Scotto - - 2017

Burning Man - A Week of Radical Self Expression

'Burning Man is an Adult Playland', a 29-Hour a day party for a week; A Globally Charged Community in the desert of Northern Nevada.

'You can vacation in say Jamaica and see things that millions have seen before you and millions will see after you...Or you can trek yourself & stuff to BRC and see things that will only be available for one week to see'

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Voyage in Utopia - A Burning Man Movie

The movie Voyage in Utopia available for purchase from the Burning Man Marketplace;  is another favorite in my Burning Man movie collection. Here are my favorite quotes from the film.

In a lost city - 50,000 - Build a city - to create their world  
It is a number of things, its a utopian experiment, its an exhibition of interactive art, its the largest show of interactive art in the world. It culminates in the sacrifice of a ritual object. This vision will redefine how we imagine the world.  
The thing about Burning Man is that your up there for a week and its kind of like everything in one big bunch. That is why people have changes, go back and feel like different people, because they had to let go of something beautiful, they had to forget about all the stupid material things and be with themselves; which is really scary for some people. That's why burning the temple is so special and so important because people put memories in there, and sometimes do not want to remember those things, its very spiritual.  
When you get ready to go to Burning Man, as soon as you leave the door to your house, you are at Burning Man.  
We chose a beach because it was a public place, accessible to everyone; when we lit the figure, our numbers tripled, which inspired us to do it again; it was the response and enthusiasm of strangers to what we had done and the experience of being united thru this act.  
David took me aside one day when I was at his house and said, you know Larry, we are both charlatan's, I thought I can trust this man, he can see himself ironically.  
Its a place of tolerance, things that are embraced at Burning Man and tolerated and understood are way different than in the outside world.  
We spent 6 million dollars this year to create our city and govern our event, but our participants contribute millions more than that, all freely given. There actually buying a ticket to go to the desert and spend 5x as much money in creating their world and then in contributing to the creation of our city. We have a volunteer rate of 84%, what city have you ever heard of that had so many civic volunteers.  
In 1990 standing alone in the desert next to the man and thinking the thoughts I thought, I would be esteemed by the world as a lunatic; in-fact I was considered a lunatic. The advantage people now have is that they are surrounded by people equally as crazy as they are. So if they say, I am changed and your changed, I think it is a small step, a leap of faith but a step, to say that what is within us can change the world.  
People treated it as a sacred thing, without being told it was sacred, they acted that way. We did it so that other people could cry.  
This year when I walked into the Temple, eve time I went over to the corner there was this thing that made me laugh. Someone had written, the guy who made this is a Drama Queen. I thought, that is not a Nuclear Physicist who wrote that one; Duh...Of course I am a Drama Queen. I saw that and it changed the mood of the Temple; that there was a place in the Temple to laugh.  
They come for the promise of individual freedom, but they stay for the Community; our event can serve as a persuasive model, as a kind of initiation, as an introduction to a new way to be.  
The city begins with the Man, there is nothing in that space, it is as blank as the day of creation, until we select the spot where he will stand, and from that spot we survey the entire geometry of the city. He is the convergent center, the center of everyone's attention.  
The trouble with America is that it is a continent, with two neighbors only, who are patronized as inferior to the greater United States. We are an insolent country, we are a parochial country, scarcely aware of the rest of the world. That has become worse in the last 50 years, because Americans only know what they see on television. It's not surprising that a country would act out of ignorance and it is not surprising to me that our country would be prompted by fear because our world is dissolved into a great consumer spectacle; we are out of touch with the rest of the world, we do not have the communal experience, or the historic perspective that Europe had.  
What we produce is not monetary capital but social capital, a vast gift giving network. I do not see us as a counterculture, just an other culture. A gift economy has nothing to do with exchange, a gift is given without an expectation of return. If you are looking around your world for community, you will find it where gifts are given. In a world where no gifts are given, there is no community and if there is no community, there is no culture.  
I think what we need to do in the 21st century is to rebuild, recreate culture and start with the individual, start with their freedom and their sense of uniqueness. Put them in a setting where they need to struggle, to survive with other people, then open their hearts and realize that the community is based on a struggle together; it is not based on sentiment, it's not based on lifestyle. It's a struggle to survive against forces of nature larger than we are. You reinvented civilization and you have reinvented the cultural experience; its the spiritual experience that threads it together; it starts with I am and goes to We are an goes to it is, something transcendent greater.  
People want to know what a thing means and if you tell them what it means you will actually see them put that in a little compartment in their mind and no longer think about it; they no longer need to feel anything, that they have what they believe is the explanation, as if you could meaning in a little pill and swallow it. What we do is try and create an opportunity for people to immediately experience the thing. We are good at designing social context, that is why we attract so many different people and so many different beliefs. But we still won't tell people.  
You could not live in Black Rock City, people say that to me, wouldn't it be wonderful to have this all year round; they are lucky they survive for 8 days, no one could live in a perpetual state of celebration. At some point you have to turn off the lights and say the party is over.  
Our community forms a Diaspora; people leave the event and have gone back to their homes, they felt changed, they were suddenly empowered to do things differently; this is called cultural dispersal, cultural dissemination, it just happened, we did not tell them to do this. If this was a consumer event, they wouldn't do it; they would have consumed; belched and then gone to sleep, they would wake up hungry and go after some other sensation some other spectacle. Its not an event, it is a movement.