The 3-minute interview with Larry Harvey

As an expected 45,000 people pack up for Burning Man, which starts Monday in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, The Examiner caught up with one of the men who started it all in 1986 on San Francisco’s Baker Beach. The weeklong festival of self-expression, self-reliance and art has become an international event, but still draws heavy participation from the Bay Area.

Give us a sneak peak of this year’s art. It will be big. They’re already installing a piece called “Big Rig Jig,” two oil-tanker trucks that twine around each other vertically. It looks like a strain of DNA. It will be immense and intricate at the same time, an exquisite thing.

How has Burning Man changed — both for the better and the worse? For the better, there’s actually more participation than when it was small. There are more theme camps per capita, more art, more interaction — there’s just more of everything we come to value most. For the worse — for those who don’t like a big city, they might not like it because we’ve become a cosmopolitan place complete with our own international airport. I guess the only thing that’s vanished is the feeling of being a moat in the middle distance — when you’re pushing up against the horizon and feeling infinitesimally small at the same time, that’s near mystical.

Is there a place for introverts at Burning Man? Yes. At the back of the city, we have walk-in camping where your nearest neighbor will be many feet away. You can commune with the stars and enjoy a relative amount of quiet. There should be a place for the quiet-minded, but if you’re really seeking silence, I wouldn’t come to Black Rock City.

tbarak@examiner.com


Check out more 3-minute interviews from our San Francisco newsroom.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Asian American youth report anger, sadness and fear over surge in racist behavior

Survey finds about 80 percent experienced bullying or verbal harassment

Catholic church leads protest of COVID-19 restrictions

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone led march from City Hall, outdoor masses

Court prevents Trump administration from blocking WeChat pending hearing

Late Saturday night, a federal judge in San Francisco issued a preliminary… Continue reading

San Francisco Symphony, Opera musicians settle contracts

Performers’ salaries modified due to inability to play live

The first ever virtual Emmys were the perfect awards for our times

By Meredith Blake Los Angeles Times “Succession,” “Watchmen” and “Schitt’s Creek” were… Continue reading

Most Read