Fire, Puppets, Rootabagas! (Crucible Fire Arts Fest)

The “Golden Mean” snail car, a featured installation at the Fire Arts Festival this year. (Photo by Kim Sallaway.)

Heads up, Californians! The Crucible’s 9th annual Fire Arts Festival, “a spectacular open-air exhibition of astounding performances, fire sculpture and interactive art, lights up the sky at the Crucible’s new Fire Arts Arena in the freeway canyon lands of West Oakland.” Commencing this evening and running through Saturday the 18th, the festival is a full ten acres of installations, vendors, roving theatrics, circus arts, fire performers and aerialists.

For months now, Coilhouse co-editor Meredith Yayanos has been in meetings and rehearsals, preparing for this epic event. She’s a key player in The Rootabaga Opera, the featured musical performance at the festival this year. Composed by Mer’s good friend Dan Cantrell, the massive scale, multi-disciplinary work features dancers, acrobats, 20-foot high shadow puppet projections, pyrotechnics, a chamber orchestra and an Eastern European-influenced women’s choir. The whimsical narrative is based on noted American poet Carl Sandburg’s cherished early 20th century folk tales, The Rootabaga Stories.

A few of the Rootabaga Opera shadow puppets by Mark Bulwinkle. They’ll be projected onto a towering scrim and lit by arc welders.

Other featured music performances will include Poor Man’s Whiskey, BlacKMahal, Lucero, and last but certainly not least, Mer’s longtime chum and collaborator, Amanda Fucking Palmer. Mer actually postponed her move to Middle Earth, NZ specifically to participate in this event. She says “I haven’t been so proud or so glad about a music project in a very long time. I’m hoping to see a lot of our readers there!” Rumor has it she’ll be bringing her penny farthing and her Stroh along, too.

After the jump, some more related videos and images, and a long, illustrious list of artists contributing their large scale installations to the massive fundraising event.

Rebecca Anders – Fishbug
Dave Andres
Michael Christian – Elevation
Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito
Department of Spontaneous Combustion

Matisse Enzer – Flamethrower Shooting Gallery

Orion Fredericks
Charlie Gadeken
Ryon Gesink
Wally Glenn
Justin Gray
Kristin Hoard

False Profit Labs

Interpretive Arson
Jeremy Krentz
Lil’ Ju Ju
Catie Magee

Mark Perez – The Life-Size Mousetrap

Christian Ristow – The Hand of Man

Alan Rorie – Neuron Chamber
Alexander Rose and Camron Assadi
Jon Sarriugarte
Jack Schroll – El Diablo
Patrick Scott
Nate Smith – Fire Vortex
Kal Spelletich
Earl Stirling
Mardi Storm
Michael Sturtz
Evan Tracy
Team Gnome
Maria Zhalnina

5 Responses to “Fire, Puppets, Rootabagas! (Crucible Fire Arts Fest)”

  1. Crucible Fire Arts Fest near Oakland, starting tonight | Renegade Futurist Says:

    […] Coilhouse: Fire, Puppets, Rootabagas! (Crucible Fire Arts Fest) […]

  2. Kyrsten Says:

    Wow! I’m one the co-builders of the Golden Mean (the Snail) and have been a big fan of Coilhouse. What an honor to have a photo of the Snail here! I just came back from the 1st half of the opening night of the Fire Festival and it will be a great event this year. The Rootabaga has fantastic music. So everyone go over there!

  3. Mer Says:

    Kyrsten, seriously?! Well, I’m a big fan of YOURS. Every time I see the Golden Mean, I well up with happy tears! (I know that sounds emo, but it’s da’ friggin’ troot.) Will you be around tomorrow? I might have to pop over to the Boiler Bar and hug you hello!

  4. Graham Says:

    Another Fire Arts Festival artist and huge Coilhouse fan checking in! Thank you for all the work you do to provide toteable, as well as online, awesomeness! Come on by the Department of Spontaneous Combustion, and we’ll find something for you to set on fire! Smouldering bunnies from the Burning Bunny dunktank, anyone? Mmmm… smells like victory!

  5. Kyrsten Says:

    Ooops, I just read this. I could only pop by the festival tonight, but I will there all tomorrow and Saturday night. Yes, stop by!