Black Rock City’s temporary nature involves the creation and destruction of a community of more than fifty thousand people. Depending upon your definition of art – be it performance, writing or visual pieces – you might consider the very transformation of the Playa art making.
We asked Burners whether they considered themselves artists, as well as their primary art form, and if they get paid to make their work.
Only 33% of Black Rock City citizens identify as “artists,” but 47% say they are creative people. The remaining 20% do not consider themselves artists.
Of these artists, almost 60% say the majority of their artworks are visual crafts, followed by performance for approximately 30% of Burner artists. The remaining population answered “literary” or “other” art forms.
Many people consider “getting paid” as criteria for determining your artist status, so the following question might help you decide:
When asked, 17% of artists said that their main income is provided by their craft. Another 8% said they “often” get paid for their work, and 30% said “sometimes.” The “rarely” and “no” responses combined make up the remaining 45% of Burners answering this question. If you were to draw the line between artists and non-artists, based on if they are paid for their work, then 55% are, and 45% are not. That’s a strong creative presence on the Playa no matter how you slice the pie!