The exodus began in earnest over the weekend and will continue all week, as some tens of thousands of Bay Area residents pack up their RVs, Muppet-fur coats, and disposable bikes and head out to the Nevada desert.

A great many Burners wouldn't think of going to Burning Man for anything less than the whole week, but not everyone is that hardcore or has that many vacation days. Those who are part of big camps and those who are building big pieces of temporary art all got to arrive early last week, and so we already have some images trickling in via Insta of this year's installations. Also, the requisite round of Burning man news items have started rolling in, like this piece from the Associated Press about the relative healthfulness of all that playa dust.

In retrospect, it seems like the organizers could have picked a spot for this event two decades ago that wasn't so physically taxing and moon-like. But the hardcore among you will tell me that this is just an essential piece of the experience now and it's necessary to be filthy and suffocating with dust. I digress...

Here, some of this year's art, courtesy of the relatively better cell service out there in recent years. And if you're someone who's still headed to the playa and doesn't want spoilers, just stop scrolling here.

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The Pegasus #burningman2019

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OK OK , Now the Cats out of the bag. This is the official reveal of my playa surprise. 👀 . +-+- SOME WOMEN ARE LOST IN THE FIRE 🔥. . . AND SOME ARE BUILT FROM IT +-+- . I’m always playing with fire, but in lieu of doing another neon truism for a 5th consecutive year, I will be using FIRE 🔥 in a new way, the first of it’s kind. I have chosen to trade mediums, swapping hand blown glass filled with neon gas for hand bent iron filled with propane gas. Instead of illuminated words, my handwritten sentiment will be ignited ! Born of a desire to have words literally burning, but never destroyed, This is a new technique I have pioneered with the help of my amazing fire master @tomj_jordan ✨🗽✨. I’m so excited to reveal the largest edition from my new fire place series on the Playa. . The headline installation in the Art Park will be a large-scale fireplace reading “I Wish You Were Here.” This handwritten sentiment evokes a universal sense of desire and longing, which we can all relate to. Below the surface, it explores the dichotomy of presence vs. absence, the synergy of life and death, the relevance past and present. This fireplace will not only provide warmth in the cold desert nights, it also engages spectators in an emotionally charged moment of presence and remembrance. . . a Tribute to all those great ones we’ve loved and lost , and the ones who we had to leave behind. . I am sorry to disappoint anyone who was looking forward to another big neon this year , but don’t worry, for that I’ve created a stunning neon complaints box inside the Art Park, where you can submit your complaints and concerns 🤣🤣🤣 . You might be saying, those are really generic words , but trust me, seeing it live in person is really powerful. 💪🏻This render doesn’t do it justice. . So looking forward to all the future memories on the horizon ! Can’t wait to be reunited with my playa family and all the surreal adventures and human experiences . I am so fortunate indeed . . . #artpark #oliviasteele #playingwithfire #iwishyouwerehere #burningman #burningmanart #playaart #fire #fireplace #originalisanunderstatement #newshit #neverbeendonebefore #readytoburn #fireplaceseries

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