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Burning Man: 2023 Recap

This past weekend marked the annual return of the Burning Man festival. Burning Man is known for its ambitious and ground-breaking artworks that inhabit the remote desert. Artists each year are challenged to push the boundaries of their work for a single week's audience.

The newfound perspective that the bare landscape provides offers a unique experience for both the attendees and artists to exhibit their work without the restraints of traditional gallery walls. This also allows for the artist to realize their most experimental works without permanence or liability.

The weeklong music, art and community celebration ends each year with the symbolic burning of a large wooden effigy- called the "Man."

This year, artists were invited to work under the theme of ANIMALIA, to celebrate the animal kingdom. Below take a look at some of the installations showcased this year:

Misha Libertee, #Vagr, Yerevan, Armenia, 2023

Within the grounds of desolate dusty views, an eye-catching pink tiger stands tall. The large inflatable evokes a sense of childlike whimsy as well as a reminder of the struggles and environmental changes. #Vagr serves as an educational tool to offer burners a chance to become aware of the importance of conservation.

Laura Salcido, Alebrijes, San Francisco, CA, 2023

Laura Salcido has created an engaging and whimsical piece that represents three Alebrijes. Alebrijes are brightly fantastical creatures that encourage appreciation for beauty and magical creatures. Resting in the open space the three creatures are embellished with white lights.

Nicholas DeBruyne & Maria Gotay with Wevolve Labs & Art Island, 1000 Hands, Austin, TX, 2023

This 50-foot-tall tapestry stands as one of the largest works at Burning Man 2023. The collectively designed tapestry illustrates a world on fire as the winds influence its shape and interaction. The parallel drawn to the realities of our changing climate is an illuminating reminder to protect our planet. Burners are able to engage with this work by swinging from the base to experience "the world on their shoulders."

Esmeralda Nadeau-Jasso & Caleb Hull, A Mechanical Menagerie, Slocan, Canada, 2023

A collection of carousels adorns the desert showcasing a variety of animation styles. Each carousel is interactive as they are spun with the wind or passing participants revealing hidden animations. The images will vary but keep with this year's theme of ANIMALIA.

Courtesy of @autobiographica Instagram

This year, treacherous rainfall struck the site of the event creating unstable muddy grounds that caused attendees to shelter in place. This led to more than 70,000 people being stranded and as of Monday afternoon, all atendees were successfully evacuated




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