Participants on the ground for this year’s Burn weren’t surrounded by 80,000 of their closest friends, nor were they dazzled by the lights and music of hundreds of mutant vehicles. Instead, a small group of people – – some of whom have been working on the Man Burn for many years and others who have worked on Burning Man Project’s properties in and around Gerlach this summer – – gathered at Fly Ranch to quickly and quietly erect and ignite a 20-foot tall wooden figure. COVID-safety measures were part of the planning process.
While “uncertainty” has become the word of the times, one thing we know to be certain: we will find a way to maintain the rituals that have come to hold so much meaning, to mark the passing of time, and the changing of our lives.
As Burning Man founder Larry Harvey stated in the organization’s foundational mission statement, “Our intention is to generate society that connects each individual to his or her creative powers to participation in community, to the larger realm of civic life, and to the even greater world of nature that exists beyond society.”
To that end, we will always Burn the Man.
AmberBurn 2021: Lithuanian Regional Shows Heart of Burning Man Community Is Still Beating Strong and AfrikaBurn Envisions a Permanent, Regenerative Home at Quaggafontein. And BURN2 in SecondLife produced their Virtual Regional Winter Burn 2021: Bubble Gum & Duct Tape.
There were DMV stickers for vehicles crossing desert expanse where no Black Rock City was built.
And there were Vehicle Passes for a non-existent Gate.
This year, without our city in the desert and so many other key Regional Events, we saw the culture burst forth, propagate, and morph in so many unanticipated but perfect ways.
In 2021 Burning Man was everywhere. As always, but even more so during a year without Black Rock City, it was our mission to support the myriad expressions of the culture that emerged as a result.
You built Art No Matter What. We supported artists to create works of art that rose in multiple cities around the world.
Burners gathered in oh so many ways. You came together to build and explore wildly inventive virtual experiences. As a global community, we safely hosted community gatherings closer to home, including a handful of Regional Events.
You contributed to important community projects. We advanced our internal and community work around Radical Inclusion, Diversity, & Equity. Working with the community, we ideated and prototyped ways to make our desert city radically more sustainable, and did much-needed work on our Northern Nevada properties. Burners learned together, built community, and hatched new projects in Burning Man Hive.
We shared stories and cultural conversations. Together we hosted Global Activation calls, an ArtSpeaks series, held convenings, and ran campouts at Fly Ranch. We shared stories on the Burning Man LIVE podcast, and even published a book.
And, of course, we burned the Man.
In 2021, the second year of a Virtual Burn was a global, digital incarnation of the Burning Man event, culture and community, that took place August 22 to September 7, 2021. There were six incarnations of the Burn that logged 70,392 sessions.BURN2 was an official virtual Burning Man Regional event on the SecondLife platform. This vibrant virtual community has been going strong since 2003, hosting periodic official events. BURN2 ran concurrently with the Virtual Burn. BRC events also occurred in Minecraft for the second year.
The Luminous Lotus Temple
The Temple design came from artist Roger Carr, with support from Tamara Kalo and Rick Irving. The dedicated immersive experience is created and produced by Simeone Scaramozzino and his team, known for the awe-invoking 2020 Ethereal Empyreal Experience Virtual Temple Burn.
The Temple Burn Ceremony was a multisensorial, immersive art experience imbued with soundscapes, harmonizing binaural and solfeggio frequencies, and a cacophony of colors that mirrored the emotions of the Offerings contributed to the Luminous Lotus Temple throughout the Virtual Burn Week.
The emotional energy of the Offerings was synesthetically transformed by the sacred fire into awareness and harmony. As the Temple returns to dust, we emerge from the fire, lighter and freer, and reunite with the light.
The goal at Fly Ranch is to produce public benefits as an agricultural site with regenerative cycles for food, water, power, shelter, waste, and air. More broadly, the vision is for a permanent home to prototype and scale Burning Man culture and infrastructure, human creativity, and regenerative innovation.
In 2021 Fly Ranch collaborated with Friends of Black Rock-High Rock to lead more than 1,500 people on nature walks. Close to 500 visitors camped at Fly Ranch to participate in work weekends, stewardship campouts, and a 19-day campout for participants in the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI) 2020 Fly Ranch Design Challenge.
Burning Man Publishing released philosopher Caveat Magister's second book, "Turn Your Life Into Art" a cookbook for concocting psychomagical experiences anywhere, any time
And as always, Adriana produced the BRC Weekly headlining how to deal with no Burning Man provided portas among other things at the unofficial gathering on Playa
Non-event restrictions on no large open fires and large art were enforced by the BLM, but much to our credit, Burners generally maintained the concepts of Leave No Trace and Community our event has ingrained into our ethos.
Larger than the 2020 camp on playa during last year's Black Rock City dates, this gathering proved to be an amazing example of Burning Man culture in action.