: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com BLACK ROCK CITY, Nevada -- Wild rides, fireworks and letting it all hang out. That's the updated American dream at Burning Man 2008.
The annual desert gathering always celebrates that most-American ideal: freedom. Freedom to ride a giant red, white and blue tricycle across the playa; freedom to blow your mind however you want; freedom to traipse around wearing nothing but body paint.
That kind of ingrained whimsy, rather than politics, seems to be the point of this year's American Dream art theme
at Burning Man. "What has America achieved that you admire?" is the event's official statement. "What has it done or failed to do that fills you with dismay? What is laudable? What is ludicrous?"
Groovy, man. Let's get it on.
Left: Red, white and blue abounds at the festival this year.
Red, white and blue abounds at the festival this year.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com A stagecoach rolls up the esplanade on Tuesday evening.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com Duane Flatmo from Eureka, California, steers his fire-breathing dragon around the esplanade Tuesday.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com After hunkering down during Monday's sandstorm, burners break out their colorful costumes Tuesday -- including some that are just painted on. Robin Bowles, right, and her friend Cowboy Curtis chill on the playa on a "fuzzy bunny." The Man can be seen far off in the distance on the left.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com A group of burners break out a desert "boat" to parade across the playa.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com Black Rock City is humming Thursday.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com Lamp Lighters walk down the esplanade Tuesday.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com> A panel van decked out with a lit-up Golden Gate Bridge makes its way across the sand Tuesday.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com Tutu-wearing burner Diana Zanelli of Texas delights in the swirl of lights from inside artist Crispell Wagner's "modern version of the dream machine," an interactive piece of light art.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com Home is where the art is at Burning Man.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com The Man glows with neon as Helen Corley from San Ramon, California, twirls her flow lights below the festival's namesake icon in Black Rock City.
: Photo: Kat Wade/Wired.com A giant duck lights up the night Tuesday as it rolls across the dusty desert floor.
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