Visit the Burn Barrel — Burning Man Experiences in This New, Distanced, World

So for the last couple months, some current and past Burning Man Meta-Regionals have been getting together every other week or so to chat with a special guest who is … what’s the phrase they use … “kind of famous at Burning Man.”  Mostly they’re not really talking “about Burning Man,” so much as they’re just telling stories about anything and everything. You know, they way you do when it’s late and everybody’s sitting around a burn barrel, drinking.

They’ve been mostly keeping it quiet for a bit, while they figured out what they were doing and how they wanted it to go.  But now they’re opening it up to the public. It’s a nice format: it’s a webinar, so you can only see and hear the panelists, but you can send comments to them via chat, and if you have a question you can be brought on the video as a panelist to ask it directly.

Wanna stop on by? It’s on every other Thursday. We’ve had a bunch of artists, we’ve had Dave X, Will Chase will be there this Thursday … and they interviewed me a maybe a month or so ago. It’s not an official Burning Man production — and that’s on purpose — so you never know what’s going to be said.

To keep posted on the who’s and the whens, check in here. You can also watch some — but only some — of the recent conversations there.

Here’s two clips from the time when they had me on as a guest (I’m usually also there as a panelist). In the first clip, I’m asked what it is that I think works in the creation of “Burning Man” experiences in a digital format.

In the second, I talk about my increasingly strong contention that focusing on”platforms” kind of misses the point. The question is: what kind of human experience are you offering? And how do you do that? Much in the way that the best theme camps are often not the most expensive and constructed, but made out of cardboard and duct cape and an idea, so the best digital experiences are less focused on the technology and instead hav an idea of how to reach through the screen and connect in the meaningful ways that we still can.

(My more lengthy and developed thoughts on these issues are found here)

Hope you enjoy, and that I’ll see you around the burn barrel sometime!



Photo by Wendell DeLano

About the author: Caveat Magister

Caveat is Burning Man's Philosopher Laureate. A founding member of its Philosophical Center, he is the author of The Scene That Became Cities: what Burning Man philosophy can teach us about building better communities, and Turn Your Life Into Art: lessons in Psychologic from the San Francisco Underground. He has also written several books which have nothing to do with Burning Man. He has finally got his email address caveat (at) burningman (dot) org working again. He tweets, occasionally, as @BenjaminWachs

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