A 40-foot tall pink flamingo is headed to Black Rock City

At last week's Burning Man Desert Arts Preview in San Francisco, I learned that artist Josh Zubkoff and his crew are bringing an enormous piece of hot pink pop kitsch to the playa this summer. Twenty times the size of a store-bought pink flamingo lawn ornament, his Phoenicopterus Rex will stand over Black Rock City at 40-feet tall!

Brigid Hughes, a witty cohort of the artist, described the installation to the event's audience. She said that Zubkoff designed the massive pink flamingo with four legs. instead of the traditional two, to give it additional stability. She quipped, "It's evolved!" (To get an feel for how huge this thing really is, 750 lbs. of steel are used per leg.)

Hughes said the installation will have a ladder so Black Rock citizens can go inside, and on top of, the iconic bird because, "Who doesn't want to ride a pink flamingo?"

The piece will be complete with a white picket fence and a fake green grass lawn (a repurposed high school football field).

Hughes closed out the presentation with, "If the playa is our home, then let us decorate the lawn," and, a beat later, "Shipping it is gonna be a thing."

I can't wait to see it. Read the rest

Kickstarting improvements to Maria Del Camino, a "flying" El Camino with a drilled-out portrait of Metropolis's Maria

My friend and Burning Man campmate Bruce Tomb built the greatest art car I've ever seen: Maria Del Camino, made from the body of a '59 El Camino perforated by thousands of hand-drilled holes, which form a pointillist portrait of Maria, the robot from Metropolis, on the hood; connected via a hydraulic arm to the tanklike body of an industrial grader. Read the rest

'Playa Elvis' sings 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' at Burning Man 2016

Playa Elvis sings Bridge Over Troubled Water, at Burning Man 2016. It's a magnificent thing.

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The Mutant Vehicles of Burning Man

Scott London, a longtime burner and photographer (see his 2014 photo book, Burning Man: Art on Fire), produced an amazing set of portraits of art cars -- "mutant vehicles" -- from this year's event, including Maria Del Camino (previously), a flying El Camino/tank hybrid that lives in Liminal Labs, where I camp with its creator, the amazing Bruce Tomb. Read the rest

Burner Rumor: Some of David Bowie's ashes were in the Temple at Burning Man

Matt Mihaly shares the beautiful David Bowie tribute video compiled from footage Mihaly shot at Burning Man 2016. Read the rest

Timelapse of this year's Burning Man

I'm still recovering from this year's Burn, where I saw more amazing art, experienced incredible highs and some fantastic lows. Mark Day's 3:19 timelapse of this year's event captures the lion's share of the art and experiences that moved me. Read the rest

See you at Burning Man!

I'm about to switch off my email until September 5 and drive to Black Rock City for 10 days of incinerating the dude. Read the rest

Burning Man for rich spectators

Further Future is a desert festival created by wealthy Burning Man attendees who want to get rid of the festival's DIY/participatory ethic and replace it with a pampered weekend where poor people wait on them while they strut around the desert, "networking." Read the rest

Digitally animated photos from last year's Burning Man

Ari Fararooy writes, I digitally animated my photographs from the Burning Man festival to create a surreal illustration of my experiences. Read the rest

Help wanted: Burning Man's Chief Fed

The Bureau of Land Management has posted a job listing for a Burning Man project manager, salary $69,497 to $90,344, responsible for risk-management plans, environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, and special recreation permits for the event, which is held every year on the Black Rock Desert, a BLM territory near Reno, Nevada. Read the rest

Company that pampers rich people at Burning Man won't give up

"Festival Concierge Service" is a European company that advertises a pampered, all-inclusive Burning Man trip to wealthy people -- a major no-no at the festival. Despite being blacklisted, ejected and legally threatened by the Burning Man organization, they refuse to give up. Read the rest

Uninsured driver plows through gamer's living-room wall and creams him mid-Fallout 4

Ben Rose was in the middle of a game of Fallout 4 when an uninsured driver in the parking lot outside his Irving, TX apartment building hit the accelerator instead of the brakes and crashed straight through another apartment, then through his living room wall, straight into Rose, fracturing one of his vertebra and nearly severing one of his tendons. Read the rest

Black burners on race and Burning Man

Steven W Thrasher, a self-described "black burner" interviewed 20 burners of color on their experience at and motivations for attending Burning Man, where the population is 87% white and 1.3% black. Read the rest

Burning Man's public Fleshlight

Some funny stuff from this year's burn. Read the rest

FBI used Burning Man to field-test new surveillance equipment

The FBI's 2012 file on its Burning Man surveillance, obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests, reveals that America's domestic spy agency for at least five years, and has been using the event as an opportunity to try out its latest toys, with help from Pershing County sheriff's deputies. Read the rest

Larry Harvey on Burning Man's race gap: 'Black folks don't like to camp as much as white folks'

And just in case that line wasn't problematic enough, he added, “we’re not going to set racial quotas.”

Burning Man said to be "wealthy libertarian fantasy world" and cautionary tale

Though famous for banning ads and appealing to progressive values such as inclusiveness and self-expression, Burning Man is becoming defined by Silicon Valley co-optation and various business shenanigans. Read the rest

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