Celebrating participatory culture

Since the internet arrived a couple of decades ago, we have seen an explosion in participatory culture. Why would you ever go to say a regular rock concert or a traditional theater performance again – where you are just regarded as a passive consumer – when you can attend a festival where your own inputs and contributions have value and meaning to all your fellow participants? Participatory culture is active culture as opposed to traditional passive culture.

Burning Man festival

Just like interactivity, participatory culture is sacred to Syntheists. Syntheos is the divinity that materializes when Syntheists come together (the Greek term┬áSyntheos means both “the god(s) we create” and “the god created when we are together”). So just like Syntheists regard the freedom and equality of interests on the internet as a holy mission – the internet wants to be free – they also regard participatory culture – as opposed to consumed mass culture – to be sacred, to be a manifestation proper of Syntheos.

The Borderland
The Borderland Festival

The most well-known example of a participatory festival is of course Burning Man, held in the deserts of Nevada, the United States, every early September. Other examples include Secret Garden Party in July and Wilderness Festival in August, both in the UK. The first participatory festival in Scandinavia, an early Syntheist stronghold, is called The Borderland, which this year (its third year running) takes place July 21-28 on the island of Gotland, Sweden.

Secret Garden Party
Secret Garden Party