Mud Bluff Principles

Generous Inclusion – Anyone may be part of Mud Bluff, but we don’t sell tickets nor memberships. We welcome and respect the stranger by inviting them as guests individually or during specific events. Your extended Inclusion may then be provided as a gift in the form of Happy Hearts. Later, you may gift forward similar inclusion for others.

Authentic Gifting – Mud Bluff is devoted to acts of gift giving. The value of a gift is unconditional. Gifting does not contemplate a return or an exchange for something of equal value. Give only what you can give freely. In turn, accept only what you truly appreciate. If each of us gives more than we take, we will all live in abundance.

Decommodification – In order to preserve the spirit of gifting, our community seeks to create social environments that are unmediated by commercial sponsorships, transactions, or advertising. We stand ready to protect our culture from such exploitation. We resist the substitution of consumption for participatory experience.

Reasonable Self-Reliance – First, provide for yourself. Only then might you have something to share with others. Only then will what you receive from others be truly a gift and not a mitigation. Bring what you need. Share what you can.

Radical Self-Expression – Mud Bluff is a place to discover and share what you have to express. Only you can determine its content. Offer it as a gift to others when you are inspired to do so. Not all gifts will find acceptance. Acknowledging that we each enjoy different things, respect the sovereignty of the recipient to appreciate your expression, or not.

Communal Effort – Our community values creative cooperation and collaboration. We strive to produce, promote and protect social networks, public spaces, works of art, and methods of communication that support such interaction.

Civic Responsibility – We value civil society. Community members who organize events should assume responsibility for public welfare and endeavor to communicate civic responsibilities to participants. They must also assume responsibility for conducting events in accordance with local, state and federal laws.

Leave It Better – Perfection is an illusion. So is Leaving No Trace. Since many of our projects may exist for months or years, they will obviously leave a trace, at least for some period of time. We need to revert to Larry Harvey’s original stated intent, “We clean up after ourselves and endeavor, whenever possible, to leave our space in a better condition than we found it.”

Participation – Our community is committed to a radically participatory ethic. We believe that transformative change, whether in the individual or in society, can occur only through the medium of deeply personal participation. We achieve being through doing. Everyone is invited to work. Everyone is invited to play. We make the world real through actions that open the heart.

Immediacy – Immediate experience is, in many ways, the most important touchstone of value in our culture. We seek to overcome barriers that stand between us and a recognition of our inner selves, the reality of those around us, participation in society, and contact with a natural world exceeding human powers. No idea can substitute for this experience.

Compassionate Tolerance – People can tolerate almost anything for a week in the desert, but the long-term nature of this project requires that we suspend judgment, and extend tolerance with compassion. It’s important to tolerate the expression of others, especially the forms we don’t appreciate.

Be the Change – Be the change you wish to see at Mud Bluff. Contribute only as you are inspired to do so. Ultimately, this final principle will create what we collectively experience.