After our brief discussion of 'Burning Man' today I decided to look into it a bit further and try to determine whether it is a genuine attempt to create a utopian community or just an excuse to... well, you know. Contrary to the common trend of festival-goers, I got the impression that these people were sincerely trying to achieve some sort of social progress or spirituality- as opposed to the excessive intoxication that is now dogma at all other festivals. Their mission statement reads like a Utopian check-list:
Friday, 4 February 2011
"Our intention is to generate a society that connects each individual to his or her creative powers, to participation in community, to the larger realm of civic life, and to the even greater world of nature that exists beyond society"
The parallels with More and Morris are undeniable; the importance of feeling an affinity with ones work coupled with an understanding of the importance that role has to play in a larger community. Moreover, their belief in an almost symbiotic relationship between humanity and nature is comparable to Morris' attitude towards the natural world. This is further expressed through some of the art that is created at the festival. Another interesting point is that there is no commercial system at Burning Man, everything is done in a system of patronage or even gifting- an expression of More and Morris' dissolution of private property. So, if you feel you can handle a month in the Nevada desert then I imagine this would be an extremely informative, enjoyable and exciting experience!
Here are some interesting links if anyone wants to explore for themselves:
Posted by James Murphy at 17:17