Night Fire Swim

Skowhegan, ME

3'h x 35'w x 10'd and lake: water, propane flame: ©1991

NIGHT FIRE SWIM was a temporary interactive sculpture in a beautiful lake in Skowhegan Maine. A 10' wall of gas-filled white bubbles was created under water. At the surface they erupted into 3' h flames above the lake surface. The audience/participants were urged to swim to the fire. Under the surface, when they passed (swam) through the white wall of bubbles, the sound was like breaking icicles as they looked up to see the fire burning over head. The viewer/ participants then, being wet, could approach the flame without fear of being burnt. They could pass their arms through the bubbles allowing the flame to crawl over the arm without being burnt. Then they learned to control the fire patterns by manipulating the bubbles' direction under the surface of the water. This project was designed to somewhat bypass the traditional cerebral cortex and to access that more primitive aspect of our brain stem... allowing us to access a more visceral and direct experience.