Working in collaboration, artists Ethan Turpin, Jonathan Smith and architect Justin Harmon teamed up to offer the public a point of view from within a wildfire. Ian Grob of the US Forest Service provided recordings he makes with fire-proof camera boxes, which give rare insights into an otherwise perilous situation. Entering Wildfire was commissioned by the Bren School for Environmental Science and Management at the University of California Santa Barbara as part of Ethan Turpin's Burn Cycle series. By pairing observations of fire ecology with fine art aesthetics, the immersive video installation attracts audiences to confront the elemental beauty, transformative power and real world hazards of fire.
The Entering Wildfire exhibit provides solitary and group experiences through layered video surfaces arranged in space. Documenting the installation with video presents an interesting challenge of representing what it is like to be in a space, which itself proxies a fire event. To this end the tools of art - such as music, movement, editing - can weave both the terrifying force and ecstatic awe perceived in this natural phenomena.