beacon, calling others of their race to make the 4.2 light year trip to Earth. Are they hostile, or friendly? Who knows. All one can do is sit beneath the enormous beacon-craft, watching the skies...

URL: dusk.org/beacon/
Contact: burn (at) dusk (dot) org

Bok Globule
by Leo Villareal and Carter Emmart
Using a hemispherical projection system within a dome, Bok Globule presents immersive nightly tours of the vaults of heaven. Based on Carter Emmart's Digital Universe, a highly accurate three-dimensional map, it takes participants on interactive journeys that span from our own solar system out to the very edges of the cosmos. Viewers, seated on gravity couches can see video works about space, time and the cosmos in between tours of the universe. On the outside of the dome, the sequenced patterns of Leo Villareal's Supercluster beckon people from across the playa. The installation is active from dusk to dawn and closed during the day.

Contact: leo (at) villareal (dot) net or carter (at) amnh (dot) org

Catch A Shooting Star
by Sandra Gallant
A "mouse-trap" contraption launches a shooting star, which contains a message to you from the cosmos.

Contact: sgmontage (at) yahoo (dot) com

Cellestial Body
by Michael Christian
A large, hollow metal pod emits subtle sounds and mysterious lights. Upon approach, the vertical pod responds to one's presence; entering and climbing around its intricate interior excites the cell-like organism to louder and brighter responses.

URL: www.michaelchristian.com
Contact: mc (at) michaelchristian (dot) com

Chimera's Chimes
by Judy Gardner
Chimera's Chimes is a groined vault with arches facing out in four directions. The sructure is steel covered with a wire filigree depicting the creation of the cosmos and the four cardinal directions. In the center hang a series of copper tubes tuned to various cosmically chosen tones that sound their notes when agitated. Chimera's Chimes is a place for ritual, drumming, contemplation, or playing with the chimes.

Contact: jgardner (at) gasanim (dot) com

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Cosmic Cocoon
by Ellen Henrici
A walk-in canvas cocoon contains a luminuous painting of the birth of the universe at the time of the formation of the stars, which are depicted as mandalas emerging from clouds of gases. The painting is accompanied by sounds creating a sense of deep space.

Contact: ehenrici (at) earthlink (dot) net

Crash Landing
by Pierre de Karangal
A radiant object, part meteorite, part spaceship, has crash-landed on the playa. Its wooden structure supports a large inflatable pod which acts as a reflector for spotlights concealed within it.

URL: www.akairways.com/crashlanding.shtml
Contact: anakin(at)akairways(dot)com

by Peter Hudson
Deeper is a stroboscopic zoetrope depicting a diver plunging through the four elements of our limited reality: earth, air, fire and water.

Contact: hudzo (at) earthlink (dot) net

Extra Small Array
by Therm
Communication is possible... Therm presents... an other... worldly... experience... transmissions... to space... through... fire... light... sound... and electricity.

URL: www.therm.biz
Contact: barbara (at) therm (dot) biz

Ganymede's Wish
by Sean T Lamont
Ganymede welcomes you to Olympus, the Vault of Heaven. From his vessel flows a drink of immortality, of dreams, of myths and wishes. After entering Olympus, in the form of an 8' pyramid, you will be presented with an array of stars, rendered in phosphorescent material and charged periodically with a light. A Box just for wishes will trap your wishes, and will be burned at the end of the week. The interior will play original music inspired by the vault of heaven.

Contact: lamont (at) abstractsoft (dot) com

Heaven's Gate
by Todd Reed
A metallic latticework arch contains glowing lights depicting stars, reflective material, glowing planet models, small spaceships, beckoning angels... items that reflect our relationship to the heavens.

Contact: todd (at) infoasis (dot) com

Holographic Mirror
by Ian Vogel
With heightened senses and hungry minds, earthlings are invited to explore their very existence inside this museum of the metaphysical. Starting from deep within the mind and spanning through the vault of heaven to the farthest reaches of reality, explorers will gain wisdom and insight to many mysteries and questions of our existence. Provided with Cosmic Spectacles of Infinity, prepare to be plunged into an entirely three-dimensional environment. Learn about unexplained and altogether dismissed anomalies of our time and space. Participants will come to realize that the lines we draw - the borders of our minds and the barriers of science- are not so definite.

Contact: aeon (at) retroflow (dot) com

Hyperdimensional Wayfinder
by Starphire
By selecting a direction at the central platform in this portal, one initiates a sequence of events which redirects the attention to the interdimensional spaces all around and overhead, where occupants of an extraterrestrial fairy ring reside.Due to the subtlety of interdimensional phenomena, the Hyperdimensional Wayfinder is active only at night.

Contact: starphire (at) lightsuit (dot) com

by Jonathan Buchart
A life-sized Apollo astronaut floats above the playa, having planted the American flag.

Contact: sculpturestudio (at) earthlink (dot) net

by Christopher Schardt and Betty Ray
Sixty-five hundred light-years from Earth, there is an ovoid, luminous (and tempestuous!) cloud of gases and other matter approximately 10 light-years in diameter. Near the middle of this cloud - the Crab Nebula - is a pulsar which spews out energy 100,000 times faster than our Sun.

Visitors will be drawn to our model of the Crab Nebula by the mysterious wispy glow of its cloud and the flashing of its "pulsar". As they get nearer, it will at first appear that there is no way to walk inside the cloud. On closer inspection they will find several winding paths to the center. The colors, textures, wire and propane jets will evoke a swirl of raw electromagnetic energy. There will be space to sit or lie and take in the experience of being inside a nebula. All the power needed by Nebula will be provided by another star, the sun.

URL: www.schardt.org/nebula
Contact: bman (at) schardt (dot) org

Newton's Wheel
by Matthew Blackwell
In space, the physical laws that govern motion may be demonstrated with a simplicity and clarity that appears almost eerie to the earthbound observer. A spacecraft set rotating by the blast of a rocket will spin forever, or stop suddenly when an equal opposing force is applied. Newton's wheel suggests an abstract object spinning in the void; vistors operate the fiery rockets to control its motion.

URL: www.sonic.net/~mattpb
Contact: mattpb (at) sonic (dot) net

Nova System
by David Kitts and crew
From Black Rock City, a gateway leads participants to the Nova System where cosmic laws do not apply. Here, unusual planetoids stand in static orbit around a fiery, swirling sun. On the outskirts of this System is an active graph representing the gravational forces of the sun. Mad scientist stations are interspersed outside of the System, controlling the operations of planetoids and other galactic bodies. A mysterious monolith makes an electrifying interaction with the Sun.

Contact: dummy (at) bluehouse (dot) org

Orbital Wind
by Paul Gregor
Swirling Orbital Winds whip the Earth, Sun and Stars. The dust of the cosmos splashes through the funnels of creation, splicing in and out of yet viewed dimensions in this wind-spinned mosaic of celestial harmonies.

Contact: stelablu (at) ix.netcom (dot) com

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Pagoda of Infinite Reflection
by Bob Marzewski
The Pagoda uses optical technology to link heaven and earth. It is a study in repetition and, like a giant wooden diffraction grating, the structure's repetitive symmetry interacts with sunlight and moonlight to generate a myriad of alternating bright lines and dark shadows on the playa surface. A collaborative project, the Pagoda plays host to several pieces of art, the largest of which continues the repetitive theme. Inside, the Vault of Infinity--an elaborate infinite mirror--invites reflection on the infinities within us. On Wednesday night, after a city-wide processional, the upper tower of the Pagoda will be fired into heaven in a blaze of color, consuming the entire structure in flame.

URL: wizzard.com/bm2004/plan.html
Contact: bobmarzewski (at) yahoo (dot) com

Paper Moon
by Aguamala
Like the paper moons from 1920s photo studios, this crescent moon invites you to nestle into its curve and pose for a picture.

Contact: mizshan (at) yahoo (dot) com

Playa Night Sky
by vann Miller
From the apex of a linear pyramid, a live star map from that GPS location is projected onto the playa floor in monochromatic green. Star and planet names will be shown with the outlines of the constellations plainly visible.

Contact: vann (at) csua.berkeley (dot) edu

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Radio Free Quasar
by Tim Thompson
Quasars are the oldest and most distant objects we can observe, producing immense quantities of light and radio waves. It is only fitting that an antique radio be used to interpret these ancient signals. Visitors use a large silver knob to select from an infinite variety of quasi-stellar radio stations, and a laser display provides graphical interpretations of the sound.

URL: nosuch.com/tjt/bm/radio/
Contact: tjt-burningman (at) nosuch (dot) com

Rise and Return
by Chico Raskey
A glass-blowing studio features a 14' glass Phoenix, whose feathers will be made by participants on site, and will be used to complete its wings. Once the wings are complete, the cycle of the Phoenix begins with a hot glass performance, and continues as participants use the Internet to create the Diaspora of the Phoenix, a global sculpture. The feathers will be stamped with a website URL; when participants return home they can log into the site and indicate the location of their feather. A global sculpture will result, consisting of the area defined by the locations, and transferred onto a world map. We are creating constellations - not in the sky but right here on our planet.

Contact: chicodelfuego (at) hotmail (dot) com

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Seven Sisters
by the Flaming Lotus Girls
The Seven Sisters are a cluster of flaming stars surrounding a massive spinning sculpture which shoots spiraling plumes of fire 100 feet into the sky.

URL: burningart.com/mizpoon/seven_proposal.doc
Contact: mizpoon (at) burningart (dot) com

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Singularity Machine
by Nate Smith
The fundamental theory of angular momentum animates several important theories of the universe, including the discovery that even galaxies spiral toward a central point. That central point is called a singularity. It's the point at the center of a black hole where matter accelerates and is stretched towards - something that is beyond our understanding.

The gleaming silver Singularity Machine is a 25' marvel of machinery that serves as the cradle for towering yellow-orange vortexes of fire. The fire represents a possible model for the path of time as it speeds toward a singularity. A colossal column of flame is produced as burning fuel is introduced into a cauldron of swirling air generated by the machine's three rings of powerful fans. The shining metal skins glow with the reflection of the amazing spectacle above: tightly twisted coils of spinning fire, licking at the sapphire skies of empyreal night.

URL: www.fire-arts.com
Contact: nate (at) fire-arts (dot) org

The Spiral Eye of the Celestial Falcon
by Ann Hallatt
The sixth century Greek scientist Pythagorus spent twenty years in Egypt studying, developing and testing his theories: art and science are inseparable and their common numerical origins contain the secret of harmony and health. He observed that Natural Phenomena, especially of the astronomical world, may be expressed in mathematical formulas. Numbers are not only the symbols of reality, they are the very substance of real things. 1 is the point, 2 is the line, 3 is the surface, and 4 the solid. 10 is the perfect number, as the sum of 1+2+3+4 = the point, the line, the surface and the solid. In addition, the union of pervasive and observable opposites constitutes the harmony of the real world. The ten heavenly bodies (stars, planets, sun, moon and earth) all move in the Harmony of the Spheres at speeds proportionate to distance and thus create musical tones, Musica Mundana or Music of the Spheres, the sound of which is so exquisite and omnipresent that it governs all temporal cycles, such as seasons, biological cycles, and all the rhythms of nature. This sculpture implements a spiral sequence following the pathway of the Sun over 24 hours with 48 tetrahedrons of progressive size designed using as inspiration, the "root of eternal nature" or Tetrad of Pythagorus. This huge spiral wil allow visually focused exploration of the Heavens and the shapes marking the playa surface below. Music based on Pythagorian calculations will be presented as will Egyptian pagentry.

URL: www.burningmanopera.org/2004/2004_spiral_eye.html
Contact: masques (at) mindspring (dot) com

by Julie Birsinger
StarDial is an interactive analemmatic sundial during the daylight hours and an electric light sculpture after dark. This sundial is scaled so that the shadow cast by a human standing on a marked location within an ellipse identifies our agreed definition of time on earth. The positioning has been calculated for Burning Man's specific time of year and location on the planet. The number of stars on each vertical marker correspond with the hours of the day, thus time can be told by counting the stars. After sundown, sequenced el wire in colors of blue, turquoise and white cause the stars to shine.

Contact: polymnia (at) visker (dot) com

by Alan Sailer
The StarField is a glimmering, blinking field of lights designed to evoke the universe as it would be if humans could see color at night. From a distance, pure changing hues beacon an invitation to the weary playa traveler to come and explore their own pocket universe. Tributes to past art installations will be recognized by longtime Burning Man attendees.

Contact: asailer (at) rwsc (dot) com

by Britton Holland
On the open playa, a cluster of long thin flexible poles grow from the playa like sinuous hairs. The sun's rays provides energy during the day. At night, bright lights dangle from these poles, moving with the wind with the wind. The participant wanders into a sea of captured stars, bobbing above their heads.

Contact: britton (at) burningman (dot) com

Starry Eyed Wonder
by Douglas Ruuska
A 10'-tall wire frame head ponders existence while holding a spinning galaxy in the palm of its hand.

Contact: d_ruuska (at) hotmail (dot) com

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by Chris (Hawk) Anderson
The sundial was invented in 3000 BC by the Sumerians, the citizens of Sumer in southern Iraq, the first city in recorded history. The Sumerians invented a base 60 mathematical system, the 360 degree circle, and the measurement of time. They worshiped many gods and believed that they controlled natural forces and were associated with astronomical bodies, such as the sun. Sumerians were struck by the wondrous regularity of the movement of the heavens and speculated that this movement might contain some secret to the intentions of the gods. So the Sumerians invented astrology, and astrology produced the most sophisticated astronomical and mathematical knowledge ever seen to that date. Synchronicity is a sundial sculpture inspired by the community of Burning Man. The sundial is cradled in an abstract of Black Rock City. As the heavens move across the sky the Synchronicity displays the solar time as a showdown cast inside the sphere held within the city abstract.

URL: www.manicmechanics.org/sundial1.htm
Contact: pugslymix (at) yahoo (dot) com

by Jim Bowers, John Wendt, Randy Davis and the Tribe
On the surface of a 16' luminous time capsule, featuring over 4000 feet of animated el wire on a 512 channel sequencer, the stars and planets appear out of nowhere and disappear into infinite space. A central alien console allows visitors to transport themselves into hyperspace, traveling light years to a distant planet. Deep inside the planet's very core, continents revolve around TerraSphere's axis. Barely audible sounds emanate from the sphere as if all the sounds from the past and present are still out there, traveling through the vault of heaven.

Contact: jimbowers (at) foothill (dot) net

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The Man Who Paints The Moon
by Dittrich and Surmann
Once in a blue moon you deserve to cry for it. A lunatic climbs a ladder to paint the moon with purest light; moon away your time by discovering the sense in its shine. Be prepared to be moonstruck by this fluorescending sculpture.

Contact: markus.surmann (at) foersterstrasse (dot) de

The Pearly Gates
by Rodman Miller
While the Vault of Heaven does not necessarily involve a place called heaven, historically, it has implied a world which is outside ours. The pearly gates, the portal to another world, are certainly outside our present reality. Simply by walking through these gates you may try another world... experience something better than reality, perhaps...

URL: www.rodmanstudio.com
Contact: rodman (at) rodmanstudio (dot) com

To Infinity And Beyond
by Don Peck
To Infinity and Beyond is a nighttime audio show at the "Observatory" (a 35-foot diameter space on the Playa floor). The Observatory is marked by a ring of 10-foot vertical masts with softly twinkling lights. At night, visitors hear recorded messages about the stars, the cosmos, and the vault of heaven.

Contact: donpeck1 (at) juno (dot) com

by Fabian Meier
A UFO has landed on the playa and may be entered safely. Once inside participants can use the switches, potentiometers and sensors on a control board to alter its lighting patterns.

Contact: meierfabian (at) hotmail (dot) com

Wheel Of The Sacred Earth Year
by Kasia Wojnarski
The Wheel is a ritual-oriented interactive installation representing the eight holy days of the earth year as they relate to the cycles of the sun and moon. The alignment of these two universal bodies governs the rythms created on the home planet.

Contact: rokkitkween (at) yahoo (dot) com