Automatic Subconscious Philosophy

And Here’s Something for the Old Mind’s Other Eye:

With apologies to Emma Lazarus:

“Give me your tired of society, your poor in spirit
Your huddled conformity, yearning to be Burners
The wretched refuse of your Strip Mall shores,
Send these, the creative, tempest-tossed to me:
I lift my lamp beside the Automatic Subconscious!”

 Yeah, you heard it right, fueled by what we claim to be sufficient gin and the righteous self-affirmative knowledge of those who do right by the creative urge, but hopefully not too smugly so, we are once again headed from the overly rained-upon city of Boston, out, out towards the great dusty wastelands in search of wonder, the sharing of community, and a generally bad-ass good time. This rant is in a sense our philosophical raison d’etre, so, dear reader, if interested, carry on!

We have a dome, but not your typical geo-desic dome. The Auto  Sub dome is a Gherkin complete with a dance floor and lounge. The lounge has various psychedelic art installations and a bar with horrible liquor on at least one day of the week. The dome was designed by our grand architect “Hooch”.


All of us apparently semi-sentient life-forms here at Automatic Subconscious find our efforts focused on the expression of a bi-modally distributed set of ideas that we find quite important to keeping one’s sanity out here amidst the general Void, namely the power of community as a shared experience, and the providing of a free, open and accepting environment for the public output of creative expression. To those ends we are open to all, whether you contribute to the experience base of others, or just come in and gain a new one for your very own. We have never turned away a prospective member for any reason, as long as they were willing to contribute. Our motto is ‘What could possibly go wrong’ as encouragement to try out new ideas, experiment and put yourself out there.

To the end of fostering creativity and participation, our gift to the community at large is our theme camp, centered around the AutoSub Dome and Lounge, a structure measuring 30′ in diameter that supports a large number of our basic life support functions. First and foremost it is our very public face, our showcase for camp member art, personal contributions of an entertaining, elucidating or edifying manner, oh yeah and did I mention the bar? We have one inside the lounge. Any camp member can host a happy hour and all who have done so have quite enjoyed their interactions with the public at large. We have implemented bar-tending schedules so that there is always a camp member in attendance when we are officially OPEN.


As a distinct camp we exist now as a coherent group because our earliest Burning-Man fore-bears wanted to not just experience the creativity and community of Burning Man but contribute to it in a significant manner as well. To that end, we build upon each previous years experience to make our camp better and more responsively rewarding to, not only our camp members, but to the Burning Community as a whole. Our goal is to attempt to realize the potential of the mantra of ‘Do Not Spectate, Participate!’

We feel that, over the past 16-years, we have proven ourselves capable of participating, contributing, and evolving in an ever-changing process of decay, evolution, growth and rebirth. Each year presents a different challenge, but that challenge IS the heart of what keeps Burning Man so important to all of us. We are not interested in keeping Burning Man the way it was in some idealistic, perhaps apocryphal past, but would rather be part of the transformation of the event as it evolves and reaches out towards the new boundaries that we believe are just beyond what it is that we already know. We strive to keep alive the seeds of WONDER that refresh and keep rejuvenated the daily life of a developing and sentient mind. Having growth as one of our central tenets we seek each year to build upon our past success to make the experience, better, richer, easier and more accessibly rewarding to as many sentient, wondering entities as possible. We seek to bring together a group of people interested in participating to explore the possible, experience the realized visions of ourselves and others, to create a supportive, diverse community all while having the best time fucking possible.


We are a group of creative folks from many walks of life who feel that a clearing away of creative boundaries and restrictions frees the mind and spirit, enabling us to better explore and fulfill our potential. But it ain’t all free love and no responsibility Bay-Bee! Our attempts to enable these creative freedoms that we hold so dear take careful planning, organization and hard work on personal and communal levels. We take the raw material of our potential, talent and imagination and create a gift to ourselves and the community at large. This gift is our camp, its community, its members and all of their creative expressions. We trust that you will enjoy yourself when in our care.

The efforts of each contributing individual helps make our shared vision real. Without the hard work, dedication and personal touch of all involved, our efforts would not have the value and power that we anticipate before, feel during and remember after each wonderful, trying, fulfilling, inspirational, painful and educational trip to the Playa.


To this end it is important for the entire camp that everyone takes on some of the responsibility for planning, running and maintaining the camp. This provides us all with a sense of ownership and responsibility that makes less work for all. As a side benefit, everyone in the camp usually ends up learning a new skill. Whether welding, construction, in the kitchen or bar-tending, we all benefit from the distribution of essential knowledge. In this manner, we avoid having a core of overburdened, knowledgeable few who are the only ones that know anything. We have a handy list of tasks and responsibilities to peruse, everyone in the camp is responsible for taking on some of these tasks, or it can, and will not, happen. In this participant’s humble opinion, the pain of radical self-responsibility is a small price to pay for the joys and rewards of radical self-expression.

For the most part we have always been practitioners of the basic tenets of Burning Man; creation, community, participation, growth and acceptance. What our experiences on the Playa have done for us is to take this innate behavior and make it something that we are more mindful of. In this way we can accomplish even more by keeping these ideas in the forefront of our conscious minds and daily lives, thereby putting them ever more into practice. Everyone in the camp takes on some of the responsibility of planning, running and maintaining the camp. This provides us all with a sense of ownership and responsibility that makes less work for all.