Decommodification Starts With You

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some seeing eye
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Decommodification Starts With You

Post by some seeing eye » Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:51 pm

This should be obvious, but it always is worth repeating as new burners join our community.

Charlie Dolman is the Operations Director for Burning Man. He writes:


Has this ever happened to you? You’ve just arrived home from BRC, you’re scrolling through Instagram, only to see people promoting their brands and clothing lines with pictures from the playa?

Don't be like this fool.

Doesn’t that break your heart a little?

It bums me out, too.

Burning Man truly is your opportunity to turn your phone off*, take a break from promoting how great your life is, and “be here now.” If we’re not careful, Burning Man could end up like the rest of the world, where advertising is so pervasive it doesn’t always register when we’re being sold to. We may not even notice anymore, but in the default world we’re always someone’s “target market.”

Black Rock City is a city where you are valued based on how you contribute to the community, not for who you are, what you have or what you’re selling. That’s why Burning Man’s Principle of Decommodification is so important for us to uphold as a community.

How can you help?

Here’s what NOT to do:

DON’T photograph your product at Burning Man (not even your super-cool handmade festival belt)… not cool.

DON’T use Burning Man imagery to promote your personal (or your company, or another company’s) brand, service or product… ick.

DON’T commodify someone’s art or mutant vehicle by using it for selling or promoting something. Burning Man artists gift their work to citizens of Black Rock City… and they don’t appreciate it being in your ad.

DJs: please DON’T use images or videos of your sets on playa -- or the fact that you “played at Burning Man” -- to promote your club gigs the rest of the year… just no.

DON’T film your music video here, either. Black Rock City isn’t an awesome backdrop, it’s an actual community… really.

Don’t even think of rolling up in an energy-drink-branded truck / car / bike / sampling vehicle... eye roll.

Lastly, DON’T post your Burning Man photos on any business-affiliated Instagram or Facebook page… just don’t.
The absence of commercialism allows us the rare opportunity to gift rather than sell, to receive rather than buy. It allows us to try social currency instead of transactions.

Commercial sponsorships, advertising and transactions are not our way. Decommodification allows us to flip the default world’s capitalistic narrative, and instead focus on what really matters – creativity, connection, and sharing authentic experiences with each other.

Who are you and how will you act when you’re no longer bombarded by corporations trying to give you those answers, sell you their product, and your net worth or celeb status no longer gets you in the door? At Burning Man, you get to find out. But not unless we safeguard our community against exploitation.

Don’t forget to leave your logo’d clothes behind, too. If you must have words on your clothes, try stenciling some on with spray paint. It was good enough for the Sex Pistols! (Cover up those logos on rental vans and RVs too! But probably not with spray paint.) And seriously, why would you want to waste time in Black Rock City on social media? Put your phone away, be present, and tell your friends all about it afterward!

Most importantly, DO enjoy and appreciate this rare place where you are not being sold to…

Charlie "Louder!" Dolman
increasing the signal to noise ratio with compassion

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JohnnyA
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by JohnnyA » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:01 pm

some seeing eye wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 1:51 pm
Charlie Dolman is the Operations Director for Burning Man. He writes:

Has this ever happened to you? You’ve just arrived home from BRC, you’re scrolling through Instagram, only to see people promoting their brands and clothing lines with pictures from the playa?

Don't be like this fool.

Doesn’t that break your heart a little?

It bums me out, too.
Does anyone really, seriously and truly believe that this marketing photoshoot was done completely without the approval of anyone in the ORG???

http://www.accessonline.com/articles/vi ... rning-man/

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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by gaminwench » Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:14 pm

I don't know anything about Org approval, but those outfits were 'styled' and undoubtedly were provided for the beautiful people.

I also doubt that the one lovely arted (hah!) the Segway herself.

And if any of those models can light a camp stove, I'll eat that feather accessory. 8)
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by Captain Goddammit » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:42 am

Yeah, it seems it both starts and ends with us.
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some seeing eye
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by some seeing eye » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:32 pm

JohnnyA wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:01 pm

Does anyone really, seriously and truly believe that this marketing photoshoot was done completely without the approval of anyone in the ORG???
Since the infamous Champagne brand incident the BORG has been very anti-any commodified photo shoot on playa. You are working too hard on a conspiracy theory, while you yourself are linking to offensive material. How strange!
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by Traveller in Time » Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:56 am

As in JRS; buy book to read rest of story. . . .
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by Eric » Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:33 pm

JohnnyA wrote:
Thu Jul 26, 2018 11:01 pm
Does anyone really, seriously and truly believe that this marketing photoshoot was done completely without the approval of anyone in the ORG???
I've looked over the posted images - the only mention of a brand is in the websites headline, but the actual images were taken from the women's instagram accounts, and they don't mention that they work for Victoria's Secret (we have only the webpage's word on that unless we want to spend time googling) and even professional models are allowed to post their images from the burn as long as they're not selling anything. Thanking someone for styling them is gross, but does it cross the line? Don't know.

Anyone is free to report things they think are violations to: ip@burningman.org
I've done it many times & had problem pages removed. Do-ocracy and all that.
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by trilobyte » Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:50 pm

Gaminwench/JohnnyA, I completely believe that there were stylists, costumers, and photographers involved... but that doesn't mean Burning Man knew of or approved of anything. Anybody can bring clothing and costume, makeup, and cameras (or even just cameraphones) into the event without any real scrutiny or regulation, it seems entirely plausible that somebody just did that, and intentionally didn't try and register the project in an effort to sneak under the radar.

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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by gaminwench » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:46 pm

Eh, people gonna do what people gonna do.

I miss the pre Insta days on the playa.

Which of course makes me a bitter old crusty burner.

Or something.
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Token
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by Token » Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:47 pm

some seeing eye wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:32 pm
Since the infamous Champagne brand incident ...
What is this infamous Champagne brand incident?

I know of the Lexus / Waffle incident but not Champagne

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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by gaminwench » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:07 pm

In 2011 Krug brought beautiful people, set up a fancy catered banquet out in deep playa, took publicity photos, and then LEFT ALL THAT SHIT OUT THERE.
"the prophecies of doom were better last year" trilo

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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by Token » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:04 pm

Much Obliged. I feel learned now.

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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by XPTom » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:52 am

I just checked eBay for Burning Man products and got 1103 hits...… makes the Carhart logo on my Tshirt pocket look like small potatoes..... pardon me if I don't put the knife to it....
How many old burners does it take to change a light bulb? Just one to change the bulb..... and five more to reminisce how good the old bulb was....

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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by JohnnyA » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:30 pm

trilobyte wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:50 pm
Gaminwench/JohnnyA, I completely believe that there were stylists, costumers, and photographers involved... but that doesn't mean Burning Man knew of or approved of anything.
Absolutely, that's one perfectly-possible explanation.


But, I think that we agree that it seems like it was a planned and staged photoshoot, with the intent to distribute the photos and "story" as some sort of marketing for the Victoria's Secret brand. Would you agree with that?

Every Victoria's Secret Angel is at Burning Man Festival this year

Victoria's Secret Models Are Putting Their Weirdest Underwear to Good Use at Burning Man

These Victoria's Secret Angels Wore Some Runway-Ready Looks At Burning Man

Eric wrote:
Sat Jul 28, 2018 3:33 pm
I've looked over the posted images - the only mention of a brand is in the websites headline, but the actual images were taken from the women's instagram accounts, and they don't mention that they work for Victoria's Secret (we have only the webpage's word on that unless we want to spend time googling) and even professional models are allowed to post their images from the burn as long as they're not selling anything. Thanking someone for styling them is gross, but does it cross the line? Don't know.
Yep, they're the "Victoria's Secret Angels", and all under-contract.

I totally agree with the idea that it is a perversion of the ideal of "decommodification", but I am also of the personal opinion that it actually, and very, very carefully, stays just on the border of what is acceptable to the ORG.

The ladies' posts on their curated personal instagram feeds specifically avoid mentioning their employer, the photos carefully avoid including anything that the ORG doesn't want companies to photograph, no actual direct branding or links to products are included, and the "stories" are all puff-pieces on lifestyle-news sites and not on the Victoria's Secret site.

That's just clever marketing, and they've done a very professional job of finding a way to work around the letter of the ORG rules while still promoting their brand to their customers.

It is certainly possible that they didn't have any communication with the ORG ... but the care with which they executed their operation makes it seem far more likely (to me, anyway) that they made a nice corporate donation to the ORG (which we know that the ORG is always looking for), and then got advice on what would be acceptible, and what would cross over the line.

It may not seem that way to some folks, but then, I self-described as "Old and Cynical" when I joined ePlaya last year.

some seeing eye wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:32 pm
Since the infamous Champagne brand incident the BORG has been very anti-any commodified photo shoot on playa. You are working too hard on a conspiracy theory, while you yourself are linking to offensive material. How strange!
More "Old and Cynical" than "Strange", IMHO.

I'm specifically pointing this "offensive material" out now to show what I believe could become a trend in how some companies (and celebrities) will try and get around the principle of decommodification and use Burning Man to promote themselves.

Only time will tell if I'm right, or if I'm just some tinfoil-hat nutter.

gaminwench wrote:
Wed Oct 18, 2017 3:57 pm
Hello and welcome.

I'm old, but not cynical.
gaminwench wrote:
Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:46 pm
Which of course makes me a bitter old crusty burner.
Well, last year you were only "old"!

I've given up on bringing you over to the "cynical" side, you're far too nice.

But "bitter" and "crusty" is a step in the right direction! :wink: :lol:

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some seeing eye
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by some seeing eye » Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:32 pm

I usually try to be nice here. But I'll be direct.

No I do not believe BMORG allowed this. It appears that the individuals used their private instas in an organized plan to pool them for commercial use. I've reported intelectual property concerns to Burning Man legal many times. With Trademark, you have to defend it to keep it. Copyright is a little different. Most of the time they were able to get the offending material taken down, but sometimes they were unable to do so. For about the last year I've been trying hard to obscure commercial references when I post on ePlaya.

So you won't find me posting BM IP offensive material with "what do you think?"

Straight from the maw of the BORG:
https://burningman.org/network/about-us ... mages-faq/

The BORG does not own photoshoots on the playa, and many brands are drafting the event in that way.
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:54 am

I'm catching so much shit from re-posting the opening of this thread on faceplant.

So I just posted the link from your last post, and I'm done trying to convince them. :roll:

Thank you very much SSE. 8)
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by some seeing eye » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:53 pm

FIGJAM wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:54 am
I'm catching so much shit from re-posting the opening of this thread on faceplant.
I'm sorry that happened. You are one of Burning Man's finest DIY-build-your-burn burners. The online world is weird. That's why I always refer people to in-person regionals. So many just want to argue on line about how their faulty idea is right.
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by FIGJAM » Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:11 am

The big issue was that somehow the 10 principles were my idea and how dare I tell people what to do and not do on the playa.

I thought we agree to the principles went we buy our ticket.

Silly me. :lol:
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by Eric » Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:00 am

FIGJAM wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:11 am
I thought we agree to the principles went we buy our ticket.
Burning Man on the 10 Principles:
They were crafted not as a dictate of how people should be and act, but as a reflection of the community’s ethos and culture
They're general guidelines, not commandments, other than Leave No Trace and No Selling (which isn't even explicitly stated in the Principles, but will get your ass tossed from the event), those are requirements of the BLM for the event to happen.
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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by JohnnyA » Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:14 pm

some seeing eye wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:32 pm
I usually try to be nice here. But I'll be direct.
Thank you, I appreciate your directness. 8)

some seeing eye wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:32 pm
For about the last year I've been trying hard to obscure commercial references when I post on ePlaya.
I apologize for offending both you and any other folks that thought that those hyperlinks to news sites were inappropriate. I should probably have posted just the article names themselves to support my argument.

I am unable to edit them myself at this point, but if the moderators wish to remove the links ... then please go ahead.

some seeing eye wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:32 pm
With Trademark, you have to defend it to keep it. Copyright is a little different. Most of the time they were able to get the offending material taken down, but sometimes they were unable to do so.
...
Straight from the maw of the BORG:
https://burningman.org/network/about-us ... mages-faq/

The BORG does not own photoshoots on the playa, and many brands are drafting the event in that way.
That is exactly my point.

A company found a sneaky way to use Burning Man to promote their brand that doesn't seem to violate the rules. People should (I believe) be made aware of it so that they can choose whether they wish to deny giving that company their business in the future.

And "nope", I don't believe that there is some secretive group within the ORG that sells induglences to corporations in return for contributions.

I just believe that it is likely that the company followed all of the ORG's rules, including possibly contacting the Media Team, in order to get those photos taken on the playa.


If you're at this year's ePlaya meet-n-greet, then I'll be happy to have a drink with you, and explain what I believe probably happened (without any shred of proof), and then you can tell me why I'm wrong, and castigate me in person for posting those links. :wink:

BTW ... I have owned both legally-registered trademarks and copyrights myself, and so, like you, I am somewhat familiar with the laws surrounding them, and thus why the ORG can't do a darned thing about those "news" articles.

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Re: Decommodification Starts With You

Post by FIGJAM » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:56 am

"Don't buy ur Burn...........Build ur Burn!"

"If I can't find an answer, I'll create one!!!"

Fuck Im Good Just Ask Me

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