According to Burning Man founder, Larry Harvey, that man who captured the artistic-communal event held annually at Black Rock City, Nevada — a temporary city erected in the Black Rock Desert about 100 miles north-northeast of Reno —, since 1991, for over a decade, is a real magician. “Having watched Julian Cash at work,” he said, “I remain baffled. Exactly how does he elicit these effects?”
Julian is the man behind the camera of a sort of “Burning Man Bible”, then collected in The People of Burning Man book, very much a collaboration of many almost surreally skilled and wondrous friends.
Since a very early age Julian was immersed in the most creative of cultures. He spent his youth in Greenwich village in New York City, a commune in Middleburg New York, and in Woodstock New York. His father Sydney Cash is a sculptor, his mother Loree a painter, children’s book author and photographer, and his sister Megan Cash an illustrator and children’s book author. His wife and love of years, Jackie Cash, is a writer and cartoonist — she has been an integral collaborator in Julian’s photography career. At age three, Julian was at the Woodstock festival — he appears in the movie about the historic event in several places.
Although in recent times it seems to have passed somewhat from a counterculture utopia to an escape for the rich, the event still has a strong impact on the collective imagination. The name comes from its culminating ceremony: the symbolic burning of a large wooden effigy, referred to as the Man, that occurs on the penultimate night of the event, which is the Saturday evening before Labor Day.