I’ve got Burning Man on the brain on account of the course I just took called Burning Man: Then and Now.
I already knew this, but after taking the class it is clear that Burning Man is more than just an art and music festival in the desert.
Burning Man may be a temporary community that pops up in the Northern Nevada Black Rock desert once a year but it’s also an experimental community that operates YEAR ROUND.
As a participant, I may think that Burning Man culminates in the burning of the man on Saturday night before Labor Day, but as an educated historian I know it’s much more than that.
There are groups operating year round to offer art not just as something to be observed, but also to be EXPERIENCED and INTERACTED WITH.
Sonic Runway in San Jose’s Playa to Paseo art exhibition is a good example of art moving from the playa to an urban area.
There are also groups which offer humanitarian support to communities in need, because we’ve learned a thing or two which can benefit others when it comes to creating intentional communities.
And surviving inhospitable environments.
A great example of this is Burners Without Borders helping out after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
The 10 principles (Communal Effort, Civic Responsibility, Decommodification, Gifting, Immediacy, Leave No Trace, Participation, Radical Self-Reliance, Radical Self-Expression, and Radical Inclusion) are the overarching elements which guide our trajectory.
Whether we’re helping a community to rebuild after a disaster, whether we’re installing solar panels on the local Paiute Indian school, or even if we are raising money to fund art installations around the world, one thing is sure.
Burning Man is more than a party in the desert.
It’s an ethos that captivates people all around the world to live more consciously and authentically in community with one another.
And I for one am proud to be a part of that.