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Dusty Mikel: Burning Man

CAE1313

Summary Note

Dusty Mikel’s archive includes materials from her time as a member of the Black Rock Rangers, as organizer of the Outback camp, and as a regional representative of Burning Man. Materials include audio interviews with transcripts of Burning Man founders and contributors, Dusty’s Ranger costume, documents, and objects.

Biographical Note

Dusty Mikel has experience in Project Management, Volunteer Management, Community Development, Virtual World Event Management, and Visual Design. She holds a BA in communications design from SUNY Buffalo, and interned with the famed graphic designer Milton Glaser. In 1985 she formed Fisher & Day, Inc., a communications design company, and in 2010 Metamorph, LLC. She has been a regional representative for Burning Man since 2008, when Linden Lab hired her to take over organizing the Burn in Second Life, and has overseen large virtual Burning Man events on Second Life. Over the course of several years she compiled an extensive collection of interviews with Burning Man principals, an archive she donated to the CA+E, which has had them transcribed for use by scholars. Dusty Mikel has been attending Burning Man since 1995, and is the co-organizer of the Outback camp with her husband, Michael Mikel.

Scope and Content

Burning Man is “an annual art event and temporary community based on radical self-expression and self- reliance,” according to its website. The festival is held annually during the last week of August on the Black Rock Desert playa one hundred miles north of Reno. Attendance has grown from the low hundreds in the early 1990s to more than 70,000 in 2017.

The roots of the event began with the burning of figures on the summer solstice by sculptor Mary Grauberger on San Francisco’s Baker Beach in 1986. In 1986 Harvey and his friend Jerry James erected an 8-foot tall wooden figure. In 1990 the then 40-foot figure was drawing so many attendees for the burning of “The Man” that police outlawed the event. A separate event had been planned by members of the Cacophony Society on the Black Rock Desert for that year, “Zone Trip #4, A Bad Day at Black Rock,” which was billed as a Dadaist and Situationist performance happening. Harvey joined forces with the Cacophony Society and the first burn of the Man was held on the playa in 1990.

Michael Mikel, an active Cacophonist, realized that a group unfamiliar with the environment of the dry lake would be helped by knowledgeable persons. He took the name Danger Ranger and created the Black Rock Rangers. Dusty Mikel’s archive includes materials from her time as a member of the Black Rock Rangers, as organizer of the Outback camp, and as a regional representative of Burning Man. Because of her unparalleled access to the organization’s principals, her interviews with them are a valuable primary source of information. Interviews include Larry Harvey, Michael Mikel, Jerry James, Mary Grauberger, P. Segal, and others. Materials include audio interviews with transcripts, Dusty’s Ranger costume, documents, and objects.

Arrangement

Dusty Mikel: Burning Man is organized into three series by subject. The first series contains personal materials either collected, created, or designed by Dusty Mikel. The second series contains ephemera from the Burning Man and Cacophony Society events. The third series contains Dusty’s Burning Man founders and contributor interviews and other book production documents in preparation for a published book (never realized).

Inclusive Dates

1977-2017

Bulk Dates

2000-2004

Quantity / Extent

1.5 cubic feet

Language

English, French

Related Archive Collections

  • CAE1501: William Binzen: Desert Siteworks
  • CAE1415: Connie Cahlil: Burning Man Ephemera
  • CAE1305: Michael Mikel: Burning Man
  • CAE1408: Michael Light: 100 Suns at Burning Man
  • CAE1607: Will Roger Peterson: Burning Man
  • CAE1701: Burning Man Contributors
  • CAE1702: Black Rock Solar
  • CAE1704: Gregg Schlanger: Waterway for the Black Rock
  • CAE1706: Crimson Rose: Burning Man
  • CAE1711: Ranger Ronin: A Ranger’s Commentary
  • CAE1712: Marisha Farnsworth: The Temple

Related Publications

A Voyage of Growth and Discovery. Produced by Mike Kelley and Michael Smith. N.S.W., Australia: ArtPix, 2011. DVD.

Aqua Burn: a 2002 Burning Man film. Directed by Bill Breithaupt. Novato, CA: Adrenaline Network Studios, 2008. DVD.

As the Dust Settles: a Participatory Documentary Shot at Burning Man. Produced by Mike Hedge. United States: Trigantic Productions, 2013. DVD.

Binzen, William. Waking Dream. San Anselmo, CA: Smith Anderson North, 2016.

Blank, Herrod. Art Cars. Douglas AZ: Blank Books, 2002.

Bowditch, Rachel. On the Edge of Utopia: Performance and Ritual at Burning Man. New York, N.Y.: Seagull Books, 2010.

Bruder, Jessica. Burning Book: Two Decades of Burning Man. New York, N.Y.: Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2007.

Burn Baby Burn: a film about the 2001 Burning Man Festival. San Francisco, CA: s. i., 2001. DVD.

Burn on the Bayou. Directed by Matt Leonard. San Francisco, CA: Black Rock City LLC, 2008. DVD.

Burn: The Burning Man Arts Festival. Directed by David Secter. San Francisco, CA: The Movie Secter LLC, 2000. DVD.

Burning Man 1998. Directed by Jim Babichuck. San Francisco, CA: Black Rock City LLC, 1998. DVD.

Burning Man: Beyond Black Rock. Directed by Damon Brown. Austin, TX: Gone Off Deep Productions LLC, 2006. DVD.

Burning Man: Where's the Fire? Directed by Fernando Velasquez. Los Angeles, CA: Seventh Arts Releasing, 1999. DVD.

Cash, Julian. The People of Burning Man: Portraits of Revolutionary Spirits. United States: ThePeopleOfBurningMan.com, 2011.

Chen, Katherine K. Enabling Creative Chaos: The Organization Behind the Burning Man Event. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Christians, Karen. Jewelry of Burning Man. California: Self-published, 2015.

Cohen, Scott. The Life Cube Project: The Journey from Burning Man to Downtown Las Vegas. Santa Rosa, CA: Global Interprint, 2014.

Confessions of a Burning Man: Experience the Journey. Directed by Paul Barnett and Unsu Lee. San Francisco, CA: Windline Films LLC, 2006. DVD.

Das Burning Man Projekt. Directed by Johannes Beckermann. Praha, Czech Republic: Art Cam Film Fernseh Production, 1996. DVD.

Diehl, Ronny. Burning Man: The American Frontier Revisted in Acoustic Space. Berlin, Germany: Grin Verlag, 2010.

Doherty, Brian. This is Burning Man: The Rise of a New American Underground. Dallas TX: BenBella Books, 2006.

Dust Devils. Directed by Dearbhla Glynn, Woodbury, MN: Purple Productions, 2003. DVD.

Evans, Kevin, Carrie Galbraith, and John Law. Tales of the San Francisco Cacophony Society. San Francisco CA: Last Gasp Publishing, 2013.

Falco, Edward. Burning Man: Stories. Dallas, TX: Southern Methodist University Press, 2011.

Fall of Man: Burning Man 99. Santa Barbara, CA: East Beach Productions, 2001. DVD.

Five Themes of Burning Man. Directed by Mark McGothigan. Oakland, CA: Steam Power Video, 2002. DVD.

Folding Time and Space at Burning Man 2. Directed by Robert Henrikson. Hana, HI: Panmagic.com, 2005. DVD.

Folding Time and Space at Burning Man. Directed by Robert Henrikson. Hana, HI: Panmagic.com, 2004. DVD.

Folding Time. Directed by Robert Henrikson. Hana, HI: Panmagic.com, 2003. DVD.

Fox, William L. Playa Works: The Myth of the Empty. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 2002.

Fox, William L. The Black Rock Desert. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Press, 2002.

Fox, William L. The Void, the Grid & the Sign: Traversing the Great Basin. Salt Lake City, UT: University of Utah Press, 2000.

Fraunfelder, Mark. et al., The Happy Mutant. New York: Riverhead Books, 1995.

Gifting It: A Burning Embrace of Gift Economy. Directed by Renea Roberts. Cerrillos, NM: R3 Productions, Inc. 2002. DVD.

Gilmore, Lee, and Mark Van Proyen, eds. AfterBurn: Reflections on Burning Man. Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press, 2005.

Gilmore, Lee. Theater in a Crowded Fire: Ritual and Spirituality at Burning Man. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2010.

Glade, Philippe. Black Rock City, NV: The New Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man. San Francisco, CA: Real Paper Books, 2016.

Glade, Philippe. Black Rock City: The Ephemeral Architecture of Burning Man. San Francisco CA: Real Paper Books, 2011.

Goin, Peter. Black Rock. Reno, NV: University of Nevada Press, 2005.

Guy, NK. Art of Burning Man. Köln, Germany: Taschen, 2015.

Harvey, Stewart. Playa Fire: Spirit and Soul at Burning Man. San Francisco, CA: Harper Elixir, 2017.

Huang, Vincent. Burning Man. Japan: Self-published, 2001.

Jones, Steven T. The Tribes of Burning Man: How an Experimental City in the Desert is Shaping the New American Counterculture. San Francisco CA: Consortium of Collective Consciousness, 2011.

Juicy Danger Meets Burning Man. Produced and directed by David Vaisbord. Vancouver, B.C.: Herkules Productions in association with d-Network Pty. Ltd., 1998. DVD.

Kreuter, Holly. Drama in the Desert: The Sights and Sounds of Burning Man. San Francisco CA: Raised Barn Press, 2002.

Krukowski, Samantha, ed. Playa Dust: Collected Stories from Burning Man. London: Black Dog Publishing Limited, 2014.

Kuehn, Karen. Cargo Cult. ROGUE Publishing, 2014.

Kuehn, Karen. MetropoLOVE: Art and Love on The Playa. Peralta, NM: Self-published, 2012.

Kuehn, Karen. My Eyes are Burning. Peralta, NM: Self-published, 2010.

Loewy, Tomas. Radical Burning Desert: Burning Man Photography 2004 – 2010. Self-published, 2011.

Nash, A. Leo. Burning Man: Art in the Desert. New York, N.Y.: Harry N. Abrams, 2007.

Neurotic Burns: Johnny Does Burning Man. Produced by John Mendel, Curt LaFurney, Brian Stuart Hanish. Hollywood, CA: Upside Down Tv, 2006. DVD.

Pendell, Dale. Inspired Madness: The Gifts of Burning Man. Berkeley, CA: Frog Books, 2006.

Post, George P. Dancing with the Playa Messiah: Neon, Fire & Dust: A 21-Year Burning Man Photo Album. Richmond, CA: Dragon Fotografix, 2012.

Priestley, Joanna. Burning Man Eyes Open. Self-Published: 2016.

Priestley, Joanna. Children of Chaos @ Burning Man. Self-Published: 2017.

Raiser, Jennifer. Burning Man: Art on Fire. New York, NY: Race Point Publishing, 2014.

Roberts, Adrian, ed. Burning Man Live: 13 years of Piss Clear, Black Rock City's Alternative Newspaper. San Francisco, CA: RE/Search Publications, 2009.

Sensation: A Trip to Burning Man. Directed by Laurent Le Gall. San Rafael, CA: Free Run Pictures, 2003. DVD.

Spark: A Burning Man Story. Directed by Steven Brown & Jessie Deeter. Woodside, CA: Spark Pictures, 2014. DVD.

Spinelli, Frank. Burning Man: Into a 21st Century Utopia. Littlehorn Press: 2014.

Substance TV. Produced by Mike Wilson. Austin, TX: SubstanceTV Inc., 2002. DVD.

The Burning Man Festival. Directed by Joe Winston. Chicago, IL: Ow Myeye Productions, 2001. DVD.

The Burning Man Project: Renewal Cut. Directed by Bill Breithaupt. Novato, CA: s.i., 2000. DVD.

Traub, Barbara. Desert to Dream: A Decade of Burning Man Photography. San Francisco, CA: Immedium, 2006.

Uchronia Community. Uchronia Community: Message Out of the Future. Belgium: Uchronia Community, 2006.

Wieners, Brad, ed. Burning Man. San Francisco CA: Distributed to the trade by Publishers Group West, 1997.

Container Listing by Series:

CAE1313/1 Series 1: Dusty Mikel: Personal Materials, 1990-2017

Series 1 includes materials related to the Cacophony Society and the Burning Man Events as collected, created, or designed by Dusty Mikel.
  • CAE Box 102

    • 1-1 Event Ephemera (Burning Man and Cacophony Society), 1995-2016
    • 1-2 Black Rock Ranger Costume, 1990-2010
    • 1-3 Event Credentials, 2000-2017
    • 1-4 Correspondence, 2003-2017

Additional Materials

  • CAE Box 37 Objects

    • 1-1#2 Trumpet, 1995
  • CAE Box 79 Objects

    • 1-1#3 Star-Glo Cards, Artist Proof #1, 2003
  • CAE Box 99 Objects

    • 1-2#1b Dusty Mikel Ranger Costume, skirt, 1990 – 2003
    • 1-2#1e Dusty Mikel Ranger Costume, sash, 1990 – 2003
    • 1-2#1h Dusty Mikel Ranger Costume, googles, 1990 – 2003
    • 1-2#1j Dusty Mikel Ranger Costume, whip, 1990 – 2003
  • CAE Box 103 Objects

    • 1-2#1i Dusty Mikel Ranger Costume, boots, 1990 – 2010
  • CAE Box 108 Large Objects

    • 1-2#1a Dusty Mikel Ranger Costume, shirt, 1990 – 2003
    • 1-2#1g Dusty Mikel Ranger Costume, hat, 1990 – 2003
  • CAE Box 109 Large Objects

    • 1-2#1c Dusty Mikel Ranger Costume, overskirt, 1990 – 2003
  • CAE Box 130 Small Objects

    • 1-1#5 Camel Necklace, 2014
    • 1-3#3 Backdoor Friends Are Best, Staff Credential Pass, not dated
    • 1-3#4 Burning Man Event Black Rock City 2013, Staff Credential Pass, 2013
    • 1-3#5 Burning Man Event Black Rock City, Staff Credential Pass, c. 2014
    • 1-3#6 Burning Man Event Radical Ritual, Staff Credential Pass, 2017
    • 1-3#7 Burning Man Event The Theme is Brown 2.0, Staff Credential Pass, 2017
    • 1-3#8 Burning Man Event Black Rock City, Staff Credential Pass, not dated
    • 1-3#9 Burning Man Event The Theme is Brown, Staff Credential Pass, not dated
    • 1-3#10 China Beach, Staff Credential Pass, not dated
    • 1-3#11 Cultural Collaborator (black), Staff Credential Pass, not dated
    • 1-3#12 Cultural Collaborator (yellow), Staff Credential Pass, not dated
    • 1-3#13 Frog Loves Hugs, Staff Credential Pass, not dated
    • 1-3#14 Gate Pass, Staff Credential Pass, c. 2004
    • 1-3#15 Naked Bob's Gun Camp For Kids, Staff Credential Pass, 2013
    • 1-3#16 Naked Bob's Gun Camp For Kids, Staff Credential Pass, not dated
    • 1-3#17 Naked Bob's Sweet Sixteen, Staff Credential Pass, not dated
    • 1-3#18 What Would Naked Bob Do?, Staff Credential Pass, 2011
    • 1-3#19 Flipside 2014, Regional Staff Credential Pass, 2014
  • CAE Box 139 Large Objects

    • 1-3#20 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2000 – 2003
    • 1-3#21 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2005
    • 1-3#22 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2006
    • 1-3#23 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2007
    • 1-3#24 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2008
    • 1-3#25 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2008
    • 1-3#26 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2010
    • 1-3#27 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2011
    • 1-3#28 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2012
    • 1-3#29 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2013
    • 1-3#30 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2014
    • 1-3#31 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2015
    • 1-3#32 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2016
    • 1-3#33 Dusty Mikel Staff Credential, Pass, 2017
  • CAE Stand-Alone Box

    • 1-3#1d Dusty Mikel Ranger Costume, belt, 1990 – 2003
    • 1-3#1f Dusty Mikel Ranger Costume, keychain, 1990 – 2003

CAE1313/2 Series 2: Burning Man and Cacophony Society Ephemera, 1977-2017

Series 2 is organized by subject and includes materials related to the Cacophony Society and Burning Man, the event and the organization.
  • CAE Box 102

    • 2-1 San Francisco Cacophony Society Ephemera, 1977-2002
    • 2-2 San Francisco Cacophony Society Newsletter: Rough Draft, 1995-2001
    • 2-3 Los Angeles Cacophony Society Newsletter: Tales from the Zone, 1996-1998
    • 2-4 Burning Man Logistics, 2002-2016
    • 2-5 Black Rock Ranger Program Materials, 1993-2016
    • 2-6 Burning Man Program Ephemera, 2000-2016
    • 2-7 Burning Man Participant Ephemera, 1 of 2, 2000-2016
    • 2-8 Burning Man Participant Ephemera, 2 of 2, 1998-2017
    • 2-9 Burning Man Images, 1995-2012
    • 2-10 Burning Man Regional Events, 2006-2014
    • 2-11 Burning Man Global Leadership Summit, 2009, 2007-2009
    • 2-12 Burning Man Global Leadership Summit, 2010-2013, 2010-2013
    • 2-13 Burning Man Global Leadership Summit, 2014-2017, 2014-2017
    • 2-14 Burning Man Esalen Summit, 2015-2016
    • 2-15 Burning Man Press/Media, 2000-2016
    • 2-16 Burning Man External Related Programming, 1995-2016

Additional Materials

  • CAE Box 81 Objects

    • 2-11#3n Burning Man Regional Network, Notebook, 2009
  • CAE Box 87 Objects

    • 2-8#21 Disorient Blinkie, Necklace, 2017
  • CAE Box 103 Objects

    • 2-5#43 Ranger Love, Tarot Deck, 2015 – 2016
    • 2-8#22 Las Vegas C.O.R.E., Bandana, 2011
    • 2-8#23 Seven Stages of Man, Bandana, 2001
  • CAE Box 113 Large Objects

    • 2-3#2f Wiggle Eyes, Toy, c. 1996
    • 2-3#2g Balloon, toy, c. 1996
    • 2-11#4 Burning Man Regional Network, Binder, 2009
    • 2-12#1 Burning Man Regional Network, Binder, 2010
    • 2-13#11 Dusty Michael Second Life Regional Contact, Name Badge, 2016
  • CAE Box 130 Small Objects

    • 2-3#7n Plastic representation of a Bible, undated
    • 2-5#44 Black Rock Ranger Burning Man 2002, pin, 2002
    • 2-5#45 Rangers, Finders of the Lost, Protectors of the Stupid, Button, 2016
    • 2-5#46 Rangers, Riding the Edge of Chaos, Button, undated
    • 2-5#47 Riding the Edge of Chaos, Pendant, 2015
    • 2-8#24 BELIEVE, Letters, 2013
    • 2-8#25 Alien Love Nest, Necklace, 1998
    • 2-8#26 Alien Love Nest, Necklace, 2000
    • 2-8#27 Alien Love Nest, Necklace, 2002
    • 2-8#28 Alien Love Nest, Necklace, 2003
    • 2-8#29 Ask Me About Corn!, Button, 2004
    • 2-8#30 Baby Seal Club, Bottle Opener, not dated
    • 2-8#31 BLM Commemorative Coin, not dated
    • 2-8#32 BORG2, Button, 2004 – 2005
    • 2-8#33 BRC 2005, Pendant, 2005
    • 2-8#34 Burning Man 2001, Button, 2001
    • 2-8#35 Burning Man 2013, Pendant, 2013
    • 2-8#36 Burning Man 2014, Pendant, 2014
    • 2-8#37 Burning Man 2016, Necklace, 2016
    • 2-8#38 Burning Man 2016, Necklace, 2016
    • 2-8#39 Burning Man Heart, Necklace, 2016
    • 2-8#40 Burning Man 2004, Pendant, 2004
    • 2-8#41 Burning Man 1, Necklace, not dated
    • 2-8#42 Burning Man 2, Necklace, not dated
    • 2-8#43 Burning Man 3, Necklace, not dated
    • 2-8#44 Burning Man 4, Necklace, not dated
    • 2-8#45 Burning Man 5, Necklace, not dated
    • 2-8#46 Burning Man Earring, not dated
    • 2-8#47 Burning Man Souvenir, not dated
    • 2-8#48 Burning Man Pendant, not dated
    • 2-8#49 Camp Titicaca, Pendant, 2016
    • 2-8#50 Camp Titicaca, Square Pendant, 2016
    • 2-8#51 Extra Action Marching Band, Button, not dated
    • 2-8#52 Inside the Mind of daVinci, Necklace, 2016
    • 2-8#53 Nevada Barbarians, Necklace, 2004
    • 2-8#54 No, I’m Not A Greeter, Button, 2006
    • 2-8#55 Nuclear Family Atomic Man, Pendant, not dated
    • 2-8#56 Nuclear Family The Nucleus, Pendant, 2001
    • 2-8#57 Playa Dust Heart Bottle, not dated
    • 2-8#58 Playa Skool, Necklace, 2016
    • 2-8#59 Popcorn to the People!, Pendant, not dated
    • 2-8#60 RISA, Pendant, not dated
    • 2-8#61 Rites of Passage, Necklace, 2011
    • 2-8#62 Trial By Fire 2003, Glass Coin, 2003
    • 2-8#63 BM 2006, Glass Coin, 2006
    • 2-8#64 T&A, Pendant, 2006
    • 2-8#65 View Lobo, Necklace, 2007
    • 2-8#66 We Are Everywhere, Button, not dated
    • 2-8#68 Don't Make an Ash of Yourself, Button, 2003
    • 2-8#69 What Would Buddha Burn, Button, 2003
    • 2-8#70 WWLD, Bracelet, c. 2000
    • 2-8#71 Burning Man, Lighter, not dated
    • 2-8#72 Playa Q, Necklace, not dated
    • 2-13#10 Burning Man 10th Annual Network Global Leadership Conference, Button, 2016
    • 2-16#11 Inside the Mind of DaVinci, Necklace, 2016
  • CAE S-Box 19

    • 2-1#18 San Francisco Chronicle, Newspaper, 2001
    • 2-4#22 Media Mecca Margarita Mixers, Poster, 2014
    • 2-6#16 Black Rock Gazette, Newsletter, 2000
    • 2-6#17 Black Rock Gazette, Newsletter, 2001
    • 2-8#67 Blacktop Gazette, Newsletter, 2003
    • 2-15#1 Reno Gazette-Journal, Newspaper, 2000
    • 2-15#2 New York Times, Newspaper, 2000
    • 2-15#3 Nevada Sagebrush, Newspaper, 2016

CAE1313/3 Series 3: Book Production (Unrealized), 1991-2004

Series 3 includes materials related to the book project that are organized by subject.
  • CAE Box 102

    • 3-1 Dusty Mikel Interview, 2002
    • 3-2 Dusty Mikel Interviews, 1 of 2, 2003
    • 3-3 Dusty Mikel Interviews, 2 of 2, 2003
    • 3-4 Dusty Mikel Interviews, 2004
    • 3-5 Book Research Materials, 1991-2004
    • 3-6 Book Budget and Timeline, 2003
    • 3-7 Book Blads, 2003

Additional Materials

  • CAE S-Box 18

    • 3-6#1 Book Timeline, 2003
    • 3-6#2 Book Finances, c. 2003
    • 3-7#5 Rangers Chapter Sample Layout, 2003
  • CAE S-Box 22

    • 3-7#4 Proposed Book on History of Burning Man Blad, 2003