AFTERBURN REPORT 2001Communications Department
The Communications department is responsible for informing people about Burning Man. We educate participants, government entities, the media, and the general public. We use our Regional Contacts network, our worldwide web site (www.burningman.com), the Jack Rabbit Speaks Internet newsletter, the Burning Man Journal (our twice-yearly newsletter) and the ticket holder's Survival Guide to make contact with people throughout the year. During the event, the Black Rock Gazette, the What Where When (events publication), and Media Mecca speak directly to participants.
In 1999, the Communications department, in cooperation with the Art department, also began to document art. Our Documentation Team created a record of every artwork at Burning Man. But the most notable new communications document we have produced this year is this AfterBurn Report and Survey. This document was initially intended to answer questions about our accomplishments and problems in 2001, but it has become a history and an explanation of nearly everything we try to do.
Our effort to communicate also includes lectures in various cities by Larry Harvey and other organizers. Several such forums were held in 2001, most notably the Grace Cathedral Forum on May 20, 2001 which featured a talk by Larry entitled Radical Ritual. Plans for 2002 also include a lecture by Larry at Cooper Union and other regional outreach events in New York City in late April. The Communications department also works to organize Burning Man's technological resources. 2001 saw the beginning of our Extranet Project, inception of a committed Sys Admin team and examination of our database platforms. If we are to communicate with the world, we must better communicate with ourselves.
Our year-round efforts to communicate also address government relations, the education of the press and media, qualifying interested Regional Contacts, print production and distribution of stickers, posters and postcards, and maintenance of the Burning Man archive of press clips, videos and imagery. All of these efforts were better organized in 2001. In 2002, we intend to use more resources to communicate with an even larger world. As Burning Man expands beyond our desert event, we will dedicate more of our time to making our growing community aware of itself.