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Compass of the Ephemeral
Compass of the Ephemeral

Compass of the Ephemeral

Aerial Photography of Black Rock City through the Lens of Will Roger

By Will Roger, Edited by Phyllis Needham, Contributions by William Fox, Contributions by Tony “Coyote” Perez-Banuet, Introduction by Harley Dubois, Contributions by Alexei Vranich, Contributions by Crimson Rose

PHOTOGRAPHY

216 Pages, 10.0 x 8.0

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $29.99 (US $29.99) (CA $39.99)

Publication Date: June 2019

ISBN 9780977880652

Rights: WOR

Smallworks Press (Jun 2019)

Price: $29.99
 
 

Overview

"Roger's photos turn the Burning Man festival itself into a piece of art." —John Przybys, Las Vegas Review Journal Burning Man is a cultural celebration of the iconoclastic; a merger of art, thought, poetry, social awakening, and freedom. From its original inception through 2018, Nevada artist and Burning Man event co-founder Will Roger photographs the ever-changing cityscape and transformation of Black Rock City throughout the years. A look at Black Rock City needs to reflect the spirit of Burning Man. This book contains a substantial collection of aerial photos as never seen before, which is a photographic collaboration between Will Roger and Burning Man architect Rod Garrett, but it becomes even more with the Introduction by Burning Man co-founder Harley Dubois, and poetry and essay contributions from Independent scholar William Fox and Archaeologist Alexei Vranich.  "This book provides some insight and documentation into the development and growth of the temporary metropolis that is created and disappears each year on Nevada's Black Rock Desert. It tells the story of growth, community engagement and artistic interaction." —James Gabriel Martin, Lonely Planet

Reviews

"The Burning Man festival began in 1986 as an intimate, intensely personal gathering on a San Francisco beach. When the latest incarnation of the event begins Sunday in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, running through Sept. 2, tens of thousands of celebrants will gather to celebrate art, music and share in a sense of counterculture reminiscent of the '60s but totally modern. How Burning Man got from there to here — and the meaning of it all — is the focus of two recently published books. Compass of the Ephemeral: Aerial Photography of Black Rock City through the Lens of Will Roger  [...] features photographs taken by Roger, a Burning Man founder, as well as archival images of festivals over the years.... Roger's photos turn the Burning Man festival itself into a piece of art." —John Przybys, Las Vegas Review Journal

"Compass of the Ephemeral: Aerial Photography of Black Rock City Through the Lens of Will Roger is a stunning historical travelogue in words and pictures that defines and depicts Black Rock City, as it was conceived, as well as how it continues to regenerate. While the gorgeous pictures present themselves admirably, the accompanying essays, all written with passion and precision, relate history, process, schematics and vision.... Rogers aerial photographs will keep you turning back. They show numbers – as in grains of sand, campers, cars and tents. They show expanse of desert and sky. They show infinite beige and gradations of blue. One book defines the ephemeral, which, of course, cant be defined. Which is why, some just have to have it." —Gwynned Vitello, Juxtapoz Magazine

"..Called Compass of the Ephemeral, the photobook presents a collection of landscape, aerial and drone images taken by the event's first Director of Operations and Cultural Co-Founder Will Roger between 2005 and 2018. The images have been put together in a never-before-seen collection along with those taken by other photographers. Published by Small Works Press, a local Las Vegas independent company, the book maps the dramatic expansion of Burning Man since its conception in 1986, focusing specifically on how Black Rock City has changed. "This book provides some insight and documentation into the development and growth of the temporary metropolis that is created and disappears each year on Nevada's Black Rock Desert. It tells the story of growth, community engagement and artistic interaction. The reader will gain insight into the inner working, challenges and decisions that made the growth possible." —James Gabriel Martin, Lonely Planet

"New Photobook Documents the Notorious Burning Man Smallworks Press, an independent publishing company specializing in limited edition, exquisitely-printed books focusing on contemporary art and culture, has announced it is producing and distributing the highly-anticipated Compass of the Ephemeral: Aerial Photography of Black Rock City through the Lens of Will Roger, the first book of aerial and drone photography by cultural co-founder of Burning Man, Will Roger. Compass of the Ephemeral includes a collection of Will Roger's photographs chronicling the ever-changing cityscape and transformation of Black Rock City, home to Burning Man and one of the harshest climates in the continental U.S. The book traces the history and transition of Black Rock City from a few thousand people in the late 1990s to the growing metropolis required to support over 70,000 citizens today. As the first Director of Operations of the Burning Man event, Will Roger worked alongside the other five founding board members and all others involved to ensure that Black Rock City becomes a reality each year and then vanishes without a trace. He was instrumental in creating numerous foundations for the event, including: established the Department of Public Works (DPW), a workforce of volunteers dedicated to building and deconstructing the physical infrastructure of Black Rock City; actualized an FAA approved airport, and conceived traditions such as the Gold Spike Ceremony, a pre-event commemoration for the builders of Black Rock City, as the first stake is placed in the ground to survey and build the future city. Roger says: "Burning Man is a blank canvas for people to come and create on. Burning Man creates a human empathy, then serendipity and creativity happens. Burning Man is the real world; everything else is the default world. People come away with changed lives and a changed culture because at Burning Man, everyone is human . . . there is no class, no color. You become family: human family, world family, global family." Compass of the Ephemeral also includes interpretive essays by William L. Fox, director of the Nevada Museum of Art's Center for Art + Environment; Alexei Vranich, American archeologist at the University of California, Berkley; Tony "Coyote" Perez-Banuet, city superintendent of Black Rock City; Crimson Rose, cultural co-founder of Burning Man; and an introduction by Harley K. DuBois, cultural co-founder of Burning Man. Each essay explores the physical, cultural and artistic context and impact of the Burning Man event. A preview of the book will take place at the Nevada Museum of Art on May 23, 2019, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Reno, Nevada. Will Roger,William L. Fox and Crimson Rose will discuss aspects of the book with the panel moderated by Smallworks Press publisher, James Stanford. Stanford comments, "I could not be more delighted that Will Roger chose Smallworks Press as his official publisher. Since 2006, Smallworks Press has been producing exceptional visual and interpretive works that reflect the interconnectivity of art and community, a vision that Roger has made tangible each year for the past 14 years, by visually documenting the uniqueness of Burning Man and Black Rock City and by his involvement and contributions to the Burning Man culture and infrastructure." —Fine Books & Collections?

"Compass of the Ephemeral includes a collection of Will Roger's photographs chronicling the ever-changing cityscape and transformation of Black Rock City, home to Burning Man and one of the harshest climates in the continental U.S. Roger says: "Burning Man is a blank canvas for people to come and create on. Burning Man creates a human empathy, then serendipity and creativity happens. Burning Man is the real world; everything else is the default world. People come away with changed lives and a changed culture because at Burning Man, everyone is human . . . there is no class, no color. You become family: human family, world family, global family." —Fine Books & Collections

"Compass of the Ephemeral: Aerial Photography of Black Rock City through the Lens of Will Roger, published in June by Smallworks Press, showcases Burning Man's history, pairing Roger's images with those of other photographers, as well as an essay from Roger about the challenges of putting on an event of this size and magnitude in a barren desert. His favorite photo is the one on the cover, taken during a particularly dusty, cloudy morning. "I didn't think I got any good shots that day because of the poor conditions," Roger recalled. "When I got back to camp and started to look through what I had captured, that image just jumped out at me." And despite his many years on the playa, Roger is still a steadfast believer in the magic of Burning Man. "Each year on the morning of the event opening I look forward to the remarkable energy shift after 40,000 to 50,000 burners arrive in Black Rock City," he said. "That energy, filled with positive intention, unconditional love, and creativity is powerful. Everyone feels it and is affected by it."" —artnet News

"The annual Burning Man event and its location in Black Rock City have become icons representing novel creativeness while promoting unrestrained expression....Building a temporary city on a dry lake bed in the Nevadan dust was the challenge undertaken by founder Larry Harvey, builder Rod Garret and Will Rogers; this is their story told with passion, devotion, commitment and quite a bit of humor. The photos clearly depict the growing pains endured by this effort to design the semi-circular clockwork transitory city plan needed for the campers to revel in. This illustrated story is inspiring, but I wish there were more down to earth land views to compare with the aerial scenes."—Aaron Row, Seattle Book Review?

Author Biography

Will Roger is an artist, teacher, innovator, and environmentalist. He is a co-founder of Black Rock City, LLC, the company that has produced the Burning Man event for nearly 20 years. Roger has served as a co-founder of the Black Rock Art Foundation and President of Friends of the Black Rock-High Rock. He is also an accomplished photographer, having attained his MFA in Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and later served as a photochemist, Associate Professor, and Assistant Director for RIT.William L. Fox is a writer, independent scholar, and poet whose work focuses on how human cognition transforms land into landscape. He was born in San Diego and attended Claremont McKenna College. Fox has worked as a consulting editor for university presses and served as director of the poetry program for the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. In the visual arts, Fox has exhibited text works in more than two dozen group and solo exhibitions in seven countries. He has served as the Associate Director of the Nevada Museum of Art and as the visual arts and architecture critic for the Reno Gazette-Journal. Fox is currently the lead strategist for the Art and Environment initiative at the Nevada Museum of Art.Tony "Coyote" Perez-Banuet is a co-founder of the Department of Public Works of Black Rock City and has served as City Superintendent for twenty years. Known as the "Bard of the Desert," telling stories around the campfire is among the things he does best. He has been blogging under the moniker of "Coyote Nose" for many years, and he is Burning Man's first Storytelling Fellow. A founding member of Black Rock City LLC, Harley K. Dubois has over 25 years of project management, art, and city planning experience. As the City Manager of Black Rock City, Harley oversees both the Playa Safety Council and Community Services departments, ensuring the citizens of BRC are happy and safe. She originated theme camp placement, the Greeters, Playa Info, and Burning Man Information Radio, along with initiating the development of all other Community Service teams. Harley also created and maintains a comprehensive training and self-development program for the Burning Man staff, fostering volunteerism, and cross-departmental communication.Alexei Vranich received his BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He has extensive research experience around the world and has been recognized by the National Science Foundation for his innovative application of technology in studying history. Bridging the divide between academic and popular archaeology, Alexei has appeared in television channels and magazines such as National Geographic, The Sciences, and Archaeology Magazine. Alexei is currently conducting archaeological research in Cusco, Peru, the former capital of the Inca Empire.Crimson Rose is a co-founder of Burning Man and the Black Rock Arts Foundation. She began participating in the Burning Man event in 1991 and developed the organization's Art Department, including the infrastructure and support services that make possible the large-scale participatory artworks that Burning Man is renowned for. Many of these works find public placement in cities around the world and serve as catalytic sparks for community collaboration. Rose is an instigator of creative energy and Creative Director of the Fire Conclave, the largest gathering of fire performers in the world.