“This year’s art theme will focus on the many forms of artificial intelligence that permeate our lives; from the humble algorithm and its subroutines that sift us, sort us and surveil us, to automated forms of labor that supplant us. Are we entering a Golden Age that frees us all from mindless labor? Everything, it seems, depends on HMI, the Human-Machine Interface. In a world increasingly controlled by smart machines, who will be master and who will be the slave?” wrote Harvey and Mangrum on the Burning Man Journal website.
The theme seems appropriate given the increasing reliance Burners have on technology at the week-long event, held each year during Labor Day weekend in Northern Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. Last year’s theme was “Radical Ritual,” and the year before was “Da Vinci’s Mind.”