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Aug 29th - Sept 5th


The Early Years



Burning Man 1989 -1995
Man stands on ground

  • Face: Blue neon outline, Diamond head, cross X chin
  • Body: curved underside wood, Neon curved underside
  • Slanted neon ribs
  • 3 platforms around Man
  • 2 lamp posts in front of Man
  • A Dust storm hit after the Burn
  • Sunday Burn
  • Ignition by naked Will Roger and Crimson Rose wearing body paint by Jason Norelli

ABC Australia
Deep in southern America’s Black Rock desert, the nation’s weirdest and wildest gather at a strange post-modern event each year to try and recreate ‘culture’.

The Burning Man USA

The first documented live connection from the playa to the internet occurred in 1994. Alfredo Lusa put up a tower with a yagi antenna and beamed a signal from the playa to a dish attached to a small tower next to room 30 at Bruno’s Motel. We rented that room and hooked a 56kbs dial-up modem to the phone line. We were putting pictures from the event up on the website. Took about a half-hour per photo, but it was so cool to be able to do that

"Just about an hour ago, 2100 Pacific Time on Labor Day, Monday 5 September 1994, videographers with MONK magazine sent footage from Burning Man in the desert near Reno, Nevada to a satellite (at $10 per minute) and onto the Internet, where I was watching at home via a 14,400 kbps SLIP connection via CU-SeeMe."

Burning Man Show (10pm PST)
Alfredo Lusa (
Mon, 19 Sep 1994 20:03:57 -0400

Tonight! (Monday 19, 1994 at 10pm PST)
in conjunction with electricspace's (Brandeis Univ. station) live radio show (in which we will unveil Internet Access/MONK's next multimedia extravaganza) we will broadcast the preview of the 1994 Internet Burning Man videofootage.

To receive connect to:
"interactive systems centre, derry, northern ireland" reflector

NOTE: we are using a 14.4 dial-up, connect in the *receive* mode only,

See you there!


Originally in 1993, lanterns were placed on the ground to form the processional to the Man. At the burn we all noticed horizontal lightning bolts 360 degrees around us. About 20 minutes after the Man fell we were hit by a wall of dust and wind followed later by a rain shower. It was the first time we had experienced weather so extreme out there. When the dust cleared, most of the lanterns had vanished.

Larry Harvey designed the first spires in 1994 which both raised the lamps out of reach and made them more visible and useful as navigation markers.

Steve Mobia - Lamplighting: Function Becomes Ritual

Heat waves shimmer off the hardpan alkali flat, and a fine white dust swirls on the wind. Thunderheads gather over the distant mountains that ring the plain, but the sky above you is a deep cloudless blue.

Behind you is your camp, a Rube Goldberg mix of vans, tents, and RVs arrayed in a great circle. Scattered across the plain you see other artifacts less easily explained: a giant fiberglass dog head, an enormous, vaguely phallic mud tower. One of your friends has a radio tuned to a local pirate station; like the daily newspaper folded in your pocket, it will exist only for a few short days and then disappear, like some exotic desert mushroom. You press an icy bottle to your forehead, savoring the cold, and look up. There above you, tall as a four story building, stands the strangely graceful figure known as the Burning Man.

One by one, the slim neon tubes illuminating its huge limbs wink out, and carefully concealed explosives add their staccato thunder to the wild rhythm of many drums. Finally, consumed by fire, it collapses to the desert floor, where the wreckage burns long into the night, a bonfire out of some wild primordial dream.

Burning Man is one of the last places on earth where people from all walks of life, all social strata, and all points of the compass can come together and share a common and primal experience, surviving as a group in a challenging environment, creating a temporary culture of their own design, and sharing one of the most elemental experiences of our species, the awesome mystery of fire. And, on top of that, it’s also one hell of a party.

Stuart Mangrum – Burning Man Newsletter from Burning Man Project, P.O. Box 420572, San Francisco, CA 94142-0052

"I remember arriving in Gerlach on the way in, with only a sketchy idea of what was going to happen; we followed the directions out of town and made our way to the edge of the playa, where we came across a small trailer with a single occupant. The directions were simple "just go straight for 10 miles, then make a right and drive another 7 or 8 miles until you see the lights", and as he said this, he pointed vaguely towards the featureless terrain of the alkaline salt flats; there were no signs of any lights --- off we went into the darkness."

Turner Family -- Winkieworld on Homestead 94

The Drive-By Shooting Range at Burning Man 1994
on Laughing Squid

Theme Camps and Notable City Destinations
  • Camera Obscura Pyramid 16'
  • Bronze Fire Dragon
  • 1st Lamp posts appear
  • Central Camp events include:
    Tiki Camp, Midnight film festival, 1st Annual National Cacophony Society Lunch, Fashion Show and Big Time Wrestling
  • Sharkbait (Night of the Burn)
  • SPaZ is listed in Events at the location of 1 mile East
Ticket price: $30

Tom Kennedy's Ripper the Shark Car

Disgruntled Postal Workers

Circa 1994. Image Danger Ranger