2013 Honorarium Art Projects Announced

An “honorarium” means that your art project was selected to receive some funding from Burning Man. The list of projects this year looks exciting, and many are tied in to the Cargo Cult theme.

According to Burning Man:

Every year Burning Man allocates a percentage of its revenue from ticket sales to funding select art projects that are collaborative, community-oriented and interactive. We do this in order to support the Burning Man art community, and to facilitate the creation of outstanding art for Black Rock City. The vast majority of art installations on the playa, however, are not funded. In 2013, a percentage of your hard-earned ticket money helped to fund the following art installations, for all Burning Man participants to enjoy.

Sneaky language. When they say “the vast majority are not funded“, this is not true. They are all funded. It’s just, the vast majority of art you see at Burning Man, does not get any funding from Burning Man. It’s up to the artists to raise the money to get the materials, get the piece out to the Playa and assembled, and then burn it or break it down and bring it back.

63 projects did get some of the $850,000 funding from Burning Man, out of 326 applications. An average of $13,492 each. All these art projects also need to raise their own money and use their own resources to get to the Playa, Burning Man funding is not usually enough to cover these costs but the prestige and cachet that comes from an “official” grant can be a real enabler for a large art installation.

The percentage of your hard-earned ticket money that went to this art? 3.8%. If you chose to donate to the Black Rock Arts Foundation when you bought your ticket, you’ll be pleased to know that there are $50,000 of grants for this handed out too, bringing Burning Man artists to the streets of the world.

Some noteworthy entries:


Neverwas Haul

by Shannon O’Hare
Vallejo, CA 

Neverwas Haul, a 3-story Victorian house on wheels made from 75% recycled material, is the home for the Travelling Academy of Unnatural Sciences which is circumnavigating the globe without the use of a Zeppelin.


As amazing as it is, this thing’s been going to Burning Man for years. How come they get an Honorarium?




iPhone Cult
by Abraham Carmi Raphael
Agoura Hills, CA

 You have found your way to the iPhone Cult. A monolithic shrine rising from the jungle floor. It has been here for thousands of years. Step into the frame and be captured with the Man. Take a photo with my likeness in your hand.

Product Placement, anyone? Just because it’s Apple, means it’s OK? This one is shaping up to be the “Burn Wall Street” of 2013.



16 comments on “2013 Honorarium Art Projects Announced

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    • Good question. I had to do some digging to find out, maybe burning man updated their web site and took it out. It was announced in the Jacked Rabbit Speaks in issue 17.17, 3/22/13

      “We’re thrilled to announce the honorarium art projects for Burning Man 2013. This year, we’ve distributed approximately $850,000 in art grants to 63 projects that will grace the open playa, plus artwork that will adorn the Man Pavilion. Congratulations to all the grantees, and thank you for making artwork for Black Rock City! Here’s the complete list of h”

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  9. Hey guys,
    I’m glad you are interested in the iPhone Cult art. It is not product placement at all but rather an expression of my love / hate relationship with my phone and playing into the Cargo Cult theme. I have posted a new rendering of the art on the honorarium page. Please join me on the Friday of BM to burn this sucker down… Carmi

    • that’s what they said about Burn Wall Street too. And we all had to look at big neon Bank of America logos out there because of the “joke”. Is it OK for corporate brands to invade Burning Man, if they do it in jest?

      • Those, too, were parodies. Just like Mal-Mart. Or Costco Soulmate Trading Outlet. Or Inferno Hero. Or Super Street Fire. C’mon.

        • I take your point Hurry. The difference is a big Bank of America logo being visible wherever you go on the Playa. In this case, if it’s guerilla marketing from Apple, it’s kinda tastefully done. Like the “Bummer Hummer” of 5 years ago or so.
          Mal-mart looks nothing like a Wal-mart, and I don’t see any Capcom logos by Super Street Fire.
          Personally I think decommodification is getting a bit silly, eg. cover up the “Ryder” on your trucks but if it says “El Monte” (and has pictures of creepy little kids) it’s fine.
          To take Burning Man to the next level, we should let Red Bull in to sponsor some art projects, the budget for Felix Baumgartner’s balloon jump was $28 million. Last year I went to the X-Games in LA to see a life-size HotWheels loop track, which was built by Burners for Mattel. Budget rumored to be $3 million+. Bring it on! I don’t care if there’s a Mattel logo any more than I care about a Ryder logo. But, big neon signs 10 foot high on the Playa, where the logo looks the same as the one being “parodied”, is too much even for a laissez-faire Burner like me.

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