The "Compound Eye/I" art installation. Photo by Rus Kuznetsov.
Third time's a charm, or so the saying goes. Popupla readers and Burning Man devotees Rus Kuznetsov and Alla Kostenko headed back to Nevada's Black Rock Desert for their third visit to Burning Man, the annual festival/social experiment of temporary community and radical self-expression. The duo, authors of the travel blog , recapped their experience in a #PopuplaTakeover on . Here, they delve deeper with even more groovy photos.
BURNING MAN, Nevada – On our first visit to , we were more stunned tourists than full-fledged participants. On our second visit, we were almost entirely submerged and integrated within the festival's atmosphere and people. This year, our third visit, we knew what to expect. We went as observers — or explorers — ready to immerse ourselves all the way.
From our very first visit to Black Rock City, we were intrigued and amused with one of the event's main ideas: giving. Whether it is a sticker, a foot massage, an eccentric outfit, or a cool beverage, as long as you offer it with an open heart and no expectation of receiving anything back, you're doing what you're meant to be doing. This sets the atmosphere on the playa, and it is contagious.
Sunset over Black Rock City.
Burning Man is about giving. This year we brought wine, bourbon, and music to share with our fellow attendees. Here, Rus is playing a Russian lullaby to a couple taking their midday nap.
Things that seem impossible in regular life become possible at Burning Man. Like surfing a perfect barrel wave on the sandy playa.
This is the main art installation, "The Man." On the final night, festival-goers gather around and watch as the sculpture is burned.
The suburbs of Black Rock City.
The busy streets of Black Rock City center.
A Brazilian actress posing in front of the "R-Evolution" art installation.
The only motorized transportation allowed in Black Rock City are mutant cars — vehicles that are creatively altered to amuse and enteratain.
Burners hanging on the "Mars Molecule Project" art installation.
One of many art cars cruising the streets of Black Rock City.
Another shot of the "Compound Eye/I" art installation.
"Love" art installation.
An art car that was famous among burners for sharing excellent whiskey.
A spectacular fire show from one of the art cars
Swarms of bugs and serious dust storms are part of a typical day at Burning Man. As author John Curley says, “Always be prepared when you come here. It’s called radical self-reliance”.
The burning of the man on the last night.
This year's theme is carnival of mirrors. The "Compound Eye/I" art installation perfectly reflects it.
Mornings are best for riding your bike around the playa and exploring the installations, like "Tree of Transformation," a 20-foot interactive musical tree.
A group of burners striking a pose on the playa.
Burners walking in awe and complete silence toward the fire that consumed "The Temple of Promise" on closing night.
The morning after "The Man" is torched, burners gathered around the ashes to look for pieces of the structure. They cooked pancakes, bacon, sausages, and even roasted a pig.