New Art Director: Tom George 

My friends call me TG. I’m a Salt Lake native and work as a set designer in the real world, a job that’s taken me to some really cool places in the world. I spend entirely too much time doting on my dog, three cats, and wife. We love camping, traveling, hiking and skiing. I’m a friendaholic, a condition for which there is no cure.

What first drew you to Burning Man and/or Element 11?

I accidentally went to Burning Man in 2011 for my first time after a whopping three weeks of planning. The big draw was of course the art, being involved in large scale art work throughout my career. I had no idea how important it would become to me, and how much it would change my life. Fun fact: I’d never danced (not really anyways) before my first burn. Guess who spent literally every night out dancing? You’ll find me most nights at the event wherever the music is groovy.

How many times have you been to E11 and/or Burning Man?

This will be my 12th Element 11 and I’ve been to 5 Burning Mans (burning men?). I started Camp Smeat unofficially in 2014, then officially in 2016.

What is your favorite thing about E11?

Seeing what people can do when offered the chance to create something for no reason and with no expectations. The sheer creativity people display, with no obligation except as an offering to their fellow humans is unbelievable. People put themselves out there beyond what they are usually comfortable with or allowed to do, and in turn are accepted and appreciated in a way that rarely exists outside of this community. But truly, there isn’t just one thing. I love the art, seeing my friends, celebrating, relaxing, and working my ass off.

What is your most memorable moment at E11?

My first time working a burn perimeter. Watching everyone else get to experience that indescribable feeling, many for the first time, is a gift I’ll never forget.

How are you going to interpret this year’s theme at the event?

Luckily I have all of you fine folks to interpret it for me!

What is your favorite principle and why?

Participation. The rest of the principles hinge on this one. Through participation we each play a critical role in the event. Without us, there is no burn community, and no event. We demonstrate our commitment to each other through participating in the principles.