Burning Man's in-your-face, counterculture vibe has meant that the festival has always been something of a media darling. But when the event sold out for the first time in 2011, there was a marked increase in the commentary about its history, current status and future. When, in 2012, a new random lottery system for tickets left so many long-time attendees ticketless, that commentary deepened. Questions about the evolution, meaning and value of Burning Man as an experiment in community, self-sufficiency and anti-capitalism are being raised, and Playa Dust seeks to answer them.
Playa Dust is a compilation of essays by authors who are part of the universe of Burning Man or who envisage the many ideas and landscapes on its periphery. By juxtaposing an unusually array of voices and stories, the volume reveals the complex nature and range of this annual pilgrimage to the desert, now in its 27th year.
Contributors include those who built the first wooden effigies on San Francisco's Baker Beach from 1986 to 1990, in the gatherings that would later become Burning Man; artists who have installed works at the festival; musicologists, photographers and filmmakers who have made work there; writers who have written about their Burning Man experience; architects who have built there, sociologists who have studied Burning Man's experimental nature and even lawyers who have brokered Burning Man's controversial existence.
Paperback, 0.89" H x 9.02" L x 5.85" W (1.74 lbs) 256 pages