after capturing burning man’s building process earlier this year, lifestyle & architecture photographer shalaco sching documents the vanishing of black rock city and the restoration of the playa. the photographs, together with a short film, provide a record of the two-week process that ensured the desert location returned to dust, sweeping away everything burners left behind after the annual gathering was over.

shalaco sching documents the vanishing of black rock city now that burning man is over
the shadow of black rock city
images courtesy of shalaco sching




‘so burning man is over; you packed up your camp and your hologram booty shorts and you hit the road and black rock city has vanished – not quite,’ shalaco sching notes. for two weeks, the san francisco-based photographer followed the playa restoration team as they combed 156 million square feet (around 14,5 million sqm) for what they refer to as MOOP (matter out of place), left behind by the 70K people who attended the festival. the short film and images presented here narrate the story of how the temporary city of black rock desert returns to dust after the nine-day gathering comes to an end.

the  remains of 70K people after burning man is over

the line sweeps walk at arm lengths apart across seven square miles

shalaco sching documents the vanishing of black rock city now that burning man is over
playa restoration crew

shalaco sching documents the vanishing of black rock city now that burning man is over
the special forces

for eight hours or more a single song plays on repeat to encourage ‘meltdowns’

line sweeps comb the desert looking for MOOP

special forces comb the desert ‘killing cones’ and eliminate ‘hot spots’



designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: sofia lekka angelopoulou | designboom

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