Tourists Are Not Permitted Beyond This Point

Last year I posted the Keep Calm And Burn On posters around Black Rock City as my personal art project for Burning Man 2010. In a similar vein, I’m going to be posting this notice on the public bulletin boards around Black Rock City for Burning Man 2011.

I got the inspiration to post this sign from a snapshot on the wall of the cubicle next to mine in my default world job. It’s a picture of a sign in front of the Woolworth Building in New York City.

photo by Gene Han

I’m amused at how the meaning of the sign shifts depending on it’s physical context. Outside of a building in New York City, it’s an off-putting warning to the innocently curious. Within the city limits of Black Rock City, it’s a sly reminder of the principle of Participation (one of the ten principles of Burning Man).

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.

There are no tourists in Black Rock City — only participants. Though sometimes we all need a reminder.

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