If Reno, Nevada is the gateway to Burning Man, then the Generator maker space in nearby Sparks is the art incubator that fuels the annual weeklong large-scale desert event in Black Rock City. Focused on community, art, self-expression and self-reliance, thousands will descend on the desert for the event that takes place from Sunday, Aug 25 to Monday, Sept. 2.

The 10 principles of Burning Man are a blueprint for the artists who come to create on the massive 65,000-square–foot space known as The Generator, which has been divided into dozens of personal art studios covering every medium from steel sculptures to woodwork, textiles and paint. 

The principles are: 

  • Radical Inclusion. Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. … 
  • Gifting. Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift-giving. … 
  • Decommodification. … 
  • Radical Self-reliance. … 
  • Radical Self-expression. … 
  • Communal Effort. … 
  • Civic Responsibility. … 
  • Leaving No Trace
  • Burning Man

    Queen Cobra at The Generator (Michele Stueven)

Located on an industrial stretch of Oddie Boulevard, some sculptural stars that survived the blaze of last year’s festival have been retired at the local community space among the creations of this year’s installations. Those include the copper-scaled head of Queen Cobra by Andrea Greenlees, Andy Tibbetts and Josh Haywood, as well as Reno artist Adrian Langdon’s Wings of Glory, a giant interactive metal mechanical Pegasus sculpture that gallops and flies in slow motion.

This year’s theme is “Curiouser and Curiouser,” celebrating puzzles without answers. 

One of the 2024 highlights is Coney McConeface: The Life and Death of a Traffic Cone, created by New Zealand artist Chris Hankins and his team, the Conecophany Collective. The concept elevates a basic traffic cone to a 60-foot-tall towering shrine of safety that will go up in flames, in keeping with the Leaving No Trace principle.

New Zealand artist Chris 22Kiwi22 Hankins

New Zealand artist Chris Kiwi Hankins (Michele Stueven)

“Traffic cones are in our lives every day,” the artist also known as Kiwi tells L.A. Weekly at the Generator, as he molds a rounded plank of wood into his creation. “It will be painted all orange with the classic silver stripes. It will be completely assembled out on the playa at Burning Man. There will be eight levels in the interior with vaulted media displays from the bottom up with stories all about the cone. Wherever you are in the world, we’ve all got our own stories. We’ll have smoke and steam effects going on to illustrate the geothermal activity that goes on out in the playa and our giant cone will protect people from falling into the cracks. At the end of the festival, we’ll set it on fire with fireworks and pyrotechnics and it will be ceremoniously burnt to the ground.”

Memberships, workshops and tours of The Reno Generator are available for all ages. 

For a thirst-quenching detour, take in lunch and a beer tasting at Great Basin Brewing Co. in downtown Sparks, Nevada’s largest and oldest currently operating brewery.  Menu items are from scratch, using their award-winning craft beer in the dishes they serve, like their  Icky bread that’s made daily from the spent grain used to brew the famous  ICKY IPA as well as the bratwurst sausage, made fresh using the same beer. All of the buns, bread and pretzels are also baked daily by the nearby bakery team at Liberty Food and Wine Exchange.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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