Burning Man Culture

An Experiment in Temporary Community

Because many people are accustomed to a world shaped by institutions, service workers and commercial transactions, we may not even recognize the signs of true community. Here are a few of its indicators:

CELEBRATION Community activities incorporate celebration, parties, and other social events. The line between work and play becomes blurred. The human nature of everyday life becomes part of the way you work. You will know that you are in a community if you often hear laughter and singing.

STORIES In universities, people know through studies. In businesses and bureaucracies, people know by reports. In communities, people know by stories.

INFORMALITY In the community, transactions of value take place without money, advertising, or hype. Care emerges in place of structural service.

COLLECTIVE EFFORT Community is cooperative, uniting us as varied members of one body. By contrast, when we consume a service, we’re made passive. For example, fifty million people may view a television program or consume a beverage in complete isolation from one another.

CAPACITY Communities are built on the recognition of the unique abilities of e very member. Commerce and the public service sect or outside of Black Rock City define us on the basis of deficiency and need.