Since 1986 the Burning Man festival brings life to the middle of the Nevada desert with the community of Black Rock City. The summer event is described as an experiment in community and art, every year the participants are invited to express themselves through art and they can set up performances, organize concerts, installations etc. Burning Man is about cooperating and sharing, its aim is to change the art world through the commitment of the community in order to transform art from something that is seen as a marketable good to an interactive experience. This year’s theme “I, Robot” was futuristic but at the same time still relevant today. Based on the famous work by Isaac Asimov the focus of the attention is on artificial intelligence, on life forms and technological progress which are becoming more and more part of our everyday life. “This year we invite participants to use their native genius to create expressive robots of all kinds. We also welcome art that examines how it feels to live in a world that is filled with robots that watch us, track us, hack us, read our tweets and emails, listen to our phone calls, and sell this information to other robots”.
The Burning Man 2018, as seen by Chiara Yaya Gentile and Eugenio Cilento for XIBT
The Burning Man 2018, I Robot – Foto © Chiara Yaya Gentile / Eugenio Cilento
Here is our selection of the best installation from the latest edition of the Burning Man:
- 1) The ORB by Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange / from Valby, Copenhagen, Danimarca
Inspired by NASA’s Project Echo, the ORB is an inflatable structure to levitate above the playa. The reflective skin will mirror the full layout of BRC from the ground, allowing for easier navigation & making visible the burner’s immersion in the community space.
2) Long View, A Polar Bear Stands in the Desert by Don Kennell and Arctic Burn 505 / from Santa Fe, NM
An imposing and majestic polar bear made from white car parts looks across the boundless vista of Black Rock City. The polar bear is an unlikely visitor made from materials transformed from another time and place. Manifesting forces of climate change, she is searching for allies. Taking the “Long View” is crucial to survival. Combining content and joy, we ask the viewer to develop a relationship with the animal. Polar bears help humans imagine a faraway place, a place most will never visit. They are uniquely positioned as ambassadors to bring the arctic into human awareness. Animals disappear to make room for our cars. Turning wrecked cars into monumental animals visually reverses this process and impacts the consciousness of the viewer.
- 3) iSheep by Bardia Saeedi, DC Regional Artists / from Alexandria, VA
Thirteen life-size sheep roam the playa – twelve white, one black, each with a unique voice and character. They bear gifts of bareback rides, lit in their latest Burner costume. Pet them or play gently–even play soft games of “bumper sheep.” But ask before doing something uncomfortable. If they don’t like how you’re playing or if you separate them from the flock, they will object, using their harshest voices and most glaring flashing lights. iSheep are trans-species: They were once humans acting like sheep, but now they’re iSheep, awake and wise.