For those still in withdrawals after a year without the Burning Man festival, a new coffee table book by German photographer Alexandra Lier highlighting the outrageous driving machines found there might just satisfy your cravings. Entitled “Mutant Vehicles,” the 9.5 x 11-inch coffee table book (funded via Kickstarter) will feature 128 glossy, full-color pages of her photos of contraptions like a driving cupcake and a giant shark on wheels.
“I love deserts and I love bizarre cars, so it was just a question of time that I would get in touch with this kind of species in this great surreal scenario,” Lier explains on her Kickstarter page, adding that “The first time I visited the [Burning Man] festival in the Black Rock Desert in Nevada…I was immediately captivated by the driving artworks. I wondered why no one has highlighted this art, without which Burning Man would not be what it is.”
A self-dubbed described “gearhead,” Lier has been traveling the world since 1999, photographing the story of vehicles and making “moto art.” This is her third fine art book and first Kickstarter-funded project. Her other works include The World´s Fastest Place from Kehrer publishers and Speedseekers from Gingko Press.
Lier began capturing the passion of Burning Man builders in 2014 and features all her favorites in Mutant Vehicles, including the Star Wars-esque “Rocket Car,” a giant bunny chasing a carrot, and a shiny flying saucer.
Burning Man, an annual creative gathering of 50,000-plus people in the Nevada Black Rock Desert, had to go virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although dates for 2021 are tentatively scheduled for August 29th to September 6th, the “temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance” will only take place if COVID conditions are amenable. That helps explain why many fans, hungry for the experience, were eager and ready to jump on Lier’s campaign. At the time of writing, a total of 313 backers pledged more than €26,170 to the project, surpassing all but one stretch goal.
For a pledge of €45, supporters will get a hand-signed VIP book, with a foreword by internationally acclaimed sculptor and Burning Man contributor David Best and an acknowledgment in the book’s Gratitude Page. The coffee table page-turners are expected to ship out in July 2021.
Since she was able to raise funds above her initial goal, Lier’s book will now also include interactive sections, with QR codes throughout opening a video of an exciting ride over the playa, audio and video interviews with some of the artists, and an augmented reality experience where the “Rocket Car will get three-dimensional.”
In terms of her decision to self-publish this book, Lier was looking for flexibility and community connectivity. “The crowdfunding campaign is for awareness and outreach and gives me as an artist the opportunity to produce and fund the book, inclusive post-production, book design, copywriting, and printing,” she writes. “The more who will order the book, the more books will be produced, and the more complex and interactive the book will be.”
Those interested in seeing more of Lier’s work can follow her on Instagram at @alexandralier.