Spectacle

Big crowds are potential incarnate. They’re exciting, frightening and transformative — often simultaneously. This photo-driven book surveys an extensive range of events, happenings, densely-populated locales and visually-arresting traditions throughout the world, from the deeply spiritual to the culturally eccentric. Included are the Kumbh Mela in India, the Tomatina Festival in Spain and Nascar. The book also features interviews with figures like Muhammad Ali (re: the Olympics), developer Steve Wynn (re: Las Vegas) and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte (re: circus/street performance). If you’re heading to Burning Man, this will get you in the mindset. If you’re not heading to Burning Man, this could motivate you to turn out for 2008.

[Disclosure: This book features an interview with Kevin Kelly, publisher of Cool Tools. He did not give me the book or suggest I cover it. -- SL]

Spectacle
David Rockwell & Bruce Mau
2006, 256 pages
$37

Available from Amazon

Sample Excerpts:

Nascar

Brussels Flower Carpet

Running of the Bulls (Spain)

Kumbh Mela (India)

Ritual Bathing (India)