The annual Burning Man festival kicks off this Monday in Nevada's barren lake bed known as the Black Rock Desert. The yearly event is not your typical music and arts festival; anyone who is familiar with Burning Man knows that those attending the show are more than just spectators. The Burning Man festival is an interactive experience, and surviving the sweltering desert experience is just as much a part of Burning Man as is the entertainment itself.
This year, a record-breaking 50,000 arts and culture enthusiasts will be braving the heat to witness the festivities Burning Man 2012 has to offer. This pop-up community of concert-goers will view some breathtaking artwork in the Black Rock Desert that has come to be known as "the playa" among fellow Burning Man patrons.
So what is there to look forward to this year? Here is a list of some thrilling art projects that will be present at this year's festival, courtesy of ARTINFO.
1. Arc Harps. This is a project by artist Jen Lewis, which features an outdoor 60-string light installation. This piece has been created to respond to user interaction, as Arc Harps uses light to respond to viewers moving in and out of the piece.
2. Burn Wall Street. This political work of art is an installation that explores the middle ground between right-and-left-wing extremists, as ARTINFO states. Burn Wall Street is an outdoor installation with a series of buildings, factories, and office strictures representing Wall Street.
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3. Harmonic Fire Pendula. This installation creates a pattern of waves that is constantly changing through a 16 flaming pendula. Just like the miniature desktop toys, this exhibit is arranged in a line to edge format, and creates a visually encapsulating installation as it is set on fire.
4. Neverwas Haul: Steampunk!! This Steampunk-themed exhibit features a self-propelled moving castle that combines elements of a fortress, a Victorian townhouse and a train car.
5. The Serpent Twins. These are two mobile sculptures, each 50 feet in length, depicting exactly what the name implies: giant serpents. The two enlarged moving installations each have their own name, Midgard and Rainbow, and light up in various colors and patterns.
But just as important as the exhibits themselves is being safe at the Burning Man festival. Below is a list of tips and tricks to help you survive Burning Man 2012.
- Bring water. This may sound obvious, but those new to Burning Man may not know that the festival does not provide water for participants. Anyone attending Burning Man is advised to bring 1.5 gallons of water per person per day for drinking, washing, and cleaning. Always remember to carry around a full bottle of water when leaving your campsite.
- Light yourself. Like most deserts, the Black Rock Desert gets very dark at night, and it is easy to run into things you cannot see such as unlit art installations and other festival goers. It is suggested that Burning Man patrons bring a lighting device such as an LED headlamp.
- Beat the heat and cold. Temperatures throughout the day can reach up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit with low humidity, resulting in extremely dry conditions. Remember to pack sun screen, lip balm and lotion and apply as needed throughout the day. It takes time to adjust to the climate, so remember that when attending the festival you may feel sick or queasy during the first day. Also consume proper salty foods to prevent electrolyte imbalance, and consuming alcohol, caffeine or other drugs can put Burning Man festival goers at a higher risk of dehydration. To combat the heat, remember to bring some form of shade for your camp to relax during the hottest part of the day.
The Burning Man Festival takes place from Aug. 27 through Sept. 1. Be sure to check out the 2012 Survival Guide for more safety tips, and visit ARTINFO for their full list of art exhibits you shouldn't miss. In addition to art installations, the festival includes a lineup of music and DJs, which can be seen in the photo accompanying this article.