Playa Art Before Burning Man

Thank to Burner Dispatch for bringing this to my attention. California Sunday has some “never seen before” photos by Richard Misrach – “one of the most influential photographers of his generation” – of early Burning Man and the art events that were happening in the Black Rock Desert even before Burning Man.

Ya Gotta Regatta, 1989. Image: Richard Misrach/California Sunday

Look familiar?

Ya Gotta Regatta, 1989. Image: Richard Misrach/California Sunday

Croquet X Machina was featured in Sports Illustrated in 1988.

https://www.si.com/vault/1988/04/11/117465/wicked-wickets-out-west-who-would-believe-croquet-could-be-this-big-in-the-desert

The concept in 1987 was dreamed up as therapy for PTS from an auto accident by Marshall Lyons, an Arborist from San Francisco and his partner John Bogard, a potter from the local Black Rock area. Larry Harvey was a landscape gardener in San Francisco at the time.

Croquet x Machina, 1987. Image: Richard Misrach/California Sunday

Read the full story and see all the photos (including some of early Burning Man events) at California Sunday Magazine.

Desert Siteworks was another one of the crews doing art-themed events out there in the early days.

“It came out of the black water” = “I read it in Sports Illustrated”?


See also:

Wicca Your Way Down on Baker Beach

The Story of the First Burning Man on the Playa

Tyler Durden Invented Burning Man

A Hot Mess – Burning Man in the 90s

War on Drugs Leads to Wholesale Rainforest Destruction

Photograph by Luke Duggleby www.lukeduggleby.com

Photograph by Luke Duggleby www.lukeduggleby.com

By Terry Gotham

I usually talk about how to reduce the damage drugs can do to people, but today I want to switch it up a little bit. I’m going to tell you about the Mreah Prew Phnom trees of Asia, the Sassafras trees of America, and how our voracious appetite for drugs is hurting them. This isn’t a story about water usage or gang violence, but of appetites. The explosion in popularity of MDMA has ensured one of the trees that produce a precursor substance, safrole oil, is now critically endangered. It’s estimated (not verified) that more than 5 million trees have been destroyed over the last 10 years.

Photograph by Luke Duggleby www.lukeduggleby.com

Photograph by Luke Duggleby www.lukeduggleby.com

 

 

Formally named Cinnamomum parathenoxylon, the tree grew in Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan & Vietnam, but is currently most often found in Cambodia. The remaining population is clustered in the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, as cultivation of the tree is increasingly restricted. When the roots are chopped up and processed, safrole, an essential oil is produced. This stuff has been an herbal remedy, a critical part of perfumes, soaps & can be used to make MDMA.

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