Burning Man – The Return


I left early.

I’ll keep this brief, because I do have a few nice things to say. Some of the art was really amazing. The wedding that I went to was completely wonderful, and actually made me less cynical about the whole process. It’s going to be even harder to go to the white dress/cake/church variety after standing in a circle in the desert around the bride and groom as they told us and each other how they felt about their mates as the sun went down. Just lovely.

The natural surroundings were stunning, and I think if the event was maybe, 1/100th of its size, then I would be right up there with the most hardcore of burners, crowing its profundity. As it was though, I was left with an overwhelming sense of nihilism. It seems futile to pick apart the whole thing, as so many people attend and use it to form a vital part of their identities. Let’s just say that most of the things I suspected about the burn were absolutely spot-on.

So, I got a lot of good pictures. I was able to attend a wonderful wedding, spend some quality time with a couple of troublesome redheads and put off school for another week. I won’t be going again. I guess I’m spoiled though–I used to get paid to hike around the desert and drink with friends.

Author: colleenmorgan

Dr. Colleen Morgan (ORCID 0000-0001-6907-5535) is the Lecturer in Digital Archaeology and Heritage in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York. She conducts research on digital media and archaeology, with a special focus on embodiment, avatars, genetics and bioarchaeology. She is interested in building archaeological narratives with emerging technology, including photography, video, mobile and locative devices. Through archaeological making she explores past lifeways and our current understanding of heritage, especially regarding issues of authority, authenticity, and identity.

3 thoughts on “Burning Man – The Return”

  1. I don’t quite understand what the number of people that form their identity around something have to do with how one evaluates it.

    There are literally billions of people who adhere to social and religious attitudes that I cannot and will not find positive, despite the fact that their identities are defined by it. In short, this is an operation one has to execute all the time for groups significantly larger than Burning Man.

    In such situations, I generally prefer Henry David Thoreau’s willingness to be the “majority of one”.

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