ARISE: My comments
As stated elsewhere on this website, much of my work is inspired by my understanding of human evolution. More specifically, I believe that evolution designed our essential nature but modern culture can tend to isolate us from that nature, creating various forms of neurosis. From past experiences with Burning Man, other festivals and now Arise, I believe that festivals have the potential to help us humans rediscover those lost parts of ourselves.
Whereas modern society captures us in our buildings, stuck in steady but numb comfort and sensory deprivation, Arise allows us to live under the open sky, in our beautiful meadow, cradled amidst red cliffs and distant lakes, feeling the warmth of the morning sun, the scorch of the afternoon and the chill of the evening.
Whereas modern society isolates us from our fellow man, Arise allows us to engage with strangers, to share ideas and companionship--to even feel the more expansive states of consciousness and even joy that come from people living together with open hearts and minds.
Whereas modern society feeds us entertainment in solitude, designed perhaps most of all to just capture our attention, Arise allows us to experience our entertainment communally, shared with other people, and designed for the purpose of creating ecstatic states and greater fulfillment.
Whereas modern society bombards us with information from the popular media controlled by commercial interests, Arise feeds us ideas direct from other people interested in exploring the human condition free of the usual fetters.
Whereas modern society restrains our expression, Arise invites them.
Whereas modern society constantly works to have you conform to its needs, Arise ask you to conform to your own needs, to you own nature, to your best self.
Whereas modern society encourages competition and isolation, Arise encourages cooperation and community.
Whereas modern society demands linear thinking and even more linear, antlike behavior, Arise encourages creative thinking, expansive and mysterious states of mind, as well as spontaneous behavior.
Arise gives our audience the opportunity to momentarily shirk the skein of their social identity, the rules of normal society, and experience themselves as something more primal, more visceral, more imaginative, more alive and even more loving.
Or said more simply, I am really happy to be hosting one of the greatest parties in the world--a party, not for pointless debauchery and revelry but for human fulfillment, expression and growth. Given its communal nature, the three producers of Arise only exhibit partial control over its creation, since the community itself brings its own contributions. But we are nonetheless devoted to shaping and molding Arise into one of the greatest festivals around. Aside from fulfilling my executive positions, I am especially devoted to the overall artistic and sensory and psychological experience of the festival, which covers everything from village layout to visual design to noise control.