Ticket Update: Radical Inclusion, Meet the Other Nine

First things first:

For all the frustration, anxiety, stress, and heartache this year’s ticket lottery has caused, please accept another humble apology.

Photo by John Curley

This is no time for issuing statements or putting a spin on anything. The system may have worked, but the cultural outcome sure didn’t, and even though some of you saw that coming and said so, we didn’t, and for that we are sorry.

The current trajectory is not acceptable. Even people who did get tickets aren’t cheering right now, since so many of their camps and friends are standing out in the cold. Entire groups are worried they’ll have to scrap all their plans. Burning Man is a participatory and collaborative event, and many collaborations are perilously close to falling apart.

Clearly we must reevaluate, but first we want to say more about what we’ve heard, how we got here, and what our next steps will be.


YAYYYY! (And you can, too!)

We got this note from a Burner named Janet (note: Happy Birthday, Janet!) this morning and we’re grinning from ear to ear. What’s a YAY!? Click the link to see this sweet little photo story and find out for yourself.

My campmates from Figment Slums/Figmint Cafe invented this a few years ago, and it’s a Burning Man tradition with them. In 2010, our next door neighbors took up the cry. YAY!

Now we’re spreading it to the default world. We’ve done it twice in Tucson, and once in Santa Cruz. YAY!
Playa love and joy spreading on the streets!
If you decide to try this where you live, don’t forget to bring a camera and tell us about it!

Updated Terms and Conditions for 2011

artistry meets artistry (image by Brad Hetland)
artistry meets artistry (image by Brad Hetland)

[This post is part of our ongoing Digital Rights blog series.]

January 19th is the big day — tickets go on sale for Burning Man 2011, Rites of Passage!

As you take your place in the electronic queue and wait your turn to click for your ticket to paradise, we invite you to pay special attention to something you might otherwise not notice: Burning Man, after spending much of 2010 working with volunteers from Creative Commons and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, has updated our Terms and Conditions relating to the use of cameras at the event.

The Terms and Conditions is the standard ration of legal language that governs the agreement between you and event organizers when you use your ticket to Burning Man. The language about image use was the subject of much discussion back in 2009, when the EFF first took Burning Man to task over the language restricting image use contained in the T&C. (If you haven’t yet seen our original response to that blog post, it’s worth reading too.) The EFF – and you – talked, and since we already knew that the time for evolution had come, we listened.

In our subsequent meetings with photographers, filmmakers, participants, the EFF and Creative Commons, and other interested minds, it became clear that the time was ripe to update the Terms and Conditions — not only to update existing policies regarding the personal use of imagery online (specifically accommodating uses like Facebook, photo sharing apps, and the like) but to actually make the language more “human readable” and better describe why Burning Man is such an unusual zone for photography in the first place.


Burning Man’s charitable donations for 2010

Every year since 2003, Burning Man has used proceeds from ice sales at the event to make year-end donations to various charitable, art and service organizations in Northern Nevada and the San Francisco Bay Area. For 2010, we worked to increase the total dollar amount of our donations, committing a total of $159,850 for the year. On the heels of the recent news about the closure of the US Gypsum plant in Empire,  we gave special consideration to those charities that benefit the people and communities of Northern Nevada.

Below is a list of charitable donation recipients for 2010:

Black Rock Arts Foundation
Black Rock Solar
Best Friend’s Animal Society (in memoriam Bill Carter)
The Crucible
Yick Wo School
Lawyers for Burners c/o Trip Knight
Leave No Trace
Surprise Valley Chamber of Commerce (Cedarville)
Circuit Network
Dogpatch Neighborhood Association
Nevada Organizations
Gerlach Volunteer Fire Department
Gerlach High School
Gerlach Gen. Improve. Dist.
Gerlach-Empire Senior Citizens Palace
Crisis Call Center
Friends of the Black Rock
Nevada Museum of Art
Nevada State Museum
Historical Society of Dayton Valley
Sierra Arts Foundation
Bruka Theatre
Nevada Discovery Museum
Kiwanis Bike Project
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada
Lovelock/Pershing Organizations
Pershing County Government General Fund
Pershing County Senior Center
Eagle Scholarship
Pershing County Community Center
Pershing County High School (Athletic Department)
Pershing County Domestic Violence Intervention
Pershing General Hospital & Nursing Care
Pershing County Humane Society
Lovelock Frontier Days
Lovelock Lion’s Club
Friends of the Library
Marzen House Museum
Kid’s, Horses & Rodeos
Lovelock Food Bank
Lovelock Boy Scouts Association
Lovelock Little League Association
Lovelock Chamber of Commerce
Pershing County Arts Council
Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary
Project Graduation

“Snatching Digital Rights” or Protecting Our Culture? Burning Man and the EFF

On Wednesday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a criticism of Burning Man’s ongoing efforts to protect the rights of our participants, and our efforts to forestall the creep of commercialism into the foundations of our culture.

Image by brillig, 2008
Image by brillig, 2008

Burning Man deeply respects the efforts of the EFF, and frankly, would ourselves like to embrace their opinion – but we don’t think the issue is as simple as Corynne McSherry would have you believe. Just like the EFF, we honestly seek to think outside old paradigms and boxes of “creative property” in the digital age, but we view Black Rock City through a more complicated lens, and our view of issues facing creative ownership is not rendered in extremes of black and white. To us, the rights of the individual participant to privacy while in Black Rock City in this unique environment for free expression — and our philosophical desire to maintain it out of reach of those who would exploit that expression just to sell cars or soft drinks — happens to come first.

In fact, there are but two essential reasons we maintain these increased controls on behalf of our community: to protect our participants so that images that violate their privacy are not displayed, and to prevent companies from using Burning Man to sell products.

The all new Burning Blog – a voice for our culture

In a manner quite fitting to our year of Evolution, the Burning Blog team is happy to share some very exciting news, just in time for the hot summer planning season for Burners everywhere (100 days today – yep, check your calendar, it’s true!). The Burning Blog is evolving again – this time, with a chorus of new voices we hope you’ll enjoy more than ever.

image by Ron Halbert
image by Ron Halbert

The Burning Blog has its roots in 2001 when Danger Ranger’s Silver Seed Tour , and Feeding Tofu To Cowboys (reports from the DPW fray during setup) showed the world our first crack at this thing called “blogging” on Burningman.com. Since then, we’ve continued to nurture the blog concept and developed this space — a blogger was part of the setup crew for many years, and in 2007, we jumped in with both feet, creating four different content areas under one blog “roof” – still covering “Building Black Rock City”, but also documenting the Environmental efforts of the Green Man theme, sharing stories from “Black Rock City Yearround”, and reporting on the extensive activity around the Burning Man network as covered by our roving staff member, Bex, in the Regionals Blog. In 2008, talented writer/photographer John Curley told the story of Building BRC in glorious photos and words; that year the blog received more hits and comments than any year to date. (We still like to go back and look at that one.)


Reno Recycling Round-up

Red Eye Diner, 2008; image by Nightshade
Red Eye Diner, 2008; image by Nightshade

If you dropped off your Burning Man recycling at one of the free 24-hour drop off centers in Reno-Sparks, perhaps you’re wondering what happened to your cans and bottles? Here is a summary of the free drive-thru recycling project operated by Save Mart in the Reno~Sparks area for burners during and following the week of Burning Man.

The total amount of recyclable materials dropped off in ’08 was about three times larger than in 2007.


A word about our Comments Policy

We’re thrilled (THRILLED, we tell ya!) that so many Burning Blog readers have taken the time to stop by and leave their thoughts on our posts so far, and we definitely want to encourage you to keep doing it. It’s been a great launch and we hope you’re enjoying it! At the same time, now that we have a little time under our blogging belts together, we wanted to focus on the Burning Blog Comments pages for a moment and share a few thoughts about how they are managed.

This is your brain on comments. Warning, by Terry Pratt; photo by noise
This is your brain on comments. “Warning” by Terry Pratt; photo by noise

First, if you haven’t yet, please read our Burning Blog Comments Policy. We run a relatively tight ship here, with some pretty firm standards for maintaining a civil and on-topic discussion, reserving the more free-form open conversation for the ePlaya. We really do want every reader to understand the Comment Policy and how we will uphold it, so we would encourage you to take a moment to look at it today.

We also wanted to point out a few more comments-related items: (more…)