Outdoor Explorer: Burning Man 2023

Runners in in this year’s Burning Man Ultra. (Adam Verrier)
Sculpture of the Mayan Rain God, Chaac under a rainy sky at this year’s Burning Man. (Iyvone Khoo)

Every year at the end of August in the Black Rock Desert of northwest Nevada, Black Rock City is built, and for about a week it becomes the third largest city in Nevada, with around 60,000 inhabitants. It is the host city for the annual event called Burning Man and it has all the amenities you’d expect to see in any other city of this size. It has with bars, restaurants, bike shops, clothing boutiques, auto mechanics and recreation centers. But the thing that differentiates this city from other American cities is that nothing at Burning Man is bought or sold, traded or bartered; Black Rock City runs on a gift economy. Every resident is expected to participate, and to bring something to contribute for the common good. What you decide to contribute – that’s up to you.

On this episode of Outdoor Explorer host Adam Verrier explores Burning Man. He speaks with Cherie Yanek. She’s the race director for the annual Burning Man Ultramarathon, which takes place in the middle of the week at 5 o’clock in the morning, to beat the mid-day desert heat. In the second half of the show, we hear from the artist Miguel Guzman about the art piece he created along with his partner, Iyvone Khoo, using recycled and biodegradable materials including Mycelium. The sculpture is presented in an area of Burning Man called “Deep Playa,” which is open desert, some distance from the tent city that holds the occupants of Black Rock City. The art piece represents the Mayan Rain God, Chaac, and our conversation took place at around 3:00am under a full moon and the stars of the Milky Way galaxy stretching from horizon to horizon across the night sky.

HOST: Adam Verrier

Cherie Yanek, race director for the annual Burning Man Ultramarathon
Miguel Guzman and Iyvone Khoo, artists

Burning Man website
Burning Man Ultramarathon 50k
Miguel Guzman’s Instagram page
Iyvone Khoo’s website

BROADCAST: Thursday, September 28th, 2023. 10:00 am – 11:00 a.m. AKT

REPEAT BROADCAST: Thursday, September 28th, 2023. 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. AKT

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