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Burning Man Is Reportedly Selling Art & NFTs Out Of Dire Need
By Ell Ko, 06 Oct 2021
Image via Burning Man
Although the Burning Man principle has always taken a stance against commodification, organizers have resorted to a partnership with Sotheby’s to host the auction Boundless Space: The Possibilities of Burning Man.
At this sale, more than 100 “eclectic, genre-defying” works by artists from both within and adjacent to the Burning Man community will be featured, with BIPOC artists being given the spotlight.
Bidding, open through October 9, will cover items such as paintings, sculptures, mutant vehicles, experiences like stilt-walking classes, and, of course, non-fungiblen tokens (NFTs). As expected, prices are seen to be reaching into five-figured sums.
The nonprofit has been hit hard financially, as many other experience-based events have been over the last couple of years of uncertainty and cancelations. CEO Marian Goodell has reportedly told Billboard of its dire urgency to raise funds. “We’re going to have to start selling tickets otherwise we don’t have enough money.”
“We have money to get to the end of year barely. Like, barely literally,” she states. “We don’t have December. The auction is going to be important.”
Although the move may come as a surprise given the organization’s previously firm beliefs, it has been reiterated by director of creative initiatives, Kim Cook, that the auction doesn’t interfere with any of its values.
More was revealed about the auction in a recent episode of the podcast Burning Man Live and on the dedicated space on its website set up to tell the stories of the artists behind the works.
Burning Man gatherings in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada, are an iconic annual happening. However, the pandemic saw the 2020 and 2021 events being canceled, with the organization reporting a 90% loss of annual revenue last year.
Although a call for donations helped to tide it over, this primarily went toward staff retention. It’s hoped that Burning Man 2022 can becomes a reality, and so far, Goodell feels that it will be possible.
[via EDM.COM, images via various sources]
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