Flux & Fire is a large-scale interactive fire experience that captures the idea that art can be made anywhere, be temporary and articulated in flames. The beauty of Flux & Fire is that is can be experienced and controlled by 1 to 2 participants as well as 2-4 children or families simultaneously.
Flux & Fire is a collaborative adaption of Interpretive Arsons’ 2PiR for Canada and was first displayed as an Independent Project for Toronto’s Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2010: Flux & Fire was awarded the People’s Choice for Independent Projects .
More recently Flux & Fire was showcased at Ottawa’s Winterlude 2011 as an exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Civilization with a perfect view of Canada’s Parliament House.
PHILOSOPHY of Flux & Fire; The Unity of Opposites
Heraclitus (~500BC) was admired by his contemporaries for the theory of flux, which influenced many generations of philosophers after him. Before Heraclitus everything was firmly embedded into an indivisible universe. The common principles of nature were perceived as everlasting and unchangeable.
Heraclitus looked at everything as being in the state of permanent flux and, hence, reality being merely a succession of transitory states. He held that fire is the primordial element out of which everything else arises.
Another of Heraclitus’ main teachings can be called the “unity of opposites”. The unity of opposites means that opposites cannot exist without each other – there is no day without night, no warm without cold, no light without darkness, and no good without bad. To put it in his own words: “It is wise to agree that all things are one. In differing it agrees with itself.”
Comparing the convergence of opposites is perfectly in harmony with his theory of Flux & Fire. Fire itself is the symbol of perpetual change because it transforms a substance into another substance without being a substance itself.
THE ART OF DISCOVERY, SURPRISE INTERACTION AND REASON
Imagine during the evening a lone wanderer catches a glimpse of dancing flames. The wanderer is drawn to the flames; for to be around fire is to be connected to an intimate place where humans have always gathered. What could these flames be…a bonfire, a burning sculpture, a random act of vandalism?
Instead they discover another Nuit Blanche wanderer dancing on a platform within a ring of fire – but not just any fire. This fire is brought to life by the dancer. It responds to their moves!
The dancer stops, the flames subside, light extinguishes and a space is left dark and cold beckoning our wanderer to explore the blue circle glowing on the raised platform floor.
They step up, glance at the cool blue lights surrounding them and give the “OK” sign to the Fire & Flux curators. The lights change to red and new wanderers come to watch.
As our wanderer explores the six foot diameter platform a flash of flames appears in the outer circle several feet away. The wanderer reaches out with another hand and a larger flash of flames rises on the opposite side of the circle.
Our wanderer quickly learns that it is their own movements over the red platform lights that create these series of flames. They control the hidden mechanisms, choreographing fire through motion; learning the secret of varying heights, and creating complex and beautiful patterns with the outer ring of flames. The patterns of flames and opposing moments of darkness are always in flux, ever transforming the shadows on the faces of other onlookers surrounding the ring – drawn to the dancing flames.
Through the Fire & Flux spontaneous and intuitive concentric ring of fire, participants explore the mark-making potential of light in the darkness. The balance of movement,rhythm and inactivity captures the idea that art can be made anywhere, be temporary and articulated in flames.
Winterlude 2011 Artistic Team
Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2010 ARTISTIC TEAM