On the Edge of Utopia:
Since 1986, Burning Man has evolved from founder Larry Harvey’s personal healing ritual into a cultural movement where ritual, visual art, and performance collide on an epic scale. During the week before Labor Day, fifty thousand people gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert to build Black Rock City. At the center of Black Rock City is a forty-foot wooden effigy of a Man, an icon around which art, performance, and community revolve. In this book Rachel Bowditch – performer, theatre director, scholar, and Burning Man participant – explores the spectrum of performance and ritual practices within Black Rock City from the everyday to spectacle, from the profane to the sublime. Burning Man can be seen as a revival of the ancient Roman Saturnalia, a site for rehearsals of utopia, and a secular pilgrimage that is forging new paradigms for performance, installation art, community, and invented rituals bringing the avant-garde into the 21st century.