Radical Inclusion Anyone may be a part of Burning Man. We welcome and respect the stranger. No prerequisites exist for participation in our community.
Gifting Burning Man is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value.
Decommodification In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.
Radical Self-reliance Burning Man encourages the individual to discover, exercise and rely on his or her inner resources.
Radical Self-expression Radical self-expression arises from the unique gifts of the individual. No one other than the individual or a collaborating group can determine its content. It is offered as a gift to others. In this spirit, the giver should respect the rights and liberties of the recipient.
Communal Effort Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.
Civic Responsibility We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.
Leaving No Trace Our community respects the environment. We are committed to leaving no physical trace of our activities wherever we gather. We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave such places in a better state than when we found them.
Participation Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.
Immediacy Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.
In 1986, Larry Harvey and Jerry James fashioned an 8-foot-tall human figure out of scrap wood, brought it to the beach and burned it. Spontaneously, a crowd formed to enjoy the spectacle. Larry and Jerry were both gratified by the attention it received, but more amazing was the creative response of the crowd. One stranger performed an act of kindness for the burning statue. Another made up a song about fire and played it on his guitar. A party began and strangers began to talk.
For the same reason people do Burning Man. To learn and grow. And to form a community that values creative learning and growing.
The temporal nature of it is vital to having immediate and unmediated experience, and the DIY aesthetic meshes perfectly with Second Life's riot of user-created content. When Philip Linden put the tools of creation into the hands of Residents, he set up the same level playing field that energizes Burning Man.
Everyone contributes. Nobody is special, and everyone is a star! So get involved. It doesn't even matter how much you know about Second Life.
If you are not a great builder-- this is the place to experiment and learn from others.
If you don't know anyone in Second Life yet, you will. If you are a veteran of Second Life and you crave a little good-old-fashioned creative chaos, come on out.
BURN2 will be exactly what each of us put into it.
In 1999, Philip Linden went to Burning Man, and came back with new ideas for the virtual world he was planning. Among them was the idea that humans abhor a blank canvas and will compulsively create form to fill void. They will provide their own content and entertainment and create a whole city (or world) when they are given permission and tools to do so.
Humans will naturally form community when physical and emotional conditions are harsh and they are wrenched out of their usual comfort zone. Humans are resourceful. The fewer the tools that are available, the more creative and amusing are their solutions to problems of food, shelter, transportation, art, leisure and identity.
What happens at the real life Burning Man is quite phenomenal. This real-world city of 50,000, built entirely by its citizens, is 100 miles from the nearest source of supplies. Yet it has roads, street signs, an FAA-approved airport, a power grid, a hospital, huge public plazas, street lights, processions, rituals and spectacles. It has fabulous fashions, ridiculous situations and artworks so raw they are literally dangerous.
In 1999, a dreamy guy from San Francisco decided to go explore this Burning Man thing he'd been hearing about. Into his car, he tossed a tent, water and everything else he needed to survive, then he drove 300 miles out to the Nevada high desert.
He arrived at a featureless, 40-square miles of cracked mud, ringed by distant mountains. Hot. It was terribly hot. Except when the sun went down. Then it was just plain cold. The Black Rock Desert is an ancient dry lake bed. "The Playa", geologists called it; harsh, foreign, unforgiving and so shockingly barren that it *begs* to be your empty canvas. A strange encampment had been erected there, ringed around a 40-foot tall anthropomorphic wooden statue destined to be burned the last night.
What the Dreamer found there— a huge group of people, self organized into a city, collaboratively creating a different reality— tweaked the direction of the project he was working on back in San Francisco, and filled his head with ideas about the nature of reality, creativity, identity and community. He worked some of these ideas into the very fabric of his project "Linden World", which you and I now know as Second Life. That Dreamer was our Linden Lab founder Philip Rosedale.
The Virtual Burn
Fast forward to 2003. Numerous Linden Lab employees were regulars at Burning Man, but by 2003 they were too busy getting Second Life out the door to visit the real life Playa. So Phoenix Linden approached the Burning Man organization for permission to build a tribute to the real event in Second Life. With permission duly granted, the Lindens built a Man statue much like the real thing, and "burned" it in-world. While Phoneix Linden (and Haney Linden)- started the Burning Life event, other Lindens facilitated over the years: Hamlet, Torley, Jeska, Iridium, and Everett.
By 2007 the Lindens were too busy to be directly involved with the event, and other SLers were running the event. These residents had never been to Burning Man and did not really understand how to represent its principles - yet they were using Burning Man's symbols and vocabulary, and representing it inworld.
Increased Burning Man Involvement
Understandably, Burning Man was becoming concerned about what was happening to the vibe, the message, the community and it's principles as represented and enacted by Burning Life. It was decided that sending help and getting involved was the Burner way to improve the event.
Everett Linden, the head of Community Initiatives for LL (and also a Burner), was aware of the issues involved. In 2008, the Lab hired Dusty Udal, an experienced burner, as a contractor and gave her a Linden name tag in order to help reposition the event. Also at this time, Danger Ranger - founder of the real life Black Rock Rangers at Burning Man - got involved and helped with reorganizing the Burning Life Rangers into a more community-based organization, truer to the principles of the RL Rangers.
In 2010, Linden Lab experienced a sharp downsizing, and ownership of Burning Life was transformed from a partnership between Burning Man and Linden Lab into an entirely regional Burning Man event held in the metaverse. This was seen as a win-win, as Linden Lab was focusing on it's core business and technology, and less on suplementary activities, while Burning Man wanted a higher fidelity representation in the metaverse.
If you look at the history of BM, it has also undergone a dramatic shift. 1996 was an evolutionary year for BM. After that, BM found a balance between anarchy and organization. In a sense, BURN2 is where Burning Man was in 1997. We are establishing a firm base for evolution and growth in the future.
With the birth of Burn2, there is a sense of renewal, a sense of community and a sense of hope as Burning Man and the metaverse intermix. The Burn2 community is established and viable, and the future is at our doorstep.