Burning Man 2017: Surrealist photos, 360-degree views and livestream

Photos of Burning Man's art installations, temples and mutant vehicles in desert dust storms look like surrealist paintings by Salvador Dali.

Reuters photographers Jim Urquhart and Jim Bourg are among the 70,000 people spending the week in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, living in an enormous semi-circular encampment known as Black Rock City. Their photos of Burning Man's art installations, temples and mutant vehicles emerging from dust storms look like surrealist paintings by Salvador Dali.

Burning Man participants visit artist Douglas Ruuska's art project "House of Enlightenment" in the midst of a dust stormJim Bourg/Reuters
Flames shoot from the Flower TowerJim Urquhart/Reuters
Participants travel across the Playa as approximately 70,000 people from all over the world gather for the annual Burning Man arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of NevadaJim Urquhart/Reuters
Participants travel across the Playa at Burning Man 2017Jim Urquhart/Reuters
Burning Man participants and art cars are dwarfed by a large desert dust storm rolling across the desertJim Bourg/Reuters
The Man is obscured as a dust storm blows across the desertJim Urquhart/Reuters
A lone Burning Man participant cycles through a desert dust stormJim Bourg/Reuters

This year's theme is "Radical Ritual: Spirit and Soul", an attempt to reinvent ritual in our post post-modern world. Participants are invited to create interactive rites, ritual processions, elaborate images, shrines, icons, temples, and visions. As the organisers put it: "Our theme will occupy the ambiguous ground that lies between reverence and ridicule, faith and belief, the absurd and the stunningly sublime."

The festival's site, on a dried-up lake bed, is dotted with innovative artworks, plus several giant wooden structures that are burned each night of the festival. The two main structures are the Temple and The Man – a huge wooden effigy that gives the event its name.

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The Temple, designed by artists Steven Brummond, Marisha Farnsworth, and Mark Sinclair, is a place for Burning Man participants to leave offerings, tributes and memorials to loved ones. The Temple will be set alight on Sunday night in a symbolic gesture designed to bring closure and healing.

Participants gather at The Temple, built by artists Steven Brummond, Marisha Farnsworth, and Mark SinclairJim Urquhart/Reuters
A Burning Man participant kneels in contemplation before an altar and remembrances inside the TempleJim Bourg/Reuters
Letters and tributes left by Burning Man participants are seen inside the Temple which was created by artists Steven Brummond, Marisha Farnsworth, and Mark Sinclair as a place for people to place memorials, to mourn and grieveJim Bourg/Reuters
The interior of the dome of the all wooden Temple created by artists Steven Brummond, Marisha Farnsworth, and Mark SinclairJim Bourg/Reuters

The wooden effigy known as The Man is housed this year in a structure called The Temple of the Golden Spike, surrounded by 20 shrines created by artists from all over the world. The Man will be set alight on Saturday night. You can watch a live stream of the burning – and other random things that may happen in the meantime – here.

The effigy of "The Man" that will be burned on Saturday nightJim Bourg/Reuters

Around 70,000 people experience Burning Man every year, living at the campsite metropolis known as Black Rock City. Made up of trailers and recreational vehicles parked in a precise layout, Black Rock City has named streets, a cinema, temples and even its own airport – but no shops. Money is outlawed at the festival, so revellers must bring everything they will need for the week-long rave, described as "where Mad Max meets Woodstock".

A participant performs on the mutant vehicle Robot HeartJim Urquhart/Reuters
The mutant vehicle Abraxas travels the PlayaJim Urquhart/Reuters
A Burning Man participant walks through a desert dust storm in formal clothes on her way to a wedding in the middle of the desertJim Bourg/Reuters
Rebecca Wyatt places a wedding ring on the finger of Dustin Smith as they are married in the middle of the desertJim Bourg/Reuters
Burning Man participant Dustin Smith kisses his wife Rebecca Wyatt as they are married in the middle of the desertJim Bourg/Reuters
Burning Man participants react as a person on an art car waves and flashes them a peace sign as they cycle through Black Rock CityJim Bourg/Reuters
Two participants embrace as an art installation is set alight at Burning Man 2017Jim Urquhart/Reuters
Participants watch an art installation burnJim Urquhart/Reuters
Participants travel across the PlayaJim Urquhart/Reuters
A sign at an outer barrier reads "This fence paid for by Mexico"Jim Urquhart/Reuters
The Rabid Transit art car erupts with flames from its onboard propane jetsJim Bourg/Reuters
Members of the carrot team try to prevent members of the Bunny March from reaching the ManJim Urquhart/Reuters
Gerasimos Christoforatos poses for a portraitJim Urquhart/Reuters
Burning Man participants travel across the PlayaJim Urquhart/Reuters
Pianist Murray Hidary plays classical music composed on the fly from an electric piano set up on top of an art car in the middle of the desertJim Bourg/Reuters
Burning Man participants cycle through a desert dust stormJim Bourg/Reuter

Jim Urquhart, who has been photographing Burning Man for several years, created these 360-degree views of some of the installations at last year's festival. Click through the thumbnails and pan around the each image to experience the madness and creativity of Black Rock City.

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