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Documentation Team

The Video Documentation Team was created in 1999 in response to a desire for an accurate archive of the Burning Man theme art created at the event, both from a historical and legal perspective. That first year, one "director", one "videographer" and one "grip" followed the all night "Wheel of Time" activities until the twelve hours of performance art ended.

Since then, the Video Documentation Team has grown dramatically in size and ambition, not always painlessly, but always with the same goal in mind: to capture as much of the Burning Man art experience as possible and establish and maintain a footage archive.

In 2000 the team began the practice of interviewing all (or as many is playa'ly possible) theme artist's with the goal of a feature length edited piece.

In 2001, the team had grown to include some 61 volunteer "documentors"- both videographers and photographers. The 45 still photographers and 16 videographers were responsible to capture theme art as well as playa art, theme camps and the Burn. Some of the Documentation Team's 2001 moving imagery has been contributed to National Geographic for editorial consideration.

Although it had its challenges, 2001 marked the Video Documentation Team's most cohesive coverage of the Burn and artist interviews to date. Working under the Communications department, through the Media Team and alongside the Artery, the Video Documentation Team is able to stay current with the type of coverage of BM and outlets covering it while remaining closely connected to the artists and their installations.

Artist Interviews

A subsection of the Video Doc Team carries out interviews on the playa with the theme artist's in addition to the daily installation coverage. Doing so allows us to capture not only what the art looks like in its final form, but also to share some of the insights of the artist(s) who created it. Although the intention is to interview all theme artist's while on site, we have yet to meet this mark.

Compilation Footage

Decompression 2001 marked the debut of the first Video Documentation Team edited piece. It reflected the most cohesive Burn coverage ever. Using footage from four different videographers, including one positioned high in a snorkel lift, the edited reel showed more of the Burn than any one person could experience.

Looking to the future, one of the main areas for improvement for the Video Doc Team is actually off playa. Having access to a non-linear editing suite and qualified, dedicated transcribers/ loggers would allow the team to create compilations of the sights and sounds of Burning Man.