See photos from 16 years of Burning Man's trippy art installations

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Burning Man Ablaze in Nevada Desert
Burning Man may be perched on the precipice of turning into a Club Med for start-up dudes, but attendees still expect the festival to live up to its synapse-scrambling legacy.

Also see: Burning Man: Inside the bizarre annual festival in the Nevada desert​

Beginning in 1998, photographer NK Guy, whose work is collected in the new book, Art of Burning Man (Taschen), has braved the Black Rock desert to document the trippy and massive art installations, which are often wryer than the (literally) fiery images so associated with the rumpus. (This year's edition kicked off on August 30.) "Many of the artists there don't come from the mainstream," explains Guy. "It's not stuff you'd see in a traditional gallery." Or anywhere else.

Also see: Alternative communities that give Burning Man a run for its money

Check out the collection of his trippy photographs:

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See photos from 16 years of Burning Man's trippy art installations

Lost Suitcase 2013

Performer: Pi Feathersword

A piece of lonely lost luggage – performer Pi Feathersword – wanders disconsolately across the vast plain of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert during Burning Man art festival, 2013. In the distance stands the Burning Man figure.

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

Pier 2, 2012

Artists: Kevan Christiaens, Matt Schultz and the Pier Group

A group of participants and their friends, rowing nowhere in a small landbound dinghy next to the Pier 2 project during the Burning Man art festival, 2012. At the end of the pier is La Llorona, a replica Spanish galleon.

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

Cupcake Cars, 2006

Artists: Lisa Pongrace, Greg Solberg and the Acme Muffineering team.

Rolling cupcake and muffin vehicles roam the vast expanse of Nevada’s Black Rock Desert at the Burning Man art festival, 2006. Each car is unique, and made as a personal project by its respective owner, in collaboration with fellow muffineers.

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

Black Rock City, 2011

City plan by Rod Garrett

An aerial view of Black Rock City, the temporary city in the Nevada desert that is home to the annual Burning Man festival.

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

Embrace, 2014

Artists: Kevan Christiaens, Kelsey Owens, Bill Tubman, Joe Olivier, Matt Schultz and the Pier Group

Embrace, a massive wooden sculpture 70 feet tall, burns at dawn during the Burning Man art festival, 2014. The work symbolizes the nature of human relationships, and was built to burn.

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

CS (Clock Ship) Tere, 2013

Artist: Andy Tibbetts

A handcrafted pirate ship vehicle, driven by an ingenious front wheel with no axle, at the Burning Man art festival, 2013. One of many art cars which roam the event.

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

The Temple of Transition, 2011

Artists: David Best and the Temple Crew

The Temple of Transition at the Burning Man art festival, 2011. The structure is believed to have been the largest wooden structure, without a foundation, ever built. The Burning Man temples are memorial sites for remembrance and mourning, and are burned at the conclusion of the event.

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

The Temple of Whollyness, 2013

Artists: Gregg Fleishman, Lightning Clearwater III, and Melissa Barron

Participants gather within the Temple of Whollyness at the Burning Man art festival, 2013. The Burning Man temples are memorial sites for remembrance and mourning, and are burned at the conclusion of the event. 

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

El Pulpo Mecanico, 2014​

Artist: Duane Flatmo and Jerry Kunkel

El Pulpo Mecanico, a rolling art vehicle at the Burning Man art festival, 2014. The enormous octopus is constructed from scrap metal, and can wave mechanical tentacles to the obvious joy of participants. 

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

Gearhead, 2013

Artists: Steve Hall and Becky Stillwell

A wooden sculpture, containing a complex arrangement of gears, levers, and spinning heads, and operated by a hand crank. At the Burning Man art festival, 2013. 

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

The Man, 2012

Artists: Larry Harvey, Jerry James, Dan Miller, and the ManKrew

The Burning Man figure raises his arms in this 20 second long exposure. Minutes later the sculpture was deliberately burned, at the culmination of the Burning Man art festival, 2012. 

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

Man Burn, 2013

Artists: The Man: Larry Harvey, Jerry James, Dan Miller, and the ManKrew. Man base: Lewis Zaumeyer and Andrew Johnstone.

The Burning Man figure, atop his massive flying saucer base designed by Lewis Zaumeyer and Andrew Johnstone, burns dramatically at the conclusion of the Burning Man art festival, 2013.

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH 

The Temple of Joy, 2002

Artists: David Best and the Temple Crew

The Temple of Joy, a massive temporary wood structure built for the Burning Man arts festival 2002. A powerful laser beam, built by Russell Wilcox, was installed thousands of feet away across the desert floor, and aligned with an opening in the upper level of the Temple. 

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

Remains of the Man, 2013

Burning Man arts festival participant Kaspian Khalafi stands atop the smoldering embers of the Burning Man effigy, the morning after the burn. The dramatic skies are the result of massive forest fires blowing smoke all the way from Yosemite, California. 

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

Man Burn, 2011

Artists: Larry Harvey, Jerry James, Dan Miller, and the ManKrew

The Burning Man effigy appears to walk into an enormous acetylene fireball, Burning Man festival, 2011. The figure stands for the duration of the event, and is burned each year at its conclusion. 

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

Art of Burning Man

© NK Guy/TASCHEN GmbH

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Copyright: NK Guy / Courtesy of TASCHEN


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