Following on from The Firehelix project from 2014, we worked as part of the Frogma Art Collective to bring another spinning, musical fire sculpture to Black Rock City.
The Fire Ancestor is a 13′ tall arrangement of steel and aluminium tubing, plumbing, flame effects, and electronics, all mounted on a giant roller bearing which is coupled to a 2HP motor. The shape is inspired by the large ‘dust devils’ that peel off huge fires such as the ones seen at big burns at Burning Man.
Surrounding the piece are four musical instrument stations that visitors can play along with and in response to the Fire Ancestor’s flame effect patterns and sequences. The instruments and the Fire Ancestor listens to all of the instruments via contact microphones, and engages in a series of call-and-response patterns.
Details on the plumbing can be found on Trey Watkins’ website