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Burning Man installation dedicated to Reno man killed in crash

SPARKS, Nev. -- For months, several friends have been joyously working on the Library of Babel for Burning Man, along with several other volunteers. When one of them, a Reno High School alum, died in a car crash this summer, the art has taken on a new meaning for those who knew him.

The Library of Babel is a short story of a library that holds all the books and knowledge ever conceived written by Argentinian writer Jose Borges.

To create it for Burning Man, director Warrick Macmillan has crews helping create each page of each hand-bound book, build the 50 feet high by 50 feet diameter structure, silk screen the walls, custom build furniture inside, and so much more. It's a labor intensive project.

"We are bringing in a lot of people who haven't been exposed to burning man culture," said Macmillan.

One of those people was Reno native Brad Cooper, who died in a car crash in July. He was 22.

"It was actually going to be his first year at Burning Man," said Macmillan. "So he was going to camp with us."

Those in the crew who knew him are now dedicating their work to Cooper. It is a means of turning tragedy into beauty. "He was just a character, a very unique individual who was intelligent," Macmillan said.

The books inside the Library of Babel will be left blank, so burners can fill it in with their own thoughts and life experiences. Macmillan said if Cooper had a biography, every page would be interesting. "It's definitely going to be a difficult Burning Man because of it."

The crew is still welcoming volunteers to help with the project and financial support through their Kickstarter campaign. To learn how you can get involved, click here.