Burn Cycle: Living with Fire

After years of drought, California has faced devastating new levels of fire severity and risk.   Wildfire can occur suddenly, but its invisible relationships to woodlands, water, climate, and people are always present.  This exhibit’s location has direct views of land in the local wildland-urban interface, offering a perfect setting for critical community dialog about fire safety, adaptation to its risks, and our relationships to natural cycles of destruction and renewal.  Through the joined experiences of art, science, and professional practice, the aim is to expand an interest in fire and encourage fire-wise choices.

The multimedia installations in the Burn Cycle exhibit each offer an exploration of wildfire from a different perspective.  You can stand inside of fire moving through longleaf pine forest in “Walk Into Wildfire”. You can swoop through time and space to see how a real Southern California landscape changes with fire in “Future Mountain”.  And you can experience the work of fire researchers and managers with the short films in the adjacent building. Art and science come together to bring the fire experience to life.

Presented by the Strategic Environmental Research Initiative on Fire (SERI-Fire) at UCSB Bren School of Environmental Science & Management in collaboration with Burn Cycle Project.





Entering Wildfire

Presentations of audio and video from fireproof camera boxes allow viewers to have a proxy experience of wild-land fire as it rapidly changes a landscape.  These mobile exhibits have allowed residents in fire-prone areas to safely confront the possibilities of fire, prompting conversations and an interest in learning more.  Burn Cycle Project began producing immersive video exhibits in 2015 with “Entering Wildfire”, created for SERI Fire and UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science and Management.  Installation by Ethan Turpin, Jonathan PJ Smith, and Justin Harmon, with footage recorded by Ian Grob of the US Forest Service.

Entering Wildfire from Bright Eye Cinema on Vimeo.



Burn Cycle: Sharing Land with Wildfire

“Burn Cycle: Sharing Land with Wildfire”, observed 50 years of Santa Barbara fires through their physical remnants, press documents, and data visualizations.  The exhibit was produced and curated by Ethan Turpin for the UCSB Library in 2014 with participation from researchers, reporters, and community members.  SERI Fire was a cosponsor and facilitator of collaborations.