2011 was a year for breaking new ground for the event as a whole and art in particular. From a Temple over 120 feet tall to skeletons rowing on the river Styx to the Circle of Regional Effigies, Burning Man participants raised their creative juices to a new level. Burning Man continues to develop and provide a blank canvas for art that stretches the imagination.
The ARTery is the Burning Man Art Department’s headquarters for processing art on the playa. The ARTery team works year round to anticipate all the challenges that go into creating art in a hostile environment, and to make the project registration process as smooth as possible.
Art Support is the Art Department’s liaison to DPW Support Services, coordinating heavy machinery for artists who need cranes, fork lifts, trenchers and cherry pickers, making large-scale art possible.
The Fire Art Safety Team (FAST) (previously known as the Performance Safety Team) once again worked to ensure that artists who work with fire do so safely, whether it be open fire, flame effects or pyrotechnics. The number of fires and flame effects on playa dwarfed the numbers from previous years.
The Eyes on Art and Man Watch safety teams continued to monitor art installations on the open playa and the Man base, respectively. Eyes on Art (EoA) patrolled the playa looking for unlit and unsafe art. Working closely with the Black Rock Rangers, the ARTery and artists, Eyes on Art helps identify those installations that need to improve their safety measures. Man Watch oversees activities at the Man base, ensuring a fun, safe, participatory experience for everyone who ventures to see the Man. Temple Guardians hold space in the Temple for the citizens of Black Rock City. Acting as both an emotional resource as well as a safety manager, the Temple Guardians formally joined the Art department in 2011.
The Fire Conclave remains the largest group of fire performers and support staff ever to assemble in one place at once, and their performance before the Burn was spectacular.
The Special Events Team keeps the fires burning the other 51 weeks of the year, as it essentially acts as the San Francisco Bay Area’s own Regional group. As long as there are Burners in the Bay Area, they will facilitate those special gatherings that make this a vibrant place for our community.