It's only Monday of the seven-day affair known as The Burn, and thanks to newly semi-functional cell signal out on the playa, like last year, we're getting some early sneak peeks of the art already, much of which was constructed in time for the first arriving caravans on Sunday.

As our own Joe Kukura previewed for Everfest magazine, artist Peter Hudson is bringing his monumental greatest hit "Charon" back to the playa for a second time. The spooky, incredibly elaborate mechanical art piece, powered by humans and ropes, depicts the mythical boatman of Hades using a series of skeletons on a vertical carousel, all animated to depict the act of rowing — and it's meant to be viewed at night as an outsize zoetrope with the aid of a strobe light, as shown in the video below from its original 2011 appearance at Burning Man.

"Charon has a very special place in its crew’s hearts,” Hudson said at the time. “It is meant as a poignant bon voyage to loved ones, and invites participants to engage in that shared sense of loss and release.”

Also on the playa this year is a new installation called NOETICA from the Flaming Lotus Girls, a cool illuminated walkway called Aqueous by artist Jen Lewin of Super Pool fame, a Gummy Bear Mandala Pyramid, and a return of La Victrola, which you can see in the photos above is hoisted a few feet up above the playa this time around.

Stay tuned for more photos from Burning Man on SFist, but for now, your teaser.

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