Some of you might have noticed the absence of articles last week and thought we had fallen off the face of the earth. In a sense, we did. As part of our role as French gateway to Silicon Valley, we spent the last week diligently researching and analyzing an integral part of the area's ecosystem. Yup, we were at Burning Man. Leaving behind Facebook updates and tweets for a week, completely unaware of Michael Arrington's latest imbroglios and whether teens had chosen to finally adopt Twitter, Atelier spent seven days in the desert dust and sun, absorbing the beautiful mayhem of Black Rock City, marveling as alien figures emerged and melted into the many playa whiteouts. (That's us in disappearing into one in the the photo up top).

We laughed, we cried and we experienced an open source utopia where society's roles and mores were shifted to the side, revealing an ad-hoc world with its own temporary ideals, rules and, yes, hierarchies as stiff as those we'd left behind.

We participated in a space where individual creativity was celebrated not as social summa, but as societal rule.

We watched utopian ideals merge with Rabelaisian revel, shouting themselves with an agit-prop neon mania.

We carried lots of water with us at all times.

By Mark Alvarez