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Material Culture

A new initiative begun in 2000 attempted to collect the wonderful artifacts made by the artists and theme camps for gift giving on the playa. In 2001, plans improved on the initial process where Artery volunteers went into the camps and searched for these objects.

Instead, an announcement in Jack Rabbit Speaks called for donations of items to the archive. A form available for download from the Burning Man web site listed information needs, and the announcement asked participants to bring their forms and artifacts to the Artery, where a large Material Culture box waited to collect them, or contributors could mail the objects to the Project's offices.

Dozens of items collected during the event included silk-screened posters, tiny replicas of the Man in toothpicks and clothespins, buttons and stickers, lichen balls, silver charms, etchings, matches, pendants, pins, cigarette lighters, books of poetry, trading cards, gambling chips, glass medallions, and embroidered patches.

The inspiring diversity and charm of the collection will soon be preserved in a growing archive, and illuminated on the Project web site with images and descriptions of these objects.

Items continue to arrive weekly in the mail.