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Desert to Dream

A Decade of Burning Man Photography

By Barbara Traub

“This is the place where some of the most innovative, fearless sorts gather to put up art installations, perform, party and pretty much express themselves anyway they see fit. Call it the lunatic fringe of the art world, call it an alternative experience, call it freaky -- just don't call it boring.”
- Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"Although finding the surreal at Burning Man may be as easy as finding materialism in Las Vegas, Traub seems to have an affinity for the unusual and the sublime."
- Micro Publishing News

San Francisco, California -July 1, 2006-Immedium proudly announces the publication of Desert to Dream: A Decade of Burning Man Photography by critically acclaimed photographer Barbara Traub. It features an introduction by award-winning filmmaker Les Blank, foreword and afterword by Burning Man founder Larry Harvey, epilogue by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and a contribution by Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy. More than 150 sensational color and black and white photographs bring to life an incredible event that now attracts 40,000 people every year.

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 northwest Nevada's Black Rock Desert during the last days of summer. Lasting for about a week and culminating over America’s Labor Day weekend, the festival attracts thousands of people from around the world who gather to celebrate human imagination and transformation on this giant, white canvas-like expanse contained by a ring of mountains and a very big sky. On Saturday night, Black Rock City emerges as Nevada's fifth-largest metropolis while attendees burn a four-story tall wooden sculpture of a “man” striped in neon and embedded with fireworks.

This book is an unprecedented photographic record of a decade 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, and comments upon these dynamic visions with captions that go behind the scenes.

"This book is a landmark," remarked Larry Harvey, the founder and director of Burning Man. "It does more than illustrate a so-called counter-cultural event. Rather, it exhibits the integrity and singleness of vision of a complete work of art. I think that a sophisticated public is ready for this. It is among the first to get things right. It does not merely display Burning Man in pictures or explain it in words: it manifests the spirit of our culture through its style."
$29.95, hardcover, Photography/Popular Culture, ISBN: 1-59702-003-6, 11 x 10, 160 pages

(image above from Barbara's 2006 visit to Burning Man)
Order your own autographed copy with free limited edition postcard!

About the Authors

Barbara Traub is a photographer and multimedia artist, whose artwork has exhibited worldwide, such as at the San Francisco at the Arts Commission, Xerox PARC, Cooper Union in New York, the Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles, Houston Fotofest, Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, and the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute. Her photography of Burning Man has appeared in publications such as Wired, Spiegel Online, Photo District News, San Francisco Chronicle, and New Age. Chief photographer for HardWired's book Burning Man, she curated the 2004 “Art of Burning Man” at Photo SF. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she resides in San Francisco, California.

About Immedium

Immedium, Inc. inspires a world of imagination, and creates entertaining books that have multi-dimensional appeal. Based in San Francisco, CA, Immedium sits on the Pacific Rim, a vibrant intersection for crossover cultural trends from Asia and America. Embracing an increasingly diverse and "multimedia" world, Immedium publishes titles ranging from eye-catching children's books and contemporary non-fiction to commentaries on art and popular culture. Visit us at www.immedium.com.