Desert to Dream: A Dozen Years of Burning Man Photography


San Francisco photographer Barbara Traub has re-released her wonderful book Desert to Dream: A Dozen Years of Burning Man Photography, with a brand new printing that includes 16 more pages and 24 additional photographs.

The Black Rock Arts Festival (otherwise known as “Burning Man,”) has become an annual pilgrimage for a generation of artists to the dry, desert, alkali flats of northwestern Nevada during the last days of summer. So many people from around the world gather to celebrate human imagination that Burning Man now qualifies as Nevada’s fifth-largest city. Then it culminates Labor Day weekend with the burning of a four-story tall wooden sculpture of a “man”.

This book is a groundbreaking visual document of a dozen years of Burning Man celebrations — from its infancy as a performance art exhibition in the late 80’s to its explosion as a pop culture, community-driven phenomenon today. Photographer Barbara Traub captures the sacred and profane through photos of otherworldly artifacts, structures, and costumes that defy description.

Scott Beale
Scott Beale

Scott Beale founded Laughing Squid in 1995 in San Francisco and is currently based in New York City. When not running the blog, Scott can be found posting on Threads and sharing photos on Instagram.