A NEW MUNICIPAL BUILDING AT BURNING MAN

Catharsis is a unique community of artists, scientists and radical thinkers joined by our common desire to explore the experimental and transformative dimensions of Burning Man.

This year, our community will gift a municipal building to Black Rock City. Here, visitors will participate in an immersive and interactive program of art, discussions and meditative experiences. 

Our aim: nothing less than to reset consciousness and energise collective twenty-first century life.

1.

Catharsis is an art project that will begin at Burning Man 2020 before being reinstalled and developed in new locations. The main structure is a new type of municipal building and collaborative artwork, the first of its kind to exist as part of a Burning Man Art Camp.

Alongside the structure, an interactive program of events will create a supportive space for cathartic processes, setting up various access points for creative engagement that build upon Burning Man’s radical approach to city planning.

Through the use of art, ritual performances, civic discussion, and meditative sauna experiences, Catharsis will explore how the power of these engagements can re-map consciousness and help us to re-envision our future cities.

2.

Catharsis is designed by Architect Arthur Mamou- Mani, creator of the renowned Temple Galaxia at Burning Man, 2018 and Director of Mamou-Mani Architects. It will contain a fractal amphitheater and forum providing infinite possibilities to all artists. The project’s geometry is based on the Poincare disk, giving a model of the hyperbolic plane in which, the edge is infinite and where curves are shorter than straight lines. Using Roman amphitheaters and baths as a starting point, the Catharsis main structure will have a misting theatre where talks and events will be held to activate transformative mechanisms within BRC itself. In line with the Burning Man 2020 Multiverse theme, the structure is an amphitheater made of amphitheaters in which everyone is a potential performer.

Seven branches will create different universes filled with art by a range of International artists from a variety of disciplines. The journey will start with seven arched benches to park bikes and perform before entering one of the eight outdoor stages within columns or in the seven misting rooms leading to our lotus-root like art galleries. Nets above the stages will provide spaces to rest and exchange thoughts whilst providing unique views. Catharsis aims to activate creativity through multi-dimensional art for all of our senses. Sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch are the layers of our perception creating our shared multiverse. Unlike previous Burning Man structures, Catharsis will continue its life beyond Black Rock City and used as a platform for future events around the world in the spirit of a new circular economy.

3.

Catharsis, Aristotle told us, is the productive emotion generated through the experience of great art. While sometimes extreme, the point is that catharsis allows us to repair or forge new connections––in short, catharsis allows us to heal. Guiding Catharsis’s immersive programme is exactly the same aim: creating self-revelation along with a new awareness of shared ties. Through catharsis, we have the potential to reimagine how we live, aligning human life with sustainable living, nature and creativity. 

Alongside visual art and performances, Catharsis will host sustainable living workshops and a series of ‘Thermic’ talks, bringing together experts from a range of field’s to discuss urgent topics concerned with the future of urban life. Visitors to the camp will also be able to experience food art, with interactive tasting and cooking workshops, as well as a series of healing, yoga and meditation rituals. 

Growing and healing through shared experience, Catharsis is designed for participation: activity, rather than passivity.

4.

The project is being led by the renowned architect Arthur Mamou-Mani, with help from co-curators Svetlana Marich and Mikolaj Sekutowicz, as well as friends from diverse fields including art, wellness and urban planning. Together, we aim to connect artists from the default world to the Burning Man community, pooling knowledge and creativity to rethink the future of our cities.

THE ARCHITECT

Arthur Mamou-Mani

Catharsis has been designed by Architect Arthur Mamou-Mani, creator of the famed Temple Galaxia at Burning Man, 2018.

THE CURATORS

Svetlana Marich

Svetlana Marich is a curator, writer, and contemporary art expert. She is the Worldwide Deputy Chairman of Phillips Auction House, and the co-founder of Malevich.io, a curated online art trading platform built on blockchain technology. She will curates Catharsis’ program of art exhibitions, selecting artists and artworks that augment the Catharsis experience.

Mikolaj Sekutowicz

As Curator of Therme Art, Mikolaj Sekutowicz brings his unique artistic perspective and curatorial expertise to develop the immersive experiences and cultural program at Catharsis. Through his direction, Catharsis will function as an experiential and multi-disciplinary creative hub at Burning Man.

THERMIC FOOD

Henrik Strempel & Stephan Hentschel

Henrik Strempel and Stephan Hentschel will lead our kitchen at the Cartharsis camp. Thermic Food is a holistic plantbased cuisine that incorporates the restorative gastronomical benefits of thermal reactivity, a naturally occurring process that transpires as food is digested. This idea is the basis for each of Strempel’s dishes, purposefully created in his wholly organic kitchen.