Burn After Viewing

Miami is far enough from the godforsaken parts of the Western United States that most people down here haven’t heard of Burning Man, the weeklong music/art/camping/rampant-drug-use festival that Californians circle on their calendar the day after the last edition has ended. For the uninitiated, Burning Man began in San Francisco as a bonfire party among friends and has since turned into an entire temporary city in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, populated by more than 30,000 half-naked Democrats. Past highlights have included an exact replica of the Thunderdome in Mad Max (nonlethal version of course), a crystal orb inside which Paul Oakenfold DJed for three days straight, motorized couches, enough Ecstasy pills to start an Israeli-Iranian orgy, and lots of gigantic wooden effigies of mankind immolated to the delight of the pagan hordes. Needless to say, it’s a photographer’s dream, which is why if you’ve never been to Burning Man, you should head to Books & Books for a free talk and slide show by Thomas Loewy, a man who has spent the past five years documenting the festival. Hell, even if you have been there, your memories are probably heavily distorted.
Tue., April 21, 8 p.m., 2009

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