All photos by Andrew Jorgensen

Through the vivid lens of Andrew Jorgensen

Eamon Armstrong
Sep 14, 2016 · 5 min read

Burning Man is the most dynamic, large-scale immersive art experience in the world. The art of the Black Rock Desert takes many forms from cutting-edge musical performances to mighty mutant vehicles. Attendees experience light art, performance art, lavish costumes and zany interactive experiences. But perhaps most famous are the iconic large installations that grace Burning Man’s expansive playa. Each year veterans and newbies alike eagerly await the massive landmarks that rise out of the flat expanse of the ancient lakebed. Towering monoliths emerge from dust storms like stalwart sentinels and transform entirely from day to night. They play host to art car parties, weddings, photo shoots and introspection. In harmony with the annual theme, they give the city a unique flavor every year.

The Burning Man Project offers Black Rock City Honoraria grants to art pieces as well as tickets, direct ticket sale access and early arrival passes to build in the city. Even so, their ambitious designers and teams spend the year fundraising online and hosting parties. These fundraising efforts are often incomplete even when the Burn ends, so if you loved a particular piece on the playa, they are likely still trying to get their funding needs met. You can still be a patron!

There are always a few select pieces in specific locations in the city. The Center Camp keyhole holds a special place as the gate to the playa. This year the Space Whale, a mighty stained-glass mammal held the 6 o’clock spot. At 12 o’clock the Temple offered a place for grieving and reflection. This year it was simply called “The Temple” and was designed by David Best who has created 15 Temples over the course of Burning Man history. As always, the iconic Man emphasized the year’s theme and formed the center of our world. The Man was designed to evoke Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, but did not rotate as intended. It should be noted that things going wrong during Burning Man construction simply emphasize the herculean task of building in such an inhospitable environment. I’ve personally always found incompletion, mistakes and fiascos to be a noble sign of our struggle against our environment.

Some installations are dismantled, packed up and transported to begin a new life in some other playground. Others are burned towards the end of the week in honor of the immediacy and temporal nature of the event. The massive Catacombs of Veils, though ultimately unfinished, delivered an incredible burn early on Friday morning, producing “twister sisters” as the sun rose over the desert. What a treat to have some cloud cover as we rode our bikes home. The Black Rock Lighthouse, a trusty guide during the week, blazed away after the Man burn early Sunday morning. I was honored to watch those lighthouses ignite with my colleague Emily Ward who was part of the build team.

The images below were all capture by our friend Andrew Jorgensen. Andrew is a wizard behind the lens who continues to amaze us. He’s been shooting events for over 10 years and is on the in-house media teams of major commercial festivals like Coachella and Bonnaroo and alternative events like Envision, Lightning in a Bottle, and Symbiosis Gathering. This was his second burn and as ever, the scope of his vision inspires.

Space Whale by The Pier Group with Matthew Schultz, Android Jones and Andy Tibbetts
Medusa Madness by Reared In Steel, LLC
@Earth #HOME by Laura Kimpton and Jeff Schomberg
Identity Awareness Union by Shane M. Pitzer
Tower of Ascension by Swig Miller and Friends
The Black Rock Lighthouse Service by Jonny and Max Poynton
The Giant Weta by Andrew Benson, Hippathy Valentine and Auckland Burners
Seeing Humanity for What It Really Is by Laurence Vallières
HYBYCOZO — Heart of Gold by: HYBYCOZO
Lord Snort by Bryan Tedrick
Renaiximent Renaissance by Pink Intruder (Miguel Arraiz and David Moreno)
Guardino Leone by Kevin Clark
La Victrola by La Victrola Society
Awakening by Ryan Elmendorf and Nick Geurts
Jack Champions Murder by Jack Champions Murder
OID by Michael Christian
Helios by Kate Raudenbush
Catacomb of Veils by Dan Sullivan and the Catacomb Crew
The Lost Teaparty by Alex “Wreckage” Wright and the Camel Tow Battalion
Magic by Laura Kimpton
The Sísya by Rob Bell and Krista Sanders (sponsored by Friendlandia)
The Temple by David Best and The Temple Crew
The Temple by David Best and The Temple Crew
The Man by The Man Crew
The Man by The Man Crew

Originally published at

Eamon Armstrong

Written by

🎙 #LifeisaFestivalPodcast 🖋 Writer. Speaker. Host. 👨🏻‍🎤 Integrating Masculinity. 🎪 Bimbling Around Festivals. 📍 San Francisco | Black Rock City

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