USA: On the Playa at Burning Man

For close to three decades now Nevada’s desert landscape has been annually transformed into the phenomenon that has come to be known as Black Rock City, playing host to Burning Man. While the essence of Burning Man is often mislabeled as a massive party where participants escape to for a week of excessive drug use, the best way of describing it is that of a "pop up society." One, which after a years worth of work, dedication and preparation is burnt down to the desert floor, leaving it just as it was before its temporary inhabitants arrived.

Regardless of the stereotypes about the, for lack of a better term, “hippy sub-culture” that Burning Man has been built upon, the festival embodies a spirit of collective freedom that is seldom seen in our world today. It has evolved into a place of worship, innovation, radical self-reliance and authentic freedom of expression. Where anyone can reinvent himself or herself into whomever they want, without the stresses of acceptance and judgment from the ‘real world’.

Amongst the plethora of art installations, participatory campsites, and whatever else Black Rock City births, Michael Marantz, Founder / Director of Already Alive, was inspired by one in particular, ‘The Temple’. In his mind, the installation of The Temple, “explores modern spirituality in a contemplative and personal manner; touching on ideas of self-discovery, letting go and meaningful human connection that transcends a simple party in the desert.”

Marantz’ inspiration led him to contribute to Burning Man’s consistent theme of a 'gift economy' by producing a short film about it. Fortunately, Michael was able to capture the film in a series of still images, allowing those of us unable to participate in the experience of Burning Man, to have a taste of what it is like to reside in the world of Black Rock City.

WATCH Marantz' short film 'The Temple' here

PHOTOS: MICHAEL MARANTZ @michaelmarantz  At the age 21, Michael was diagnosed with cancer. Having gone through hell and back, he rediscovered a new passion for being alive, constantly looking to discover more about life, technology, and why we humans do what we do. In 2012 he started Already Alive, a storytelling studio, to open new paths for collaboration. He constantly in pursuit of stirring people to feel the same way he does: Already Alive.