Fire Arts Festival 2008

15 Jul

This year’s Crucible Fire Arts Festival was my favorite so far. But I’ll let the photos do most of the talking… (Thanks to my awesome girlfriend for taking the vast majority of these pictures!)

On the main stage, there were performers throughout the night, but the highlight was this graceful, incredibly coordinated, strong pair of acrobats – it’s not pictured here, but at one point, one of the women was hanging from the hook by her neck!

And there was certainly a large crowd all night long to watch them and the other performers:

But the stage was not the main attraction for me. The Steampunk Treehouse was where it was at, both outside and inside (and climbing up it, finally!).

But the Kinetic Steam Works crew couldn’t bring just one art installation – they had to bring their steam powered train too:

Once I got my fill of the steam, I could focus on everything else that was around me, like Hydrogen Economy, an interactive piece that allows participants to turn bubbles into fire.

Or another interactive piece by the same artists – False Profit Labs – that hooked up a stethoscope to a participant and then projected his/her heartbeat into fire.

And everywhere I turned, there was fire.

Or a flaming head…

Or flaming cacti…

Dan Das Mann & Karen Cusolito were back with two of their figures from Crude Awakening, which were also on fire for most of the night.

And of course, there were some Burning Man reminders.

If you didn’t make it to the festival this year, no need to be jealous. It happens every year, and it really does seem to get better and better every time. Though it’s a bit pricey, I found out something neat from one of the festival staffers – the Crucible gives out free tickets to everyone who lives within a three block radius!

And though the above photos focus on the fire and arts, one of the best parts of the festival for me was seeing such a wide range of Oakland and Bay Area residents enjoying fire arts together. Young, old, people of every color, experienced Burners, people who would never dream of spending a week in the desert – and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves thoroughly. Thanks to the Crucible for producing such uniquely Oakland events and for drawing thousands of people into our beautiful city to celebrate fire!

(By the way – could anyone else hear the festival from across the city? I fell asleep on Friday night in my apartment in North Oakland to the sounds of deep rumblings and explosions – though I live far away, I can’t imagine what else the sounds could have been.)

6 Responses to “Fire Arts Festival 2008”

  1. David July 15, 2008 at 6:28 pm #

    If it was 10:30 or 11 Friday evening, those sounds might have been the annual fireworks after the A’s game. I could hear them really loudly where I was near Lake Merritt, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the sound travelled to the Berkeley border.

  2. Becks July 15, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    David – thanks, that makes a lot more sense, though it was kind of nice to imagine I was hearing the Fire Arts Festival 🙂

  3. dto510 July 16, 2008 at 12:14 pm #

    You know what the three blocks around the Crucible are, right? The Acorn housing project. It’s great that the Crucible is involving its neighbors, but I don’t think anyone’s going to move there to get the free tickets…

  4. Becks July 16, 2008 at 12:31 pm #

    I didn’t mean to insinuate that people would move there to get free tickets – I just know that some people complain that nobody in the neighborhood could afford to go so I thought it was a nice gesture.

  5. JustinY July 21, 2008 at 11:12 pm #

    The aerial cerceaux artists are Kate and Chloe aka Scarlett + Axelrod they are dazzling talents!

  6. Becks July 22, 2008 at 8:27 am #

    Justin – thanks for telling me their names. They were one of the highlights of the night.

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