Dance Dance Immolation on Boing Boing Video

Filed Under Fire Art, Video | 2009-05-27, 14:34

We’ve been boing-boinged a second time for Dance Dance Immolation. The first was back in 2005 when DDI was in it’s infancy. Fast forward 4 years and this time DDI is a bit more polished. BB has a video put together by Eddie Codel, hosted by SFSlim and Charis Tobias and starring the various members of Interpretive Arson. Yours truly is in it for only a moment, but it’s one of those most wonderful moments where Rubin and I are hitting the buttons that makes the fire go! The video was all filmed during our setup and run for How To Destroy The Universe Part 6.

You can check out the official post on Boing Boing.


Urgent Call to Help Oakland Artists and Organizations

Filed Under Art, SF Bay Area | 2008-10-20, 13:12

An email from Michael Sturtz, the founder of The Crucible, went out recently detailing a threat to the Oakland Arts Community that could significantly affect the Bay Area art community as well. We need to act quickly because the City Council meeting is Oct 21st. I’m reposting below:

Hello everyone,

Please read this message, the future of Arts in Oakland and The Crucible hangs in the balance.

The City of Oakland’s Cultural Arts Funding in about to get cut from the City’s budget. The Crucible has already been awarded two years of funding, that is about to be taken away, due to budget cuts. Our budget has been built around having these funds because they were awarded moths ago and now we will have to severely cut expenses to make ends meet.

Here is how you can help The Crucible and all the other Oakland Arts Organizations:

1.) Forward this urgent email to as many people as possible.

2.) Sign the online petition at

3.) Come to the City Council Meeting on Tuesday October 21st!

4.) Contact a Council Member and let them know how important the arts are to you!

Here is some more info:

Funding for the Cultural Arts and Marketing Department is on the chopping block and will be voted on by the Oakland City Council this Tuesday, October 21. The meeting begins at 6pm and this topic is currently Item 19 on the Agenda, so it could be a long night. Grant funding is in jeopardy, as are all of the staff positions. This is a serious threat to a thriving but already under-funded community. We do understand that the City’s finances are in a dire situation, but the fact of the matter is that the cultural arts department has historically borne more than its share of cuts and now represents only .4% (4/10 of 1%) of the overall city budget, yet serves 6,273 children and youth through the art in the schools program (most of whom would not have access to arts without these programs), and another 957,650 people through performances, events, etc. Not only will department staff lose their jobs: staff an d teachers in the already-fragile arts sector will also lose jobs. The arts are not a luxury! Children and youth who participate in arts programs and learn positive ways to express themselves are less likely to engage in unsafe or criminal activities. Neighborhoods with visual and performing arts venues bring in $$s to the local economy, help prevent crime and violence by “keeping the lights on”, and add to the overall quality of life in our city.

If The Crucible has made a difference in your life or someone you know, please join us to make our voices heard. TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

There are currently three council members who are opposed to cutting arts funding: Nancy Nadel, Jane Brunner, and Desley Brooks. All other council members have indicated that they will vote to cut the program. Please don’t let this happen!! Contact your council person immediately (preferably before Monday) and let them know that cutting the arts program is unacceptable. Also, let the three council members that support the arts know how much you appreciate their support. Below is contact info for each of the district council members:

District 1, Jane Brunner,, (510) 238-7001;
District 2, Pat Kernighan,, (510) 238-7002;
District 3, Nancy Nadel,, (510) 238-7003;
District 4, Jean Quan,, (510) 238-7004;
District 5, Ignacio de la Fuente., (510) 238-7005;
District 6, Desley Brooks,, (510) 238-7006;
District 7, Larry Reid,, (510) 238-7007
At-Large, Henry Chang, Jr.,

Not sure who your council member is? Click here to find out:

Please forward this to your staff, board, friends, students, their parents, your mailing list, etc. It is our responsibility to make our voices heard – and to let the officials know that we represent a larger portion of the public than they think!

Here’s a link to the evite:

I know that you are all really busy and I appreciate your time.
Thank you in advance for getting involved, We really need your help.

Michael Sturtz
Founder / Executive Director

UPDATE: Funding was not cut! :) Thanks to everyone that helped protect the Oakland art scene.

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The Balsa Man burned!

Filed Under Burning Man, Fire, SF Bay Area | 2008-08-31, 17:41

The first ever Balsa Man was a huge success. There was a large turnout of familiar and new faces on Baker Beach last night as we all gathered to burn our own Man. The Balsa Man built by Colin and Nifer was impressive in person, even after already seen the pictures of the build. Several art pieces were shown including the Temple of Reduced Expectations (by JRad), a Balsa Phoenix (by Jordan), a last minute Waffle, Balsa Shave signs on the beach leading to the Balsa Man (by MissySB), little pink statues (by Anthony Ricci), and the MiniDDI (by me). There was even a mini-trash fence to keep people from wandering off into the dunes!

The Man burned first of course (even before the one on the Playa due to whiteout conditions), and was followed by the Temple and the Phoenix. While attempting to run MiniDDI, Rubin missed a step in “Butterfly” which triggered a terrible software glitch and caused the whole thing to go up in flames. It was a beautiful disaster.

As with every event, there was of course photo and video documentation:
My Balsa Man 2008 photos
My videos (Balsa Man Burn, DDI Burn)
The Temple Burn (video)
Forest’s photos
~Jeanne~’s photos
ebisue’s photos
Balsa Man 2008 Flickr pool

And of course blog posts:
Official wrap-up from Colin

If you have yours to add, drop a comment. It was awesome to see so many people come out and so much participation in this little event. A huge thanks specifically goes out to Colin for putting everything together.


Dance Dance Immolation on

Filed Under Fire Art | 2008-07-25, 15:17

Dance Dance Immolation

As many of you already know, Dance Dance Immolation is a project from Interpretive Arson, a fire art group I’m part of. It was originally built by a talented group of friends and is now maintained and improved by a number of people. We try to bring it out a couple times a year to run and show it off. Every now and then this results in some press. Occasionally we’ll get some random out of the blue mention in an article somewhere. The latest is a small blurb in a article entitled “Geeks Get Their Game On”. It’s an article about the different and unique games and activities geeks engage in these days. Here’s the blurb on us:

For those that like their fun with a frisson of fear, there’s “Dance Dance Immolation,” a game that pairs the hit music videogame “Dance Dance Revolution” with balls of flame. Participants boogie along with the game–a kind of Twister set to music–while covered in firefighter gear. Missteps activate blasts of fire, often to the face. The brainchild of Interpretive Arson, a California-based “fire art troupe,” DDI is mostly played at outdoor festivals.

It’s always cool to see DDI/IA in the news somewhere, and the kicker for me in this case is that Forbes decided to run my photo (original on flickr) with the article.

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Spelling Fire with Fire

Filed Under Fire, Video | 2007-02-28, 14:52

Fire Display

Forget all the new-fangled flat screen, LCD, HDMI, and super high-end displays out there. You know what you really want is a good old fashioned, back to the basics, fire display. NAO Designs has one ready for you if you’re ready to shell out the dough. Unfortunately the resolution is only 12×7, but come on, it’s on fire! The Infernoptix is 84 pixels of flame-licking goodness. There are several different modes that it can run in:

Text Mode – Think scrolling marquee without the lame LED lights.
Tracker Mode – “Draw” with the mouse or keyboard in real-time
Percussion Mode – Use the sounds of fire to create your own tunes.
Animation Mode – Low resolution animated patterns
Audio Mode – Winamp visualization in real fire!

I don’t know why we’re wasting time with all this writing, just watch:

More videos.

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