Larry Harvey

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Larry Harvey
Larry Harvey wdydwyd.jpg
Born(1948-01-11)January 11, 1948
DiedApril 28, 2018(2018-04-28) (aged 70)
San Francisco, California, U.S.
OccupationArtist, philanthropist, activist
Years active19862018
Known forCo-founding Burning Man

Larry Harvey (January 11, 1948 – April 28, 2018) was an American artist, philanthropist and activist. He was the main co-founder of the Burning Man event, along with his friend Jerry James. [1]

Burning Man annual experimental festival based in Nevada, United States

Burning Man is an annual event in the western United States at Black Rock City – a temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert of northwest Nevada, approximately 100 miles (160 km) north-northeast of Reno. The late summer event is described as an experiment in community and art, influenced by ten main principles: radical inclusion, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, gifting, decommodification, participation, immediacy and leave no trace. The event takes its name from its culmination, the symbolic ritual burning of a large wooden effigy that traditionally occurs on the Saturday evening of the event.


Burning Man

Burning Man started in 1986 on the evening of the summer solstice. An effigy of a man was taken to San Francisco's Baker Beach and set on fire. A small crowd gathered and soon the burning of the man became an annual event. Over the next over four years the attendees grew to more than 800 people. In 1990, in collaboration with the SF Cacophony Society, the event moved to the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, and took place over [Labor Day] weekend. From a three-day, 80-person "zone trip," Burning Man became an eight-day counter culture event with 70,000 participants from all over the world.

Baker Beach beach on the peninsula of San Francisco, California, United States

Baker Beach is a public beach on the peninsula of San Francisco, California, U.S.. The beach lies on the shore of the Pacific Ocean in the northwest of the city. It is roughly a half mile long, beginning just south of Golden Gate Point, extending southward toward the Seacliff peninsula, the Palace of the Legion of Honor and the Sutro Baths. The northern section of Baker Beach is "frequented by clothing-optional sunbathers," and as such it is considered a nude beach.

The Cacophony Society is "a randomly gathered network of free spirits united in the pursuit of experiences beyond the pale of mainstream society.” It was started in 1986 by surviving members of the now defunct Suicide Club of San Francisco.

Black Rock Desert

The Black Rock Desert is a semi-arid region (in the Great Basin shrub steppe eco-region), of lava beds and playa, or alkali flats, situated in the Black Rock Desert–High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area, a silt playa 100 miles (160 km) north of Reno, Nevada that encompasses more than 300,000 acres (120,000 ha) of land and contains more than 120 miles (200 km) of historic trails. It is in the northern Nevada section of the Great Basin with a lakebed that is a dry remnant of Pleistocene Lake Lahontan.

In 1997, six of the main organizers formed Black Rock City LLC to manage the event, with Harvey as the executive director, a position he held until his death. Harvey was also the president of the Black Rock Arts Foundation, a non-profit art grant foundation for promoting interactive collaborative public art installations in communities outside of Black Rock City.

Black Rock Arts Foundation

The mission of the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) is to support and promote community, interactive art and civic participation. BRAF works with communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world to collaboratively produce innovative, relevant and pioneering works of public art that build community and empower individuals. As of 2012, BRAF has supported more than 100 projects worldwide.

Philosophy and Activities

Larry Harvey was a voracious reader and was heavily influenced by works such as Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community by Robert Putnam, Variety of Religious Experience by William James, and Sigmund Freud.

He scripted and co-chaired/curated the Burning Man art department and it's annual event theme. Harvey was the main spokesperson and political strategist for the Burning Man organization. He had been featured in such engagements as San Francisco's Grace Cathedral "Radical Ritual" with the Very Reverend Alan Jones, the Oxford Student Union, [Cooper Union] in New York City, Harvard's International Conference on Internet and Society as a panelist, the Walker Art Center in Minnesota and the San Francisco Commonwealth Club, as well as many others.[ citation needed ]

Walker Art Center Art center in Minnesota, United States

The Walker Art Center is a multidisciplinary contemporary art center in the Lowry Hill neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. The Walker is one of the most-visited modern and contemporary art museums in the United States and, together with the adjacent Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the Cowles Conservatory, it has an annual attendance of around 700,000 visitors. The museum's permanent collection includes over 13,000 modern and contemporary art pieces including books, costumes, drawings, media works, paintings, photography, prints, and sculpture.

Personal life

Harvey grew up in the Parkrose area, of Oregon, just east of Portland, Oregon. [2] Harvey graduated from Parkrose High School in 1966. [3] Harvey died on April 28, 2018, from a massive stroke he had suffered earlier in the same month. [4] [5] He was 70 years old.

Portland, Oregon City in Oregon, United States

Portland is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Oregon and the seat of Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers. As of 2017, Portland had an estimated population of 647,805, making it the 26th most populated city in the United States, and the second-most populous in the Pacific Northwest. Approximately 2.4 million people live in the Portland metropolitan statistical area (MSA), making it the 25th most populous MSA in the United States. Its Combined Statistical Area (CSA) ranks 18th-largest with a population of around 3.2 million. Approximately 60% of Oregon's population resides within the Portland metropolitan area.

Parkrose High School

Parkrose High School is a public high school in Portland, Oregon, United States. It is the only high school in the Parkrose School District.

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Burning Flipside is an annual effigy burn, display of creative arts, and self-expression of performances staged in Central Texas near Austin. Modeled on and associated with Burning Man, Flipside was the first regional Burning Man event.

Gerlach, Nevada Census-designated place in Nevada, United States

Gerlach, Nevada is a census-designated place (CDP) in Washoe County, Nevada, United States. The population was 206 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Reno–Sparks Metropolitan Statistical Area. Prior to 2010, Gerlach was part of the Gerlach–Empire census-designated place. The town of Empire is now a separate CDP. The next nearest town, Nixon, is 60 miles (100 km) to the south on a reservation owned by the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe. The Fly Geyser is located near Gerlach.

Pink Mammoth

Pink Mammoth is a San Francisco-based non-profit artist collective, founded by Ryel K and Derek Hena in August, 2003. It is based partially on the philosophy of Burning Man, a radically expressive temporary city held annually in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, and dedicated to unconditional self-support and free expression. It also is influenced by the Buddhist concept of the Boddhisattva, a being dedicated to enabling, supporting, and encouraging others to reach their ultimate state of enlightenment.

Black Rock City LLC is the company that organizes the annual Burning Man event ending on Labor Day, on the dry lake of the Black Rock Desert in northwestern Nevada. Although the organization is largely volunteer-driven, it has a for-profit form. Its mission states that its efforts are, and its primary goal is, to establish community.

The Burn Clean Project is a volunteer organization providing sustainable energy solutions for the Burning Man festival in Black Rock Desert.

Barbara Traub is an American photographer, who was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland. Several years after graduating from Johns Hopkins University, she went on an exchange program to an art school in Florence, Italy for a semester with the intention of doing painting and drawing but at the last minute was handed a camera, thus establishing her future direction.

John Law (American artist) American artist

John Law is an American artist, culture-jammer, and co-founder of the Cacophony Society and a member of the Suicide Club. He is also a co-founder of the Burning Man Festival which evolved out of the spirit of the Cacophony Society when a precursor solstice party was banned from San Francisco's Baker Beach and merged with another Cacophony event on the Black Rock desert in Nevada. Originally from Michigan, Law has lived in San Francisco, California since 1976.

Dustin Lance Black American screenwriter, director and producer

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Education in Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon contains six public school districts, many private schools, as well as public and private colleges and universities including Portland State University, the largest public university in Oregon.

Dust & Illusions is a 2009 documentary film about Burning Man and its founders. The film has been featured at several film festivals, and was shown at the San Francisco DocFest at The Roxie in San Francisco in October 2009. The film was written and directed by Olivier Bonin.

Pepe Ozan sculptor

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Mark Grieve is a contemporary American artist. He studied painting and drawing formally at the San Francisco Art Institute and College of Marin and apprenticed in Japanese ceramics in the Hamada lineage. He practices in a variety of media including found objects and large metal sculpture as well as site-specific installations, performance, and public art.

Spark: A Burning Man Story is a 2013 independent documentary film with its world premiere at the South by Southwest film festival (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. That is about some 60,000 or so people that gather from around the world for a week at the annual Burning Man festival in Black Rock Desert of Nevada to collaborate building a temporary city that operates on a "gifting" economy where nothing is bought or sold. Participants bring in everything; food, water, and shelter. The week features large-scale art installations and partying, at the conclusion of the week a celebration in the ritual burning of a giant effigy, and after one week, take it all away.

Paul Addis (1970-2012) was a San Francisco attorney, playwright, and performance artist. Well known in San Francisco for performing his own original plays, Addis attended the Burning Man festival several times and gained broader notoriety in 2007 after setting fire to the 'Burning Man' effigy at the festival in protest several days before the event's organizers had planned to burn it. He was arrested and jailed in Nevada for the act. Addis was the subject of an interview and profile in Wired Magazine in 2007.

Raygun Gothic Rocketship

The Raygun Gothic Rocketship is a retro-futurist art sculpture in the shape of a giant rocketship. It was created by Bay Area artists Nathaniel Taylor, Sean Orlando, and David Shulman.

Desert Siteworks was an event held on the Black Rock Desert for three years (1992-1994). Participants built art and participated in self-directed performances.


  1. Jacques, Adam (23 August 2014). "Larry Harvey: The founder of the Burning Man event on adoption, uncontrollable rage - and how Freud became a father figure". The Independent.
  2. "My Brother Larry" . Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  3. "Parkrose High (PHS) Class of 1966 Alumni List" . Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  4. "Burning Man founder Larry Harvey in critical condition after massive stroke". San Francisco Gate. April 11, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  5. "Burning Man founder Larry Harvey dies after massive stroke". USA TODAY. Retrieved 28 April 2018.
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