Black Rock City - Photo by Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co), CC, Burning Man 2016.
Aerial view of Black Rock City – © Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co).

Burning ManAt the end of every summer, over 70.000 dreamerssettle in Black Rock City, a temporary city pulsating with thousands of art and architecture projects destined to be burnt down to ashes once all gigs and parties are over. Archipanic looks into the history and mechanics of the metropolis rising from its ashes in name of freedom.

RELATED STORIES: Read more about Burning Man on Archipanic 2019…

The Folly @ Burning Man 2019 - Photo via IG by @davekeane
The Folly @ Burning Man 2019 – Photo via IG by @davekeane

Burning Man is the first Bohemian scene to turn itself into a city” said to Archipanic Burning Man founder Larry Harvey who passed away in 2018.

Burning Man 2018 - Photo via IG - Follow @xhoana_x.
Burning Man 2018. A dancer performs in front of BIG – Bjarke Ingels group’s installation – Photo via IG – Follow @xhoana_x.

Architecture is protagonist: across the city secular and mystic cathedrals, public spaces and themed camps invite burners to get inspired by visiting and interacting with ephemeral structures.

Black Rock City, Burning Man 2016:- Black Rock Lighthouse service - Photo by Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co).
Black Rock City, Burning Man 2016:- Black Rock Lighthouse service – © Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co).

After dusk, the city shines with flames and psychedelic neon shows meshing the mystic atmosphere of the day with a crazy party vibe pulsating all night long. Flamboyant vehicles drive through the desert contributing to boost the dreamy and in-wonderland vibe of the festival.

Fire shooting Mutant Vehicle @ BM2013 - Photo by Curtis Simmons.
Fire shooting Mutant Vehicle @ BM2013 – Photo by Curtis Simmons.

RELATED STORY: Dragons on wheels, nomadic houses and self-propelled dance clubs. Find out more about Burning Man’s mutant vehicles transforming the desert into a carnival of neons.

Black Rock City, Burning Man 2017 - Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, Duncan.co.
“Lord Snort” installation by Bryan Tedriks, BM2016 – © Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co).

Holistically speaking, “Black Rock City is not a machine but an organism that It is more then the sum of its parts.” Said once Black Rock City master planner Rod Garrett. “As it burns down every year, its map refers to the phoenix, the mythical bird, the temporary metropolis rises from its ashes.”

Frame from 'Burning Man 2018' video by Phil of Drones.
Frame from ‘Burning Man 2018’ video by Phil of Drones.

Every year a main theme is announced to inspired architects and artists to create mesmzering installations reflecting on contemporary issues such as climate change, technological impact on our innerself and, this year, the society’s impact the the power (and trauma) of transformation.

Burning Man 2017 - Photo by @oliverkoletzki, IG.
Burning Man 2017 – Photo by @oliverkoletzki, IG.

THE MASTER PLAN – Black Rock City is centered around the Burning Man, a landmark sculpture which works as the fixed point of a drawing compass and The Playa open area. All the tents and services are disposed in a crescent divided in sections.

Burning Man - Black Rock City map 2017
Black Rock City map 2017 – Courtesy of Burning Man.

The radial streets of Black Rock City are named by their clock position while the annular streets have always odd names such as Genuflect, Lustrate and Hallowed avenues.

Black Rock City - Photo by Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co), CC, Burning Man 2016.
The Man burns, BM2016 – © Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co).

THE MAN statue is the epicenter of Black Rock City which is always spectacularly burnt down to ashes at the end of every edition.

Burning Man 2019 - Photo via IG by @me_lana_
The Man @ Burning Man 2019 – Photo via IG by @me_lana_

At the center of the crescent, the MAIN CAMP hosts the Playa Information Center, the Arctica ice-store and the the Main Camp Café, the largest temporary freestanding tensile shade structure in the world.

Black Rock City - Photo by Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co), CC, Burning Man 2016.
The Main Camp – © Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co).

The Main Camp Cafè occupies an entire acre for art, encounters and intergalactic convergences. Here every participant, parades, mutant vehicles, marching bands, or green aliens can meet up and interact.

Black Rock City, Burning Man 2017 - Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, Duncan.co.
Bozena Art and Medusa Madness, BM2016 – ©Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co).

Like any other city, Black Rock City has essential INFRASTRUCTURE and COMMUNITY SERVICES including city planning, emergency, safety and sanitary infrastructure and even an unregulated temp-airport. Since 2017, some area will become pedestrian to avoid traffic jam and optimize waste management.

Black Rock City, Burning Man 2017 - Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, Duncan.co.
The Lost Tea Party @ BM2016 -Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co).

In Black Rock City there is not garbage pickup, the festival manages a recycling camp where burners can bring cans – the most practical eating solution in town – which are then up cycled into art installations.

Black Rock City - Photo by Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co), CC, Burning Man 2016.
“Mechan 9” installation by Tyler Fuqua – BM2016 – © Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co).

The Department of Mutant Vehicles licenses and supports participants to share their mobile creations with the community of Black Rock City. The Department of Public Works plans, surveys, builds, and takes down the basic infrastructure in town.

GoldenGate ArtCar @ BurningMan2019 - Photo via IG by @lyric.shot.it
GoldenGate ArtCar – Photo via IG by @lyric.shot.it
Black Rock City, Burning Man 2017 - Photo by Duncan Rawlinson, Duncan.co.
The Man at sunset, B2016 – © Duncan Rawlinson (duncan.co).