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Crosscurrents

Ep 03 - CHAOS meets CONTROL at Burning Man

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Peter Field
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Burning Man Co-founder John Law with Cacophony Society members Carrie Galbraith and Amelia X in 1990.

1996 was a turning point for Burning Man. It was also the last year co-founder John Law attended. Two people were run over in their tents. And another person died in a head-on collision right before the gates opened. The next year, organizers tried to tame the chaos with a bunch of new rules and a grid of streets. It was too much of a compromise for Law. So, he walked away. In this episode of THE INTERSECTION at Burning Man, we talked about that and more at his office in Tribune Tower in Oakland.

"I think by then it was doubling in size every year. And I knew where I knew we were headed for disaster — there's no way around it." — John Law

Listen to this episode in a podcast player >>

THE INTERSECTION looks at changing cities through physical intersections. This time we’re doing something different: The city is temporary and the intersections are conceptual. We’re heading to a remote corner of Nevada for Burning Man. 

THE INTERSECTION is a co-production of David Boyer and KALW. 

Jonathan Davis is the associate producer. This episode was edited by Ben Trefny. And engineered for your listening pleasure by Gabe Grabin with music from Erik Pearson and Blue Dot Sessions.

Don't miss an episode: Head to theintersection.fm or subscribe to THE INTERSECTION wherever you get your podcast fix. 

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CrosscurrentsThe IntersectionTHE INTERSECTION at Burning Man
David Boyer is the managing editor of KALW News. He is also the producer/host of the Murrow Award winning podcast THE INTERSECTION, which looks at our changing cities, one street corner at a time. Past seasons focussed on an intersection in the middle of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, an intersection in the middle of Google’s Mountain View campus and conceptual intersections at 2019’s Burning Man.