Walking into the Burning Man exhibit in the Voices from the Warehouse exhibit in downtown Dubuque is like walking into a different world. That’s because it kind of is; Burning Man is an annual, week-long music festival that takes place in Black Rock City, NV.
The unique thing about Black Rock City is that it is a temporary place that doesn’t exist outside of Burning Man. Thousands of people come together to create this place, and as with any “city” there are guidelines to be followed.
They are called The Ten Principles of Burning Man. They include: radical inclusion, gifting, decommodification, radical self-reliance, radical self-expression, communal effort, civic responsibility, leaving no trace, participation and immediacy.
Essentially, these mean that anyone is allowed to be a part of Burning Man, and all are encouraged to discover who they truly are.
Despite these daunting principles, Burning Man is really all about expression. It’s about creating that piece of art that you’ve always wanted or wearing that outfit that you’ve never gotten the chance to show off.
It can seem a bit strange at first, as it doesn’t follow mainstream ideas. It’s hard to describe the style of the festival, because it’s so eclectic — even at the exhibit in Dubuque there are people dressed in their flower-child best, and those who opted for a punk look.
There are no rules dictating what is acceptable at Burning Man, as it is all OK. In fact, this attitude is one of their primary principles at the festival. Throughout the exhibit there are pictures taken from various Burning Man festivals.
The exhibit is much more than pictures, but the experience of this unique mantra of self-expression. Take the time to visit the exhibit and learn that it is about more than the literal burning of a giant wooden man on the last day.