Why Art Thrives at Burning Man

 John Hill
29. August 2018
Speaker Nora Atkinson and her brother on the Playa (Photo: Screenshot)
It's late August, which means it's time for Burning Man, the week-long "temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance" in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Curator Nora Atkinson gives a TED Talk about "why art thrives at Burning Man."
Atkinson, who curated No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, now on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, is smitten with Burning Man. She appreciates the large-scale artworks that exist for the week-long event rather than for the art market. As well she boasts of the participatory aspect of the art. In the context of the exhibition she wrote, "It’s all about being there, being fully present, and not just observing."
The theme of the 2018 Burning Man is I, Robot, which asks artists to address technology, artificial intelligence, and human identity. One of the more high-profile contributions this year comes from BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group: The Orb, a "giant reflective art piece [that] will offer a new perspective of the Playa." I'm sure our Instagram feeds will be full of photos of it and other artworks once Burning Man wraps up on September 3rd. In the meantime, check out a live webcast on the Burning Man website.
BIG's "The Orb" at Burning Man 2018 (Photo: Screenshot from live webcast)

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