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Cover of Compass of the Ephemeral: Aerial Photography of Black
Rock City through the Lens of Will Roger. Roger
is a cultural co-founder of Burning Man. The book will be published in 2019.
"Burning Man is a blank canvas for people to come and create on," said Will Roger, a Burning Man cultural co-founder who has photographed the evolution of festival site Black
Rock City that's annually built and cleared. "Burning Man creates a human empathy, then serendipity and creativity happens."
Smallworks Press, an independent publishing company specializing in limited edition, exquisitely-printed books focusing on contemporary art and culture, announced today that it has been selected to produce and distribute the highly-anticipated photography collection of Will Roger, a cultural co-founder of Burning Man. What started with a few people burning a human effigy on a San Francisco beach in 1986 has become a global phenomenon with an eight day event of more than 70,000 people and associated Burning Man regional events around the world. The temporary Black
Rock City, located 100 miles northwest of Reno in Nevada's Black
Rock Desert, is home to Burning Man, a festival dedicated to art, community, anti-consumerism and self-expression. The 2018 festival concluded on Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3.
Compass of the Ephemeral: Aerial Photography of Black
Rock City through the Lens of Will Roger
is scheduled for release in April 2019. The work includes a substantial collection of Roger's aerial photos chronicling the ever-changing cityscape and transformation of the temporary Black
Rock City - complete with typical city infrastructure - and the innovative Burning Man art installations both of which are created and taken down year after year. The collection also includes interpretive essays by William L. Fox, director of the Nevada Museum of Art's Center for Art + Environment; Alexei Vranich, American archeologist at the University of California, Berkley; Tony "Coyote" Perez-Banuet, city superintendent of Black
Rock City; and an introduction by Harley K. DuBois exploring the cultural context and impact of the Burning Man festival.
"Burning Man is a blank canvas for people to come and create on," said Roger. "Burning Man creates a human empathy, then serendipity and creativity happens. Burning Man is the real world; everything else is the default world. People come away with changed lives and a changed culture because at Burning Man, everyone is human . . . there is no class, no color. You become family: human family, world family, global family."
"We could not be more delighted that Will Roger
chose Smallworks Press as his official publisher," said James
Stanford, founder and editor. "Since 2006, Smallworks Press has been producing exceptional visual and interpretive works that reflect the interconnectivity of art and community, a vision that Roger
has made tangible each year for the past 14 years, by visually documenting the uniqueness of Burning Man and Black
Rock City and by his involvement and contributions to the Burning Man culture and infrastructure."
Roger's autobiography, In Search of the Common
Shaman, also will be released next year by Smallworks Press. The mystical memoir is not just the story of Roger's life, but it is also a reflection of the universal journey, the shared search for reconnection, and the moment of the, "re-wild and re-energization of the divine power that dwells inside us," as Roger
His self-exploration is a powerful fusion of methods, ideas, and intentional mindsets seeking to revitalize the magic and mystical energy not only in his life, but within each person. Based upon the microcosm of personal experience, In Search of the Common
Shaman explores more universal themes, combining enhanced connectedness, heightened experiences, and the intensified magical wonderment of life on earth.
is a contributor to the current No Spectators: the Art of Burning Man exhibit at the Renwick Gallery at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. Among his pieces are aerial photographs of Black
Rock City, including the cover photo of Compass of the Ephemeral: Aerial Photography of Black
Rock City through the Lens of Will Roger. The exhibit features large-scale installations - the artistic hallmark of Burning Man - and other festival items and runs through Jan. 21, 2019. In conjunction with No Spectators: the Art of Burning Man, Roger
was a featured speaker at the Sept. 14 symposium, Radical Inclusion and Tales from the Playa: Talks on Art, Inspiration, and the History of Burning Man. His presentation covered how Burning Man has become an iconic cultural phenomenon in such a short time and what's behind the development of Black
About Will Roger
discovered Burning Man in 1994, through his life partner Crimson Rose. Together and with several others, they are co-founders of Black
Rock City, LLC, the company that has produced the Burning Man event for nearly 20 years. As a cultural co-founder of Burning Man, Roger
also founded and managed the Black
Rock City Department of Public Works - a team of several hundred people responsible for pre-event and post-event construction logistics and production. He is the co-founder of the Black
Rock Art Foundation, a founding board member of Burning Man Project, and vice-president of Friends
of the Black
Rock/High Rock. Roger
is heavily involved in conservation efforts for the Black
Rock Desert, which is the United States' largest National
Conservation Area (NCA), and which is home to the Burning Man event. He served as Chairman of the Sierra Front - North Western Great Basin - Resource Advisory Council (RAC), and is currently a member of the RAC NCA Subgroup. Roger
is also an accomplished photographer; and for nearly 20 years, he served at the Rochester Institute
of Technology in Rochester, N.Y., as a photo chemist, administrator, associate professor, and assistant director.