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Desert to Dream: A Dozen Years of Burning Man Photography, Revised Edition Hardcover – August 23, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Traub presents 10 years' worth of lavish color photography on the annual counterculture festival, Burning Man. The first Burning Man was held on a San Francisco beach and attended by a couple dozen people. Today it takes place in Nevada's Black Rock Desert and is known as the Black Rock Arts Festival. Every year Black Rock City is erected around a giant wooden statue that is immolated to much fanfare at the end of a weeklong bacchanal. Traub's images capture the festival's spirit in lots of zany costumes and art installations celebrating off-kilter takes on contemporary culture and the participants' flights of fancy. The slight accompanying text carries the highest -countercultural-subcultural pedigree, thanks -to the authors: celebration film documentarian Les Blank and Beat poetry icon Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Of course, there are some naked folk in the photographs, though their nudity is hardly gratuitous, what with all the body paint and artfully applied mud. Good visual fun and countercultural documentation, this is vibrant stuff in these grim days, a must for pop-culture collections. Mike Tribby
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“The images capture what this event is about more than words can... it’s avant-garde at its best.” —artfuture.com

“Barbara Traub has been taking photos of the scene for years, considering her role part of the performance. The vivid photos bear witness to the creativity and freedom expressed by participant. This book tells many thousands of words' worth of stories.” – MocoLoco

“Although finding the surreal at Burning Man may be as easy as finding materialism in Las Vegas, Traub seems to have an affinity for the unusual and the sublime.” —Micro Publishing News
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Immedium; Revised edition (August 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597020265
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597020268
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 10.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I remember Barbara Traub's photos from Wired magazine and their book in the late '90s, but her new title far outshines that and all earlier attempts to chronicle this scene. Sure, there have been other documentary efforts to help readers wrap their minds around the crazy compulsion to find oneself out in Black Rock City. But as they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words."

Certainly there are a ton of snapshots now on Flickr, but here are images few alive have captured and a unified body of work from a true professional. Traub's collection is breathtaking in composition, thoughtful in its theme, and unrivalled in scope. Plus the list of contributors is a who's who, from poet-laureate Ferlinghetti, the iconic Spock, and filmmaker Les Blank to the man himself Larry Harvey. Each has something unique to offer, and, when taken together, combine to really capture the kaleidescopic essence of being there.

Every Burner I've shared this book with has been truly impressed. It is a beautifully designed package which is also a great value, and (unfortunately) bound to inspire even more newbies to join the fun.
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Format: Hardcover
Having attended Burning Man twice (in 2003 and 2005), and having connected to the amazing experience that it represents for the mind and the body, I am glad to see a book that is capable of capturing most of the images that trigger our senses. Good any time of the day ... it's best alongside your breakfast, helping you carrying the 'burn every day' philosophy throughout your day and evening.
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Format: Hardcover
Maybe when this book was released in 2006 they were the best photos of burning man. However, in all seriousness, just typing burning man into google images and scrolling through several pages will lead to more interesting images than what are in here. I am a part time professional photographer and I was not impressed by what I saw in this book. Sure there are several nice images but overall the photos are not meticulously composed in a way that would make me want to appreciate it as a fine-art book and it lacks the grandiose "wow" factor that you see from a lot of great burning man images of today. It feels more like some fun snaps a budding amateur photographer took of their friends and the scene. However, in all fairness burning man has blown up in an even bigger way these days than when this book was released and as such it has more recently attracted some really good photography talent.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
can i give 6 stars? this is THE BEST Burning Man book bar none! if you buy 1 book, buy this one! Nimoy & Ferlinghetti - how could you possibly go wrong? the photos are impossibly beautiful, breathtaking, glorious, inspiraitional...I put this book in my "Top 20 List" and I have never been to Burning Man. someday.
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Format: Hardcover
A resident of San Francisco, Barbara Traub is a photographer and multimedia artist whose work has been exhibited at venues ranging from the San Francisco Arts Commission, to Cooper Union in New York, to the Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles, to the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute, and so many other distinguished places around the world. In "Desert to Dream: A Decade of Burning man Photography", Barbara Traub has compiled a collection that represents and presents a photographic record of a decade of Burning Man celebrations at the Black Rock Arts Festival held annual in the dry alkali flats of northwest Nevada's Black Rock Desert which runs for about a week and culminates over the Labor Day weekend. From the infancy of the pop-culture art fair to its present universal status for artists from around the world, "Desert To Dream" pictorially lays out the entire history of this unique event with more than 150 color and b/w captioned photographs - and would make a welcome addition to personal, professional, and academic library Photographic Studies collection.
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A Kid's Review on April 2, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Desert to Dream is a remarkable accomplishment -- a stunning tapestry of images and words that appears in essence to be a mystery play. I am amazed at the visual, emotional and spiritual complexity of her work that evokes deep contemplation. The book is very well laid out and I like how the diptychs are paired, even in some instances where there is a b&w and color photo side by side. Traub's sense of style and composition is dynamic and goes way beyond the usual ways of seeing. Congratulations on such an extraordinary book.

Ellen Bascom

Houston, TX
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Format: Hardcover
The photographs in Desert to Dream: A Decade of Burning Man Photography

by Barbara Traub convey the special and unique personality of the annual

Burning Man Festival. They also convey the humanity, sense of community

and the unique artistic sensibilities of the participants. The photographs

are excellent in their own right and are a sensitive mixture of color and

black and white. There are several pictures of nude women and men, which are real tributes to human beauty. Also, toward the end of the book, many of the photographs portray surrealistic images that only an expert photographer like Barbara Traub would be capable of. This book is well

worth the investment, not only for those interested in Burning Man, but also

those interested in photography that is spectacular.
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