In 2015 Burn Cycle began producing immersive video installations, giving viewers a proxy view inside wild-land fire. Multiple projections of fireproof camera footage, with its sound, allows for an otherwise unsurvivable point of view as fire rapidly changes a landscape. These exhibits have allowed residents in fire-prone areas to viscerally and safely confront the possibilities of fire. The intensity of the experience opens up conversations and interest in learning more. Developments of a "pop-up" screen system now allows us to reach both fire trainee and civilian audiences with mobile exhibits.
Pictured: “Walk Into Wildfire” Bozeman, Montana, 2016. Installation by Ethan Turpin and Jonathan PJ Smith, with footage recorded by Ian Grob of the US Forest Service.
In April of 2019 the Burn Cycle and SERI Fire team produced a public exhibit about wildfire science and management in downtown Santa Barbara with the help of community partners. This demo video focuses on two primary features of the exhibit: “Walk Into Wildfire” and “Future Mountain: An Interactive Fire, Water, & Climate Model”, which allows users to explore over 6 decades of a visualized data from an important Southern Sierra watershed.
“Walk Into Wildfire”, produced as part of “Burn Cycle: Living With Fire” with the SERI-Fire team and UCSB Bren School at the Community Arts Workshop in Santa Barbara, CA, 2019. The addition of light-weight rear projection screens allows for pop-up exhibits in fire-prone communities.
The traveling pop-up version of “Walk Into Wildfire” allows people to confront and learn about wildland fire in the setting of their own community. Deborah Oropallo photo
“Walk Into Wildfire - Mobile System” is designed for public outreach and fire trainee users. Support comes from Max Moritz, UC Cooperative Extension Wildfire Specialist and SERI-Fire at UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Installation support from Jonathan PJ Smith. MB Maher photo
"Walk Into Wildfire", produced for the US Forest Service Region 5 office in Vallejo, California, 2017. Installation by Ethan Turpin and Jonathan PJ Smith, with footage recorded by Ian Grob of the US Forest Service.
"Entering Wildfire", produced for UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management in 2015. Installation by Ethan Turpin, Jonathan PJ Smith, and Justin Harmon, with footage recorded by Ian Grob of the US Forest Service.
"Entering Wildfire" was first shown to fire professionals, academics, and educational donors in 2015 at University California Santa Barbara.
Custom designed scroll-screens create a layered dimension to a smoldering forest in “Entering Wildfire”.
"Walk Into Wildfire" allows people of all ages to have a safe experience of fire's elemental beauty, transformative power, and real world hazards. Here seen in Bozeman, Montana.
Visitors encountering the glowing “Embers” often reach to check for heat. To add an uncanny element to “Walk Into Wildfire” at a US Forest Service exhibit in Vallejo, CA, Ethan Turpin and Jonathan PJ Smith arranged burnt branches and carefully mapped video onto their surfaces.
Using Ethan Turpin’s recordings of structure fires in the wildland urban interface, Jonathan PJ Smith mapped video projections onto the architecture of an existing structure and the surrounding trees. Confronting this simulation can give viewers an opportunity to learn about how to prevent structure fires from starting and spreading. “Burning House” was commissioned for the “Natural Discourse” exhibit at UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station. MB Maher photo