Guidelines and Registration

All Participants are Welcome to Create Art at Burning Man!

Burning Man’s Art Installation Registration Questionnaire will be available online from late February until June 19th, 2015 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time. After this date you will need to register your project at the ARTery on playa.

This questionnaire is only for registering physical art installations to be placed on the open playa, and not Mutant Vehicles, performances, or art inside your camp (which doesn’t need to be registered).

Art Grants

Every year Burning Man issues a small number of grants for the purpose of partially funding specific art projects. See our Black Rock City Honoraria Grants for instructions on how to apply.

ART INSTALLATION GUIDELINES

Responsibility

Whether you create a theme-related artwork or that vision you’ve had in your head for some time, anyone making a commitment to creating art at Burning Man must take responsibility for all aspects of that creation. From filling out the art installation registration form, participating a dialogue with us, arriving on the playa, protecting your art, and cleanup accountability, every aspect of creating art must be taken seriously.

  • Artwork must be sufficiently secured against high winds and intense weather conditions that often arise on the playa. If there are guy wires that are necessary to the construction they must be flagged. Please read about securing structures.
  • Artwork must be sufficiently illuminated at night, including rebar, guy wires and any other part of the installation that somebody could crash into. This includes lighting your build materials before you finish creating your art installation. Note that it’s a darn good idea to use something that cannot be stolen or removed. Read more on lighting your art.
  • To prevent irreparable environmental damage, no holes larger than three feet by one foot in either direction may be dug in the playa floor. If you do need to dig a hole up to this size, you will need to keep the playa in a container, so you can pack it back into the hole when dismantling your installation. If you need help securing your structure, please contact the ARTery, and we can help you with alternative solutions.
  • Camping is not allowed at any art installation on the open playa.

Communication

After you fill out the art installation questionnaire, someone from our Art Team will be contacting you, ready to help and assist you. We need as much information as you can possibly give us, including a description and diagrams of your piece. Participating in a dialogue with you about your artwork will enable us to help make your Burning Man experience the best it can be.

Challenge

Creating art on the playa of Black Rock City is like no canvas or gallery that you may have ever experienced before. The challenges are many. You must consider the extreme physical conditions of the desert, the logistics of transporting props, building materials and equipment to this remote desert site, and the difficulty of maintaining tools and equipment in a place that has no service grid or ready market of resources.

You must also consider the inherently chaotic nature of Black Rock City itself. All of these challenges are aspects of the medium in which you are working, so plan carefully and be patient. Your creation may not happen in precisely the way you envision it, but that’s okay. The struggle to adapt and to survive is an essential part of this experience and can lead to unexpected discoveries, both about your art as well as yourself.

Interactivity

We challenge you to create something that will inspire, engage, question, puzzle, amuse, seduce and otherwise influence the citizens of Black Rock City. Interactive art is our particular obsession. Interactive work convenes society around itself. It generates roles. It provokes actions. It transforms participants into active contributors to a creative process.

Sound

Large scale sound art is confined to the 10:00 and 2:00 edges of our city. Art installations on the open playa may contain ambient sound elements that are integral to the installation, but we do not allow DJs, sound systems, DJ booths, or any kind of amplified dance music in the art area. Why not? Electronic music permeates our city, and the art area is one place that is free of it. Some installations require a quiet area, and amplified music makes that impossible. With the nature of the open desert, sound carries far and wide very easily. If you are creating an art installation that contains amplified music, it must be located on or in front of the 10:00 or 2:00 edge of our city, and must adhere to our sound policy. See our Sound Policy

Cleanup Accountability – To Burn Or Not To Burn

You arrive on a clean blank canvas – the playa. And that is the way you should leave it. Everything you bring to live, create and burn MUST BE REMOVED. Nothing, absolutely nothing, should be left at your art site or camp when you leave. Cleaning up and Leaving No Trace are paramount. As citizens of Black Rock City we are held to a higher standard.

Read more about Leave No Trace for Artists and Clean-up Tools

IMPORTANT: There are special requirements if your artwork incorporates FIRE in any of the following ways:

  • Open Fire: flames created by candles, torches, fire barrels, wood fires, and/or artwork that will itself be engulfed in flame or otherwise burned.lames created by candles, torches, fire barrels, wood fires, and/or artwork that will itself be engulfed in flame or otherwise burned.
  • Flame Effects: flames that are automated, switched, pressurized or have any action other than simply being lit on fire. This includes projects that use propane or liquid fuels.
  • Pyrotechnic Display: explosives, fireworks or projectiles.
  • Hazardous Materials Storage: Storage of hazardous or combustible materials, including kerosene, white gas, propane, gasoline, pyrotechnics, etc.

If your artwork incorporates fire in any of those ways, it is mandatory that you read and utilize the fire safety guidelines that we have developed. You will also be required to fill out the Fire Safety section of the Questionnaire and include your Burn Scar Prevention plan. To be prepared for these questions, please read the following and gather the information you need before you start the questionnaire:

Here’s who to email if you have any questions:

And Finally …

Once you’ve gathered the information you need to describe your artwork, your lighting, leave no trace plans, and fire safety plan if your artwork incorporates Open Fire, Flame Effects, Pyrotechnics or the storage of hazardous or combustible materials, click below to get started.

Art Installation Questionnaire