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Aug 26th - Sept 4th


The Body



Burning Man 1999-2000
Man on platform

  • Neon Red outline and Blue inside
  • Curved underside, Red neon
  • Man on platform
  • This was the last year that Man raised by participants with rope

The Faces of Man by Dan Das Man, image Jon Fox Photo

  • Theme: The Body.
  • Street layout again corresponds with the theme: annular streets again run 2:00 to 10:00, with radial streets named for body parts. "Head Way" is at the center; "Feet Street" is the outer road.
  • Over 140 members of the worldwide media register to cover the event.
  • "Loud Side/Quiet Side" designation is replaced with a new sound policy that places large-scale sound installations at the top of the "U" shape, at 10:00 and 2:00, facing out onto the playa. New policy is a success and far fewer noise complaints roll in after the event than in previous years.
  • Theme Art area continues to grow. Defining the area is an installation called "Laser Man" by Russell Wilcox of Lawrence Livermore Laboratories; projected by towers 30 feet above the playa, green lasers form the body of the Man in the shape of the logo. Along the "spine" of this pictogram are placed major works of art inspired by the human body, including the Burning Man at the Solar Plexus. Among these works: WHISPER by Christopher Carfi - a pair of parabolic dishes situated at the "ears" of the man - the tinest whisper into one dish could be heard at the other hundreds of feet away; RIBCAGE/BIRDCAGE by Jenne Giles and Philip Bonham, a 17 foot high 'birdcage' shaped like the human ribcage, complete with a swing where the heart would be; HEARTH by Sidney Klinge and Charles Smith, a popular 20' iron and steel heart which pulsed with fire and warmed participants at night; and ANUS by David Normal and Max Hunter, a sculpture of a 12' sphincter and two mighty squatting legs, through which participants could crawl.
  • Theme camp participation continues to increase, with over 460 camps registered.
  • The Center Camp Café grows to a stunning 34,000 square foot structure, and incorporates an expanded cafe staff, four beautifully decorated themed areas, and a stage for musical or spoken word performances.
  • A new policy is successfully implemented which ceases ticket sales at the gate after Friday to discourage last-minute visitors.

Mutant Vehicles

Draka is the Flaming Metal Dragon I built as a mobile Art Installation for Burning Man 2000. In relation to the Burning Man theme of the Body, this creature was designed to function as the Man's Spirit. Lisa Nigro - The Leonardo Gallery
This isn't a theme park. Nothing out here has been "sanitized for your protection". It's dirty, it's dangerous, it's real. And that's just how I like it.

At the Temple of Atonement we take our pleasure and our pain very seriously. ... Danger is the ultimate aphrodesiac...Burners love to mess around with that kind of energy.. This one camp, Headless Maiden wouldn't give you a drink unless they could mark you first. They'd put a little cardboard cutout with their camp logo on your bare behind, then paddle you with a wooden spoon until you had a welt of the proper shape...

Really, the whole festival is about staring Death in the face, I mean, where do you think the expression "Playing with fire" came from?"

Donn Cortez - The Man Burns Tonight

David Best and Jack Haye brought their Temple of the Mind to the playa in 2000, a structure that would become the first of a long line of Temples.

Mosbaugh - Spirituality and Community 2000, I met with a coalition of committed ravers, drummers, Black Rock Rangers, professional bouncers and sound engineers, and we developed the current sound policy that we still use today. We created the 10:00 and 2:00 loud ends of the city. We officially named the camps habitating that zone "Large Scale Sound Art" camps (LSSA) so as to not distinguish on preference in music, but respect artistry across all (loud) sound disciplines.

Harley K. DuBois Managing Diversity: The Zoning of Black Rock City

DVR: What about techno music? There certainly seems to be a lot of it in Black Rock City. Do you consider it intrusive?

LH: Well, I see you've saved the hardest question for the last. Listen, last year an interesting thing happened. As people moved through our Greeter station, we told them that the quiet side of town was to the right. In many cases, we didn't have to tell them. They knew and they cared. After a couple of days we noticed that end filling up. We finally had to request that people go left. It began to seem like a bunch of roommates huddled at one end of an apartment because somebody wouldn't turn down their stereo.

DVR: They didn't like techno music?

LH: I've no idea what their musical tastes might have been. A lot of people like techno. But I think it's safe to say that a whole lot of people didn't like really loud sound as a fixed part of their lives, especially an incessant bass going thud thud thud until dawn. It's not about music. It's about sound. Sound is a peculiar thing. Unlike other forms of expression, it can affect other people in a very intimate way over long distances.

DVR: What if it's turned down?

LH: You are naive. A certain kind of loudness is a part of the aesthetic. It's meant to penetrate your body. People bathe in the sound. Asking folks to turn it down is sort of a non-sequitur. This year we plan to restrict large-scale amplified sound of this kind to a very limited area. Installations of this kind must register ahead of time. People can go there and enjoy it, but there will be less of it. I have seen 6 or 8 people gathered in front of speakers the size of Volkswagens. But why should the enjoyment of 6 people afflict 600 others? Sound at such levels can travel forever in the desert, regardless of how you insulate it or how you orient your speakers. We recommend earplugs at the event. That and a very broad tolerance for other people's tastes. But even earplugs won't avail against that bass.

The Meaning of Participation - An Interview with Larry Harvey

We couldn’t believe it was cold again either. And the wind storms were back. Regardless of the elements that came our way, we put our goggled faces into the wind and marched off across the playa.

Everywhere there were distorted, enlarged, even engorged bits of man. The Body theme was evident everywhere — participation and theme came together to form an impressive body of work. And what bodies we built! Anatomy was taken to playa proportions: a 20 ft. flaming anus complete with slide (by David Normal and Max Hunter); a 20 ft. tall heart (‘Hearth’ by Sidney Klinge and Charles Smith); and of course the familiar 50 ft. Man.

The Body theme was carried out not just in the kind of art that was created, but in the very placement of art on the playa. Laser Man (engineered by Russel Wilcox) outlined the Burning Man across the playa, marking our collective body for the universe to see. This was the world’s first giant pictogram in lasers, clearly visible from the air (and space!).

Beginning with the head and going through all seven chakras, large-scale theme art made a grand axis down through the body’s gut and heart, culminating in its vast diamond-shaped head.

Molly Golightly – 2000 Archive

The ARTery

The ARTery is the headquarters in Center Camp for the Art team and the name was coined for the 2000 event, with the theme The Body.
We used to play House. Now we're playing City.
- Adrian Roberts, Piss Clear 2000
Early in 2000, a young restauranteur presented an idea for a huge “Cafe” at Center Camp....

It seemed prudent to design a structure which could be taken down, transported, stored and reassembled every year; therefore, it should be composed of durable and modular, replaceable elements. As the winds could come from any compass direction, the structure should be able to effectively disperse potentially great forces.

This resolved to the idea of a large diaphragm, a round ring pulled into compression by a membrane which distributed loading from any point. Being slightly peaked in the center, the deflected wind would tend to hold everything down....

We are told that the design was modeled in a computer simulation program and tested there in up to 120 MPH winds without failure. Since first installed in 2000, it has probably not seen winds half that high, but it’s reassuring nonetheless. At those times, it seems somewhat like being in the eye of a hurricane, outside — a roaring "white out", while inside — simply dust and fluttering.

Rod Garrett - Creating the Black Rock City Café

image 1997, raising the man

“We need your help, could you help pull this big fat rope to raise the Man?” …(it takes a village they say)…

The title, “Raising the Man,” can be taken literally, or metaphorically…

The rope and boom system took 120 to 200 people to raise and lower the Man. It didn’t tend to take more than half an hour to raise a crowd for the task amongst our burgeoning populace.

This was always a joy to experience the team accomplishment and satisfaction of a group that, like each person being a cell of a muscle, makes for a mighty lifting arm. It was fun!

Dan Miller - Raising the Man

A sampling of Theme Camps from 2000
  • Spock Mountain Research Labs
  • Radio Kaos
  • Postman of the Playa & Warrior Slut PVC Pyramid Camp
  • Oregon Country Fair Embassy
  • MezLabs(brought to you by the Church of Mez)
  • M*A*S*Hcara - Home of NAMBLA the Clown, the Penis Painting Salon and Piss Clear.
  • Alien Love Nest - Get your Year 2000 "Hand Made" limited edition Burning Man Pendants at our daily talent show.
  • The Artist's Republic of Fremont
  • The Black Light District
  • Gigsville
  • Camp Carp
  • Magic Glasses Camp
  • Camp Goatrodeo - See the GIANT GOAT! Experience the ANUS of TRUTH! Or, just stop by and say hi.
  • Eggchair Camp
  • Emerald City
  • Headless Maiden
  • The Temple of Atonement, The Roulette Of Punishment, Nipple Clamp Camp
  • The Temple of WaterBoy 3.0
The Map of the Body