Desert art of Burning Man 2012

What began in 1986 as a small “radical self-expression” bonfire called Burning Man at Baker Beach, San Francisco, has evolved into a world-class festival exhibiting extraordinary mobile, functional, and sculptural art across a barren expanse in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. With nearly 60,000 attendees, the 26th annual version of this event featured a slew of amazingly detailed constructions — a spectacle expected from a continuously growing audience that paid more than ever before to join the fun.

Above is just a tiny fraction of the temporary installations and surreal vehicles built specifically for this year’s celebration. Most of them crafted by dedicated participants who spent their own money and months of voluntary work, all done in the the spirit of a few guiding principles.

Discover more photos in the Burning Man! group.

Photos from arno gourdol, TWITA2005, mr science, stuartlchambers, Ian Alexander Norman, and *christopher*.