Burning Art: The Art of Burning Man

Some 60,000 people attending this fall’s Burning Man celebration of “radical self-expression and self-reliance” turned Nevada’s Black Rock Desert into a temporary art museum.

PBS’s News Hour featured a great segment on this year’s art, including the work of San Francisco area’s Flaming Lotus Girls.

You can see the video report here.

And you can see still photos here.

In 2008, I interviewed reporter/photographer about her book, Burning Book, and about the spiritual aspects of the annual Burning Man celebration:

Jessica Bruder is a reporter for the Portland Oregonian and the author of the 2007 collection, Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man.

“Spiritual isn’t a word I use a lot in my own life,” says Bruder, who was raised in a Jewish-Catholic family. “I spend most of my time in the secular world. But as I look at it, and think about the roots of what drives people to participate in Burning Man, I see that it’s a sense of community similar to what people find in religion.

“If they’re religious people, or if they hunger for something bigger than them, Burning Man is certainly bigger than they are, even though they create it themselves.”

Find out more about Jessica’s book here.

Posted in Blog, Mixed Media, Picture=1000

Plastic Jesus Attacks Again!

No, we’re not talking about the popular song recorded in 1962:

Well, I don’t care if it rains or freezes,
Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Riding on the dashboard of my car
Through all trials and tribulations,
We will travel every nation,
With my plastic Jesus I’ll go far.

We’re talking about a modern-day anti- consumerist prankster who goes by the name Plastic Jesus.

His latest attack involved sneaking a Useless Plastic Box into a Best Buy store and posting this photo.
We will be looking to see what Plastic Jesus does in the lead up to Christmas!

Posted in Blog, Man&Machine, Mixed Media, Picture=1000

Art as Argument: Leon Ferrari (R.I.P.)

La civilización occidental y cristiana (Western Civilization and Christianity)
by Leon Ferrari, 1965

Leon Ferrari, a controversial Latin American conceptual artist and activist, died July 25, 2013. His most famous work, which features Christ crucified on an American fighter plane, expressed his opposition to the Vietnam War, and more.

Like his other works, La civilización occidental y cristiana explored themes of religion, power and illegitimate authority, especially the oversized global influence of both the United States and the Roman Catholic Church. When the work was exhibited in Ferrari’s native Argentina in 1965, the Catholic Church had the exhibit closed down. He faced a similar fate in 2004, when the Archbishop of Buenos Aires helped close down a show featuring more Christian imagery. (That Archbishop is today’s Pope Francis.)

See Ferrari’s obituary from The New York Times.

Posted in Blog, Picture=1000
A to Z

Steve's articles have appeared in these publications and outlets:

Akron Beacon Journal
Albany (NY) Times Union
The American Spectator
Ann Arbor News
Arizona Republic
Atlanta Journal/Constitution
Associated Press
Birmingham (AL) News
Bookstore Journal
Boulder Camera
Catholic Digest
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Christian Single (Southern Baptist Convention)
Christianity Today (since 1982, EPA Award)
Church Bookstore
Columbus Citizen-Journal (Sunday magazine features)
Columbus Dispatch
Compassion Update (Compassion International, editor)
Cincinnati Enquirer (Sunday magazine features)
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Current Thoughts & Trends
Daily Guardian, Wright State University, Dayton, OH (editor)
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Dayton (Ohio city magazine)
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Dayton Daily News and Journal-Herald (news, features, stringer)
Devo'Zine (United Methodist)
The Disciple (Disciples of Christ)
Discipleship Journal
East Asia’s Millions (Overseas Missionary Fellowship)
English Journal (National Council of Teachers of English)
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
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Freedom Wire
The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO: Religion Editor, news, features)
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Home Life (Southern Baptist Convention)
Houston Chronicle
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Knight-Ridder/Tribune News Service
Leadership Journal
Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader
Life@Work (EPA Award)
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The Lutheran Witness (Missouri Synod)
The Magazine for Christian Youth! (United Methodist)
Media Update
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Missions Today
Mobile (AL) Register
National and International Religion Report
New Age
New Orleans Times-Picayune
New Sound
New York Times (Religion Journal, news, stringer)
New York Times Syndication Sales Corp.
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Omaha World-Herald
Orange County Register
Parents of Teenagers
Pastor's Family
Policy Review (Heritage Foundation)
Publishers Weekly
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Pulpit Helps
PW Religion Bookline
Re:generation Quarterly
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Shepherdess International (Seventh-day Adventist)
Syracuse (NY) Post-Standard
Tallahassee Democrat
Today’s Pentecostal Evangel (Assemblies of God)
Twin Circle Catholic Weekly
Vue (Wesleyan)
Washington Post
The Wittenburg Door
World Pulse
Worship Leader
Young Salvationist (Salvation Army)
Youthworker Journal (writer, columnist, editor)
Youthworker Update


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