The ARTery is the Burning Man Art Team.
On-playa, our headquarters is located in Center Camp and functions as a check-in center for artists, as well as a hub for information about art. Off-playa, we operate all year round, kicking into high gear from February to October to make sure that artist applications are processed and art-i-facts are catalogued.
The mission of the ARTery is to serve and defend artistic expression at Burning Man. The goal of the ARTery is as an artist resource center that facilitates the placement and display of art on the playa during the Burning Man event.
What the ARTery Does
- Reads your art installation questionnaires and helps you through the subsequent process.
- Gives you support and guidance at the event on how to best create, install, burn and clean up your creative vision.
- Keeps records on the art that has been and will be, so participants can be inspired again and again.
- Promotes community and art.
What the ARTery Does Not Do
- We don’t tell you what you should create.
- We don’t rate, rank or rankle your artwork.
There’s a lot of pre-event activity with the ARTery team. From February to mid-June, we accept your art installation questionnaires, spend time reading them, asking questions, giving advice and sometimes even document your project’s development. We also pre-place art; that is, we decide, with your input, where your installation will be located.
On-playa, your artist registration begins and ends with us. Whether you’ve pre-registered or just walk-in at the event, we help you to accomplish some essential steps. These steps include having adequate light on your artwork at night, helping you understand the precautions you must have to create safe fire art, and determining a cleanup plan to Leave No Trace.
Some artists like to be placed on the bustling Esplanade, while others prefer the serenity of the deep playa. Some people aren’t familiar with the issues of safe night lighting or protecting their art against vandalism. The ARTery guides you through these choices and happily explains why guidelines are in place so they work better for all participants of Black Rock City.
Once an artist has been fully registered, we escort them to their setup location. The ARTery liaises with other Burning Man departments, including DPW and the Fire Art Safety Team, to assist with artists’ needs. You see us again at the end of the event when we inspect your area for MOOP and burn scars… but otherwise we try not to bother you except to say thanks and wow.
Services for Participants
The ARTery Headquarters on the Esplanade is constantly filled with artists and other visitors. Some simply enjoy the lively atmosphere and chill out on couches in our shade structure. Other folks want to learn more about the art installations. We also provide info about previous years’ art and artists.
For this purpose, one wall of our shade structure has a large map of the open playa, that diagrams where the art installations are located. An informal art gallery on the other walls features diagrams, drawings and plans. ARTery staff also direct a limited number of driving and bike tours of the art installations. We also have printed ‘self-tour’ guides that you can take with you – just don’t MOOP them!
The ARTery is a drop-off point for contributions to the Material Culture archive. This is a collection of interesting playa artifacts – like stickers, toys and jewelry – given as gifts from participants to participants. We gratefully accept your contribution and catalogue it post-event for the Burning Man website.
Be an ARTery Volunteer
Over 2,000 registered art projects since the beginning of Burning Man
- 350+ Honorarium projects
- 80+ ARTery volunteers who make these impressive statistics happen
Interested in joining us? Learn more here.