Burning Man announces its funded art projects

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"Intersection" by Colorado artists James Reagent and Charles Fields is among the funded projects in Burning Man's Metropolis.

Black Rock City LLC has announced its art grants for Burning Man 2010, with its theme “Metropolis: The Life of Cities.” Thirty-five projects were funded to the tune of almost $440,000, which is more than most years but not its peak.

Those receiving funding include well-known burner artists such as Michael Christian, Karen Cusolito and Dan DasMann, Kate Raudenbush, and Doctor Megavolt. The venerable SF-based fire arts collective Flaming Lotus Girls isn’t doing a funded project this year, but veteran FLGs Rebecca Anders and Jessica Hobbs (along with PK Kimelman, an architect and principal member of the local Space Cowboys sound collective) are leading construction of this year’s Temple (known as the Temple of Flux) with support from a gaggle of FLGs and many other Bay Area collectives in Oakland’s American Steel warehouse (the home base for Cusolito and DasMann).

I’ll be working with the Temple crew this year and profiling the project in the Bay Guardian later this summer, just as I did for the FLG’s Angel of the Apocalypse project in 2005 (all of which will be part of my upcoming book, “The Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert is Shaping the News American Counterculture,” due to be released in November by CCC Publishing).

Like many of the projects, the Temple of Flux is only getting a small portion of its funding through the art grants (which are funded through ticket sales) and will be holding a series of fundraisers in the coming months, the first being this Saturday night, May 1, at Kelly’s Mission Rock.

Meanwhile, Burning Man founder Larry Harvey will be speaking tonight (April 27) at the offices of the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association, which has been excitedly promoting this year’s Burning Man focus on urbanism.