2014 Theme: Tabula Rasa

“The world will present itself to you for its unmasking, it can do no other, in ecstasy it will writhe at your feet.” –Franz Kafka

You begin by entering an unknown world to pursue a quest: your personal story. Like the heroes of the ancient world, you have set out to fill a blank slate - Tabula Rasa - with the deeds and tales of your own herculean epic. This gift of emptiness allows new experiences and challenges to make an imprint on you, and shape the person you will become.

As individuals, we start as consciousness, but we have no context. See things through the eyes of a virgin. Like tabula rasa, everything we build and create starts from nothing. You step onto an empty farm, and two days later- it’s exploding with LEDs and fire.

However, the whole of your burn experience comes from your perception. How can your perception be shifted and changed? Do you trust your own perception? What experience here - art, interaction, or otherwise - will change your perception permanently?

By allowing yourself to wipe away everything the default world has taught you: preconceptions, assumptions, rules, and misconceptions, you turn everything on its head. This leaves only your experiences and perception in this city to create the whole of who you are.

Challenge yourself to face a conundrum - you are both the author of your personal story, and at the same time, the protagonist among a community of stars. Like you, they are seeking their stories in the transcendental and ephemeral experience of the burn. Where does your experience fit in this narrative?

Our city will attempt to reveal itself to you in many different ways, whether it be through omens, mentors or signs. During our city’s brief existence, you will experience many challenges. Some may be obvious, some may not. They may be physical, mental, or emotional. Some members of the community hold challenges for you that can only be unlocked through specific feats. Find them, and you will be rewarded. Know that each obstacle shapes and changes you, imprinting itself on your soul.

During your journey ask yourself these questions as you face the obstacles presented to you:

  • What will this burn teach you? What imprint are you leaving on your fellow participants? The community? The world?
  • How are you shaped by your experiences and perception?
  • How often is your impact deliberate? How much control and direction do you wish to have?
  • What will we as a community bring into fruition?


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