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Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man Hardcover – August 7, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Gallery Books (August 7, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416928243
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416928249
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #544,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is pretty much like the best Burning Man scrapbook, ever – you know, the one you always wanted to make, but you just couldn’t get your shit together enough to do it...But more than just the imagery, it’s the writing I especially love – Jess has a way with words that vividly captures the experience of what it’s like to be out here on the playa and spotlights some of the people and projects unique to Burning Man culture. Highly-recommended." --review

"Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man by Jessica Bruder breaks free of its print shackles: It's great fun, and great fodder for daydreaming." --The San Diego Union-Tribune (added by author)

“Now at last comes a book that manages to capture the magic and craziness of Burning Man in well-told words and dazzling color photography...Bruder, 29, is a veteran of five Burning Mans and brings a savvy eye to its eye-popping proceedings, its reason-defying rituals, its key players and characters, as well as its intense and uninhibited atmosphere.”  --review

"This is pretty much like the best Burning Man scrapbook, ever - you know, the one you always wanted to make, but you just couldn't get your shit together enough to do it...But more than just the imagery, it's the writing I especially love - Jess has a way with words that vividly captures the experience of what it's like to be out here on the playa and spotlights some of the people and projects unique to Burning Man culture. Highly-recommended." --Piss Clear (added by author)

"Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man by Jessica Bruder breaks free of its print shackles: It's great fun, and great fodder for daydreaming." --The San Diego Union-Tribune (added by author)

"Now at last comes a book that manages to capture the magic and craziness of Burning Man in well-told words and dazzling color photography...Bruder, 29, is a veteran of five Burning Mans and brings a savvy eye to its eye-popping proceedings, its reason-defying rituals, its key players and characters, as well as its intense and uninhibited atmosphere." --The Seattle Post-Intelligencer (added by author)

From the Inside Flap

It all began 1986 when a pair of friends burned an eight-foot-tall effigy on Baker Beach in San Francisco in front of an impromptu audience of twenty. Two decades later Burning Man has evolved into a dazzling annual extravaganza dedicated to radical self-reliance and self-expression, attracting nearly forty thousand people. These revelers -- an eclectic mix of punks, geeks, families, ravers, grad students, gearheads, hippies, and tourists -- turn the ancient lakebed of Nevada's Black Rock Desert into a bustling city that exists for one glorious week before disappearing in a cloud of ashes and dust.

Burning Book is both a loving commemoration of the event's storied history and an enlightening companion for festivalgoers. Bruder explores the unique ethos and breathtaking art installations that have shaped the event, along with Black Rock City's distinctive landmarks, pranks, lore, and gift-based economy. Illustrated with hundreds of stunning photographs, Burning Book is a striking tribute to an extraordinary cultural phenomenon for the legions who participate in Burning Man every year, and for those who haven't become part of this unforgettable celebration -- yet.(added by author)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amani on August 5, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I have spent all of today reading Burning Book. A seven-year veteran of Burning Man, I feel like I know a lot about the event, culture and art. HA!
I have learned a lot reading Burning Book, including more information about installations I've interacted with, and even about some I've worked on!
Our project from 2006 gets a page in the book and I am eternally grateful and honored to have placement in this fantastic book. Thank you to Jessica Bruder! This book is a wonderful gift to your community. Kudos to you! You inspire me.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I went to several Burning Mans, since 1992, and once met Michael Michael, from San Francisco Cacophony, when he visited the Los Angeles chapter. So Bruder's account brought back much nostalgia. As she relates, the growth of Burning Man has also led to ever more intricate theme camps and art installations. Several depicted in the photos, I saw. Including the huge ball of ice, containing scores of clocks, that fell off as the ball melted. Or the archway of cattle bones. Along with sundry corporate parodies.

Her accounts of summer desert rainstorms is also quite accurate. Especially for 1995. When the ground turned to a thick mud, and walking was labourious. She shows a nice photo of a rainbox over the campsite. Those of us who were there in 95 remember the winds and rain quite well. Along with the sandstorms that caused visibility to fall to a meter or less.

Art cars are shown in several photos. Fantastically decorated. Surprisingly, Bruder doesn't seem to mention that the art car "movement" was centred around Portland Cacophony. She is from Portland and undoubtedly knows many in that chapter. Granted, art cars now come from all over, and perhaps Portland no longer dominates that scene.

In 1996, the book describes how there were 2 tragic events, that caused later Burning Mans to have tighter safety rules. One event was a motorcycle rider who died on the playa. Another was a vehicle colliding deliberately into a tent and hitting 3 sleeping people, crippling one of them. Unfortunately, there is little elaboration about the events. A reader new to Burning Man might be interested in more information.

One strength of the narrative is the extensive coverage of the first Burning Mans held on a San Francisco beach. Photos of those events are also nice.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Trinity Lourdes on August 21, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is nothing out there that captures the experience of Burning Man better
than this book. With its inventive graphics and many pictures, and a very well written account by the author, it seems this book was created for both veterans and the merely curious.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Duvernois TOP 1000 REVIEWER on February 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Obviously there's no comparison to being there, Burning Man is a participatory event, something very different from a book or a DVD. But for a book documenting some of the art and some of society of Burning Man, this is a good effort. Best effort that I know of. One really catches some of the spirit of the event in the pages of the book. There's a good mix of early and later events covered as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By C. D. Wheeler on January 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am proud to have this among my collection of books and Burning Man memorabilia. Jessica has done a beautiful job of capturing the spirit of the playa. You can see the love and dedication she put into each photograph. I love this book, and no I do not personally know the author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Spirit on April 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Pure magic. That is how I would describe this wonderful book about Burning Man. I'd highly recommend it for those who long to relive the experience as well as for those who are merely curious about this amazing cultural phenomenon.
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Format: Hardcover
The foreword in Jessica Bruder's outstanding documentary book about the transient annual work of art in the desert reads as follows: 'It all began in 1986, when a pair of friends burned an eight-foot-tall effigy on Baker Beach in San Francisco in front of an impromptu audience of twenty. Two decades later Burning Man has evolved into a dazzling annual extravaganza dedicated to radical self-reliance and radical self-expression, attracting nearly forty thousand people. These revelers - an eclectic mix of punks, geeks, families, ravers, grad students, gearheads, hippies, and tourists - turn the ancient lakebed of Nevada's Black Rock Desert into a bustling city that exists for one glorious week before disappearing in a cloud of ashes and dust.'

With that brilliant introduction no other words are necessary to entice the curious reader to purchase this book - a compendium of photographs of art objects, finely designed book making, and photograph upon photograph of the folks who make this true work of art exists for the moment. The art shares the realm of funny, hilarious, grotesque, wild, naughty, nude, political - all in some of the more fantastical forms imaginable. It is a true history punctuated with the people who create it and those who participate in this transient miracle of imagination. It is a delightful read and an important document of an annual art work that should not (and cannot!) be ignored. Highly recommended. Grady Harp, April 10
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