Close [X]


Aug 26th - Sept 2nd


The Floating World



Burning Man 2002
Man atop the Lighthouse

  • Blue neon outline
  • Lasers placed at the Lighthouse
  • The Lighthouse was not just part of the centerpiece of our city, but also aligned with our radial streets and with our year's theme.

Mutant Vehicles

This year’s theme provided a canvass for a multitude of Mutant vehicles. The Ark of the Nereids, a boat in the form a turquoise narwhale, sailed the waters of our bay, as did La Contessa, a mysterious ghost ship resembling an 18th-century Spanish galleon whose tattered sails bespoke treacherous adventures. A life-sized sperm whale, fashioned in the image of Moby Dick and equipped with a mechanically operated tail, sometimes stalked these vessels on the open sea.
The lighthouse on which the Man stood was a fitting pedestal for "The Floating World" theme. A green krypton laser pierced the darkness like a searchlight, with four beams radiating out from the lighthouse, at the 0, 90, 180, and 270 degree positions to pass through our city to the far edges of the trash fence.
In 2002 our homecoming was marked by perfect weather, at least for most of us. ... The playa was not, however, as benevolent to the cleanup crew. On Tuesday, after most of us had gone, the worst dust storm in BM history swept in and stayed for three days, making cleanup operations extremely difficult. Despite the difficulties, though, we still earned high grades from the BLM in their annual post BM inspection tour.

The playa was our sea and proudly we sailed forth into its uncharted dimensions, to discover ourselves and our Floating World, this year's theme. There were wooden ships on the water—very free and a few, very large—complete with singers, dancers, musicians and other performers. There was an art installation of silvery swimmers, whose strokes matched the rhythm of the playa wind. There were schools of fish and myriad arrays of aquatic creatures that came out at night to dazzle us with their brilliant lights.

At the center of it all, the Man stood upon a 40-foot-tall lighthouse, beaming at us, for us, and with us. This year a treasure hunt was offered. In exchange for undergoing mysterious rites of passage at a variety of theme camps, adventurers received colored tokens, which they could parlay into gold doubloons...This year, the community stretched far onto the playa. The Temple of Tears, reborn as the Temple of Joy, was again an awesome presence. Burning Man 2002, like others before it, was a synthesis of survivalism and radical self-expression, a ballet of dust and dreams. We brought fire; we brought water, and we brought gifts to share.

Read more
Dramatic Ancestors visited the burn in 2002
Andie Grace, aka ActionGrl reporting that after the event in 2002, members of the Regional program continued to discover new ways to connect people in local communities. Every Regional had a web page, an announce list, and an interactive calendar and Burning Man focused its efforts on new tools for the future of the Regional program.

The Burning Man HQ moved into 1900 3rd Street on April 15, 2002. ... The new building became a reflection of the playa. At times, the offices felt like theme camps surrounding the center space we called the Zocalo. ...

For those of us who work on Burning Man, the San Francisco office became our second home and even an extension of ourselves. It was filled with memorabilia from the different events, archival goodies, and traces of our own personalities. Volunteers and staff members frequently visited. The new building created a higher atmosphere of social activity, enabling the Burning Man staff to interact, socialize, and keep more organized. The many diverse minds that run Burning Man and the San Francisco office have reinvented our environment once again.

Crimson Rose - AfterBurn 2002 was nominated for a Webby in the Community category, and was one of the five finalists chosen from the hundreds of contending websites.

In 2002 the playa enclosed by our city was conceived as a large bay, with the Esplanade functioning as its dock and the theme camps lining it serving as ports of call.

Burning Man turned seventeen in 2002, and everyone seemed to agree that this was a very good year. In fact, it may have been the best year yet. Ample springtime flooding smoothed the surface of the playa in 2002 and restored the burnished fractal crust of former years. Warmer nighttime temperatures allowed participants to rove across the surface of this fossil seabed as if drifting on a Gulf Stream current, and our theme, The Floating World, did much to further this impression. The prospect of imaginary seas produced a record catch of art works in 2002 and the sheer abundance of such projects lent a sense of mise en scené to the event, a charm made all the more evocative by the knowledge that so many people had independently joined together in creating it.

Read more

Biz Babes 2002, Burning Man staff.

Maid Marian, Crimson Rose, Action Grl, Harley Bierman, Dana Harrison and Holly Kreuter.

Photograph Julian Cash the people of Burning Man
  • Theme: The Floating World
  • In March, Burning Man rolled over its volunteer management tool to a new database called the People's DB. Created specifically for Burning Man's purposes, the new DB added greater functionality and scalability to the database and created a more customized volunteer management environment.
  • The Regional Contacts program gains more momentum than ever before, as more and more Burners reach out to connect in their own communities all year long. For the first time, three regional communities are featured in the Burning Man summer newsletter.
  • The hard-packed, cracked playa surface returned, along with some of the most delightful weather in the history of the event. With the exception of a short whiteout on Friday night, BRC enjoyed warm, mild, and clear weather all week, right up until Tuesday after the event, when a five-day dust storm rocked clean up crews and greatly impacted their ability to clean up and tear down the city.
  • A new ticket vendor is selected prior to the start of ticket sales in January. The new company is a smaller, burner-owned operation, which allowed us to develop better relationships with them overall. A new system was developed which was highly specialized to the needs of Burning Man, and the ticket process improved enormously.
  • The counterfeit ticket issue was almost completely obliterated, as the new vendor offered a foil-stamping technique that made counterfeit tickets extremely difficult and expensive to reproduce. As a result, not one confirmed counterfeit ticket was presented at the gate. The new tickets also had artwork on their face, creating a perfect Burner keepsake.
  • In the year leading up to the 2002 event, the media team dealt with and resolved roughly 100 issues relating to trademark infringement.
  • Nearly 300 media outlets attended the event - the largest number ever. About 30 film proposals were rejected in an effort to reduce the number of film crews on the playa.
  • More participants than ever chose to create and be a part of theme camps, with a total of 445 camps registering for placement.
  • Burning Man goes to court: in an attempt to stop the sale of unauthorized nude videos shot in Black Rock City, Burning Man has entered a suit against Voyeur Video requesting an injunction against the distribution of their unauthorized footage from the event.
  • In response to the growing number of motorized vehicles over the years, the standards for art cars were greatly strengthened and enforced, out of concern for dust abatement and public safety.
  • For the first time, the Burning Man Technology Team webcast the event and the burn without contracting an outside company, instead using in-house resources and an ad-hoc public networking infrastructure, constructed largely by The Oregon Country Fair crew and by PlayaNet, which exists for the benefit of all Black Rock City participants. This allowed for complete control of the presentation of the stream, delivered within pages designed by the Burning Man Web Team.
  • The BRC Airport was larger than ever before, and about 70 airplanes and helicopters spent at least one night.
  • The "ancestors" returned to the burn in the form of towering whirls of flame and smoke that spun off the base during the burn. Five hundred members of the Fire Conclave spun in the procession before the burn, some on elevated platforms to increase the visibility for the viewing audience.
We also loved hanging out at the Duck, far and away our favorite "nightclub".. One of my most cherished Burning Man Burn Night memories ever is sipping absinthe with the Duck's creator Slim [who] described the evening beautifully in an eloquent blog comment, "Every night, La Contessa would repeatedly moor up alongside the Duck, usually during its ongoing, Melvillian pursuit of Tom Kennedy and Flash's Whale, which would also often dock on our waters, as we presumably constituted some sort of neutral ground (neutral water?)"
- Adrian Roberts - BURNING MAN LIVE, 13 years of Piss Clear
Pigdog Worldwide Ventures and SSM publish their first Spock Science Monitor