Burning Man was envisioned by Larry Harvey and Jerry James in San Francisco as a sort of spiritual cleansing event revolving around the burning of personal mementos and souvenirs from the past, along with a human-sized figure made from scrap wood. The organizers refer to it as an "experiment" and describe its aim as "radical self-expression." The idea that you can reinvent yourself at will is a modern notion; in its postmodernism, Burning Man proceeds from the idea that you were invented to begin with. Any personal characteristic sexual bent, character trait, religious belief is only a choice away from being something totally different. With support from The San Francisco Cacophony Society, the Burning Man crowd swelled to 800 and the signature burning ‘man’ grew to 40 feet in just four years. As the festival continued to grow, it was moved to Black Rock City, Nevada, where it currently resides.
The event was conceived from the notion that bohemians hav...
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...al of putting meaningful items inside the man before the burning. The burning cleanses the mind and lifts the weight from the body. But many believe that the popularity of this meaningful annual gathering is becoming tainted due to all of the mediocracy and global broadcasting of the once sacred utopia. Alicia Ludena states In Search of the Postmodern, “Postmodern theorists, however, claim that in the contemporary high tech media society, emergent processes of change and transformation are producing a new postmodern society”(Ludena).
Harvey, Larry, LA VIE BOHÉME — A History of Burning Man February 24, 2000.
Ludena, Alicia In Search of the Postmodern http://mural.uv.es/alulla/charact.html
Poschardt, Ulf. DJ Culture. Trans. Shaun Whiteside. London: Quartet Books Ltd. 1998. 393
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