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Black Rock City in Pershing County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Burning Man Timeline

 
 
Burning Man Timeline, 1986 - 1991 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2016
1. Burning Man Timeline, 1986 - 1991 Marker
Captions: 1986: Larry Harvey conceives 1st Burning Man! Yay Larry! Larry and Jerry James construct this improvised wooden figure and burn it. A flyer for the event, one of few images from then. Hey, it was the olden days...; 1987: In an effort to confuse future Burners, all of the other attendees hid from this photo. You can hear then gigging.; 1988: "Get up, youse!" the burners all cried. "Oh I am so stoned." replied the Man. In reality he's made of wood.; 1989: Refusing to get up on his own prompts Larry to rename him "Lazy Man." However, it's pointed out the confusion with "La-Z-Boy" may cause a legal dustup, so Larry grudgingly goes back to the original name.; 1990: Let's see - the arm goes - no wait, its the leg that goes -- back it up, let's try the - has anyone seen Dan Miller?; 1991: "Floatin' down -- Oh, floatin' down Floatin' down da River down to Burning Town!," Crimson Rose says that the Man's dancing is a little wooden. (Yeh, I'm going with this one...)
Inscription. "This here timeline was originally conceived and written by Mansonian chief Joe Oliver aka EXACT LEE. It was rewritten and gagged up and redrawn by David Silverman aka TUBATRON aka That Flaming Tuba Guy."

Year of the Man 1
1986
Height of Man: 8 Feet!
Location: Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA
Participants: 20! (yup, 20. That's the story, anyhow. Maybe 21? Who knows?? So long ago...)
Built in honor of the Summer Solstice. Or for some tragic private reason. Or for some cheerful public reason. Or some complex artistic expression. Or perhaps for some horsin' around. Let's go with that, some horsin' around.

Year of the Man 2
1987
Height of Man: 20 Feet!
Location: Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA
Participants: 80
As the Man expanded in size, the triangular face remains as part of the image. Seems only Stewart Harvey brings a camera, and takes one photo. That's all we gots, anyhow. Archives, schmarchives.

Year of the Man 3
1988
Height of Man: 30 Feet!
Location: Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA
Participants: 150-200
Larry Harvey names the statue "Burning Man." The statue responds, "That's what
Burning Man Timeline, 1992 - 1997 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2016
2. Burning Man Timeline, 1992 - 1997 Marker
Captions: 1992: 1992 wast the first year of The Black Rock Rangers, formed by Danger Ranger, as seen here, balancing The Man on his head. No cranes nor cherry pickers were injured (nor used) in propping up the Man. Bad Day at Black Rock Airport. Pilot wins first Donner Award.; 1994: "Holy Marconi, it's hot out here!"; 1995: If you look carefully, you can see the flame-thrower -- no, I'm sorry that's a speck of dust.; 1996: Hello, music lovers! Joey Pettigrew and David Richoux form the 1st marching band on the Playa, The Burning Band.; 1997: Moses's efforts to split the traffic are thwarted by the fact he's been dead for thousands of years.
my friends call me, yes." Drinks all around.
Figure now assembled from component parts. How 'bout that?!

Year of the Man 4
1989
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Location: Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA
Participants: 300+ (no one was keeping a log, we apologize.}
Legs and pelvis break as Man is lifted into place. He didn't drink enough milk as a kid. He is burned in a semi-erect position, which sounds like a good punchline.

Year of the Man 5
1990
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Locations: Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA, Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: Baker Beach - 800, Black Rock _ 90)
An event so nice we held it twice. Well, not intentionally. At Baker Beach, police allowed The Man to be erected, but not burned. So - the first sojourn to Black Rock occured (sic) in August 1990.
Dan Miller becomes the Man's main man-chief engineer in charge of construction and erection of figure. Stop laughing at the word erection. Sheesh.
Blueprints created to build the Man each year. More tidy that way, see?

Year of the Man 6
1991
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 250
Burning Man is built and installed on
Burning Man Timeline, 1998 - 2004 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2016
3. Burning Man Timeline, 1998 - 2004 Marker
Captions: 1998: "I can see my house from here! No, wait -- that's somebody else's." The Man at dawn, after a long night of stand-up.; 1999: "Two thousand zero zero party ovah, outta time!" Which reminds me, remember Y2K?? What a bunch of idiots. Before... ...after.; 2000: "I -- ain't got no body -- Nobody cares for me!"; 2001: "AAAAAAAAA!!!!"; 2002: Mansonian leader Joe Oliver (Exact Lee) comes swinging into his third year, joining the Man Krewe.; 2003: Burn, baby, burn! Disco Inferno!; 2004: At Man Labs, research continues in underground catacombs. Is Larry Harvey a super villain, plotting some grand scheme? We all hope so. Less wood, more filling.
a barge which floats between two docks at Fort Mason. John Law creates first neon outline for the Man. John's Law's name appeared in MAD, issue 2, 1953, as drawn by Will Elder, but it''s probably a coincidence.
Though not mentioned in MAD, but significant, the 1st fire performance artist, Crimson Rose, ignites the Man.

Year of the Man 7
1992
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 600
The Man is loaded with fireworks. Some of the participants are pretty loaded too. This joke is available in the gift shop.

Year of the Man 8
1993
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 1000 (count 'em, 1000)
First layout with the Man in the center at the end of the main avenue and lamps to light the way. Eh, that's not too exciting. Let's talk about his erection. You see, that year -- what's so funny?
Ok, fine, here's something: The 1st Theme Camp! Peter Doty creates Christmas Camp, giving out eggnog & fruitcake. He had no idea what Pandora's Box he was opening.

Year of the Man 9
1994
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 2000
Percussion group Sharkbit
Burning Man Timeline, 2005 - 2010 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2016
4. Burning Man Timeline, 2005 - 2010 Marker
Captions: 2005: Some considered attaching a propane tank to a tuba a little bananas too. The Flaming Tuba last appeared in 2006. A Laffing Sal at the Fun House by Dana Albany Scary and annoying fun.; 2006: "Ahh-MAZE grace..." Thanks, folks, you're a beautiful crowd. I'm here, till Saturday.; 2007: "I'm baa-ack!", Editorial: Radical self-expression and being a jerks are two entirely different things.; 2008: "Yo, Manhattan! I got your UN right heeh-re!"; 2009: The Man rests atop a bunch of artistic starfish. Helloo? Where is everybody?
highlights the night of the burn by banging agains things. Possibly with sticks.

Year of the Man 10
1995
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 4000
A neon smiley face was visible in the face of the Man briefly prior to the burn. It is unknown if the Man felt his emotions were being played with.
After a jet car drive-by (piloted by Deso Molnar), the Man is lit with a flame-thrower. YEEEEE HAAAAA!!!!

Year of the Man 11
1996
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 8,000
Chris Campbell become chief designer of Burning Man, introduces curving ribs and modified face. Breast augmentation and a face lift. He look 10 years younger.
Meanwhile wild Man Chief Dan Miller designs a pyramid base, extending the Man to 50 big ol' feet.

Year of the Man 12
1997
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Location: Hualapai Playa, NV
Participants: 10,000
The Man is raised off the playa on hay bales and immediately starts sneezing. Cacophony Society hangs huge silver testicles from the Man. This stops the sneezing. It also assists in his erection, i.e., standing him up.
Horrendous rain storms
Burning Man Timeline, 2011 - 2015 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2016
5. Burning Man Timeline, 2011 - 2015 Marker
Captions: 2011: Even sold out ... there's plenty of room.; 2012: Longtime BRC designer Rod Garrett's final work before his untimely passing. The Man strides an interactive pavilion. Pier pressure - getting it ready. Victoria BS's CORE project PsychoPhillia resembled funnyman Marty "Hello Dere!" Allen when it burned.; 2013: 2013 Man designed by Lewis Zaumeyer, with input from Baron von Frankenstein. "you maniacs! You blew it up!" - uh, yeah, that's sort the idea.; 2014: The Really Big Man getting ready for the Really Big Show. The guy in the crane is checking to see how things are hangin'. The belle of the ball in this scribe's opinion was EMBRACE by Matt Schultz and his sweet Embraceable Crew. Hey, it looks like he survived.; 2015: Man base designed by Larry Harvey and Andrew Johnstone. The amazing Killbuck did some 32 sideshow images, including this one, for mysterious reasons. Cartoon history, the expression "a Rube Goldberg contraption" comes from - you guessed it - a cartoonist Ruben Goldberg (1883 - 1970). Google him, won't you?

strand hundreds during exodus, and parts of leviticus.
In fact, many stuck in that mess had enough time to read the entire Bible, and then rent their garments biblically.

Year of the Man 13
1998
Height of Man: 40 Feet! (plus hay bales)
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 15,000
The hay bales under the Man are painted. Several under the influence of certain things mistake hay bales for shredded wheat, have breakfast, and are medevaced (sic) out.
Streets are numbered, signs on the corners. Only 58% get hopelessly lost. 1st year with a theme: Nebulous Entity . Some find that to nebulous, and leave early.

Year of the Man 14
1999
Height of Man: 40 Feet! (plus hay bales)
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 23,000
Theme: Wheel of Time
The Man is placed at the center of a giant clock face with art pieces just hangin' around.
Everybody parties like it's 1999 for some reason.

Year of the Man 15
2000
Height of Man: 40 Feet! (plus hay bales)
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 25,400
Theme: The Body
In honor of that year's theme, many are on hand to witness the
Burning Man Timeline, 2014 - 2016 Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2016
6. Burning Man Timeline, 2014 - 2016 Marker
Captions: 2014: The Really Big Man getting ready for the Really Big Show. The guy in the crane is checking to see how things are hangin'. The belle of the ball in this scribe's opinion was EMBRACE by Matt Schultz and his sweet Embraceable Crew. Hey, it looks like he survived.; 2015: Man base designed by Larry Harvey and Andrew Johnstone. The amazing Killbuck did some 32 sideshow images, including this one, for mysterious reasons. Cartoon history, the expression "a Rube Goldberg contraption" comes from - you guessed it - a cartoonist Ruben Goldberg (1883 - 1970). Google him, won't you?

Man's erection.
The Man burn is started early by accident, or premature incineration.

Year of the Man 16
2001
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 30 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 25,659
Theme: Seven Ages
The Man is placed atop The Tower of Enlightenment (a.k.a. "the A-frame"). Atop of that was placed a ton of Playa dust (a.k.a. "OMG can you believe how f!k#ng dusty it is??")
The Man is built in Nevada at the 80 Acres Work Ranch for the first time (a.k.a. "40 Acres and a Mule x 2 Work Ranch.").

Year of the Man 17
2002
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 40 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 28,979 (really exact now, eh?)
Theme: Floating World
The Man is placed atop The Lighthouse (a.k.a. The Wedding Cake).
This year's theme introduced an armada of nautical artcars & imagery that floats to this day.
Flaming dust tornados spin out of the Lighthouse as the Man burns; a Native American tradition honors them as ancestors. A Bostonian tradition calls them "wicked cool."

Year of the Man 18
2003
Height of Man: 32 Feet! (plus hay
Burning Man Timeline Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2016
7. Burning Man Timeline Marker
bales)
Height of Pedestal: 47 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 30,586
Theme: Beyond Belief
The Man is placed atop a huge pyramidal Temple of Wisdom (a.k.a. Taco del Sol), which makes a huge fire beyond belief.
The Man's right arm falls during the raising process, creating the Saturday Night Fever Burning Man, and the ensuing disco dancing. No ensuing suing by the Bee Gees.

Year of the Man 19
2004
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 40 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 35,664
Theme: Vault of Heaven
The Man is placed atop a spindly geodesic dome, The Observatory. This is in contrast to the previous year's colossal pyramid bonfire, which raised and singed eyebrows.

Year of the Man 20
2005
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 35 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 35,567
Theme: Psyche - the Conscious, the Subconscious, and the Unconscious.
The Man is placed atop a Fun House, with a 41 room maze, art everywhere, a 2nd level where participants could rotate the Man -- it was bananas.

Year of the Man 21
2006
Burning Man Timeline Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2016
8. Burning Man Timeline Marker

Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 35 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 38,989
Theme: Hope and Fear: The Future
Another complex pedestal, this one being a 35 ft art deco pavilion housing an interactive maze. A few who got lost in last year's maze claimed to have stumbled out of this year's maze - finding themselves in the future! And pretty bummed they had missed last year's burn. That's their story, anyhow.
My prediction of BRC of Tomorrow, alas, has yet to come true. Perhaps tomorrow...

Year of the Man 22
2007
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 32 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 47,097
Theme: The Green Man
After the Man is torched during the lunar eclipse by a jerkass, the Man Krewe reassembles to build a perfect replica from scratch in 35 hours! Even found neon in Reno! A Phoenix, crafted from the remains of the Man, is placed on the face of the New Man to signify re-birth.

Year of the Man 23
2008
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 50 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 49,599
Theme: The American Dream
The Man, 2016 image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 1, 2016
9. The Man, 2016

Stunning views of BRC were provided from this 50ft obelisk, this year's Man base. It was bedecked with the flags of all nations, except the U.S. 'Cuz we burned them all! BAAHAHAHA! No, we didn't -- I'm just horsin' around. (See Year 1.) Only thing burned was the Man, and the obelisk he rode in on.

Year of the Man 24
2009
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 25 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 43,558
Theme: Evolution
Construction of the Man takes approximately 950 pre-playa man-hours at Black Rock Station and 1100 man-hours on installation including neon, rigging, and waxing. But no whining.
Population dipped down of the 1st time -- will that ever happen again??

Year of the Man 25
2010
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 50 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 51,525
Theme: Metropolis: The Life of Cities
The giant art deco building the Man stood upon was either 50 or 60 ft tall, depending on sources. I'm gonna go with 50, but let's have a show of hands. Um -- really? 60? Dang, but I just printed this...
Larry may have had a highfalutin meaning to the theme, but many chose instead to make cheeky references
Burning the Man image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 4, 2016
10. Burning the Man
to Fritz Lang's 1927 masterpiece Metropolis.

Year of the Man 26
2011
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 64 feet sez wikipedia
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 53.963
Theme: Rites of Passage
The Man takes a walk! For the first time, he's not standing so stiff and all serious-like. I mean, he's a fun guy, likes to get about and check out the scene.
(Notice I didn't say anything about his erection? Trying not to work blue.)
Two notes: the weather was really the best, couldn't ask for anything better. And -- for the first time -- the event sold out. On July 24th even. Quite a change from 2009, when attendance dropped.

Year of the Man 27
2012
Height of Man: 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 50 feet? Yep!
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 56,149
Theme: Fertility 2.0
Inside the Man were a lot of Little Men, no royalty paid to the estate of Louisa May Alcott. A lot of amazing art particularly the Pier 2.
After putting on glasses, realized theme was not Futility 2.0, and I drew this --

Year of the Man 28
2013
Height of Man: 50 Feet? I dunno.
The Temple image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 30, 2016
11. The Temple
Height of Pedestal: 32 feet
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 69,613
Theme: Cargo Cult
Who is John Frum? Where is he frum? Will you walk around with a bag for a head? Will you fill that bag with booze? Will your head feel like a cargo container?

Year of the Man 29
2014
Height of Man: 105 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: No Pedestal!
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 65,922
Theme: Caravansary
The Man was absolutely colossal! However, due to lack of radiation, he did not come to life to menace Hoover Dam. A disappointment. Happily, Duke Ellington's classic Caravan was frequently played.

Year of the Man 30
2015
Height of Man: 60 Feet!
Height of Pedestal: 9 feet ,apparently
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: 67,564
Theme: Carnival of Mirrors
Mirrors, masks, mazes, merger, magic, my oh my. Be a carny, be a rube. Be a carny rube, a rube carny. a Rube Goldberg. A fun time was had by all, even when the Flaming Tuba caught me slightly on fire.

Year of the Man 31
2016
Height of Man: Well over 40 Feet!
Height of Pedestal:
The Temple burning image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 5, 2016
12. The Temple burning
Ya got me...
Location: Black Rock Desert, NV
Participants: Like 70K, daddy-o
Theme: Da Vinci's Workshop
The theme this year is to focus on the concept of the city-state that existed at the time of Da Vinci -- whoa, what am I, public radio?? Look, just have a good time and mention Lorenzo de Medici once in a while, you'll be fine.
And now, its time to stop reading this nonsense and enjoy some horsing around.

The Man Krewe
(1997 - 2014)
Ah well things do change. For many years, many great artists built the Man. But with last year's 105' Big Man, and its design change, I regret to inform y'all - The Man Krewe hath been disbanded. They had a grand party, a fine wake, & probably several drinks. And they are around the Playa, doing great art elsewhere. The Man will continue, but without this fine Krewe. I conclude with a embellishment to an old saying "Law and Burning Man are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made."


 
Erected 2016 by The Mansonian Museum.
 
Location. 40° 46.859′ N, 119° 13.118′ W. Marker is in Black Rock City, Nevada, in Pershing County. Marker is at the intersection of 6:30 and Effigare, on the right on 6:30. Touch for map
The Black Rock Light Station image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 1, 2016
13. The Black Rock Light Station
. Marker is in this post office area: Gerlach NV 89412, United States of America.
 
More about this marker. Located approximately 15 miles from Gerlach, Nevada, and in the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, Black Rock City is a temporary city of a population approaching 70,000 where the Burning Man festival is celebrated. The city appears annually as if by magic and disappears in flames.
 
Also see . . .
1. Burning Man - Wikipedia. Burning Man is an annual gathering that takes place at Black Rock City—a temporary community erected in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada. The event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by 10 main principles, including "radical" inclusion, self-reliance and self-expression, as well as community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leaving no trace. (Submitted on September 8, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. Burning Man. This is the official site for Burning Man.
Burning Man is not a festival. Itís a catalyst for creative culture in the world. (Submitted on September 8, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

3. The most outrageous fashion spotted at Burning Man 2016 - Business Insider
Celestial Whale image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 29, 2016
14. Celestial Whale
. Some 70,000 people ventured to Nevada's Black Rock Desert for this year's Burning Man festival, which ended September 5. And they certainly did it in style. (Submitted on September 8, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

4. Black Rock Desert - Wikipedia. The Black Rock Desert is a semi-arid region (in the Great Basin shrub steppe eco-region), of lava beds and playa, or alkali flats, situated in the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, a silt playa 100 miles (160 km) north of Reno that encompasses more than 300,000 acres (120,000 ha) of land and contains more than 120 miles (200 km) of historic trails. (Submitted on September 8, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

5. Rube Goldberg Machine - Wikipedia. In 1931, the Merriam-Webster dictionary adopted the word "Rube Goldberg" as an adjective defined as accomplishing something simple through complicated means. (Submitted on September 8, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicEntertainmentMan-Made FeaturesNotable Events
 
The Celestial Whale at night image. Click for full size.
By Sue Swackhamer, August 28, 2016
15. The Celestial Whale at night
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 11, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 8, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 186 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on September 8, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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