This is a series about Decommodification, one of Burning Man’s 10 Principles and a crucial issue in our culture. Black Rock City is decommodified zone, a space free from advertising and transactional relationships, not beholden to corporate influence. Over the last few years, we’ve seen an increase in people posting photos from BRC on Instagram tagging the brands they’re wearing and promoting products. We hope this series will help shed some light on the many angles, interpretations, and opinions on a topic that is central to our event and our global community.


  • The Revelation Will Not Be Commodified

    There’s a growing sense of outrage in the Burning Man community that our culture is being commodified. I think it’s great for us to be having these conversations, and I’m a little alarmed at the tone of some participants, which shows a lack of civility that seems misaligned with the broader spirit of the Principles. …Read More

Further Writings

  • I Am Not a Brand, Am I?

    So, after my post about the Fyre Festival, my friend Robin Lehto — who is very active in San Francisco’s underground art scenes but not a Burner — responded this way on Facebook: “Image uber alles.” Slow clap. But a MILLION eyerolls at people with personal brands being restricted at Burning Man. My dear, sweet friend, with …Read More
  • Center Camp Café oculus (photo by Brad Templeton)

    Commerce & Community: Distilling philosophy from a cup of coffee …

    [This post is part of the 10 Principles blog series, an ongoing exploration of the history, philosophy and dynamics of Burning Man’s 10 Principles in Black Rock City and around the world. We welcome your voice in the conversation.] Sometimes the exception to a rule can deepen understanding of a principle. For example, some critics of Burning Man …Read More