August/13/2007 Filed in: burner culture
Photo by Fabian Mohr
Found this new book "Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man" browsing around Amazon and called up my local independent book store to special order one -- excellent find! The book itself is a piece of artwork, a shuffle-play of favorite Burning Man deliriums and memories throughout the years, designed by the venerable collagist and font master Martin Vensezky. It features photo contributions from hundreds of playa snapshooters and loads of playa ephemera, like reproductions of tickets and maps from past Burns, stickers and buttons from different theme camps, postcards, covers of past issues of Piss Clear and all the little trinkety stuff that are gifted out to strangers and circulate throughout the city.
Photo by Stewart Harvey
The trajectory of the book is shaped to represent the journey to and through Black Rock City, and thus early chapters include drives through Reno and Gerlach and the first burns in San Francisco before introducing you to Burning Man playa legends like Thunderdome, Dr. Megavolt, the Contessa, Helco and the Belgian Waffle. There are chapters on music, vehicles and costumes/identity before the reader is brought face to face with the Man and his many inflammations. The end of the ride lands softly with a retrospective of David Best's temples (and temple burns) and winds it all up with a look at the city's dissolution in the chapter "Leave No Trace." It is all very well-choreographed by Jessican Bruder, who has a day job as a reporter for The Oregonian in Portland. The whole thing reads like a high school yearbook -- albeit this is a very, very weird high school.
Photo by NK Guy
Very nice work all the way around; a bejeweled treasure to behold. One can almost taste the dust. After the Green Man, you might need to pick yourself up a copy to keep your soul in alignment in the dark days of the Default World.
Jessica's website is right here.