Site 3 Fire Arts is a community group made up of volunteers from a variety of different backgrounds. Based out of Site 3 coLaboratory, a makerspace in downtown Toronto, we create interactive fire projects that bring together art, engineering, software programming, stagecraft and game design. Our goal? Encourage friendly competition and the ridiculous smack talking that goes along with it by creating new ways for participants to control fire beyond just pushing buttons.
The Project (2012 Burning Man Honourarium)
Super Street Fire is a live-action adaptation of Street Fighter 2 only with the fire of a thousands suns. Set on a real-life version of Ryu’s classic stage, Super Street Fire sees two brave fighters duke it out while wearing motion-sensing gloves that capture every throw from perfectly timed blocks to deadly hadoukens. With each attack, fire hurtles towards the opponent as they scramble to retaliate or succumb to fiery damage. Still remember combos? Good. The stronger the attack, the greater the spectacle. As the countdown clock winds down, punches are thrown, life is lost, and a victor is named.
The Nerd Porn: Wearables
Similar to a Nintendo Wii-mote, the custom designed motion-sensing gloves contain intertial measurement units that capture a player’s actions. It then wirelessly sends this data to a game server that detects if those actions match one of the pre-trained game gestures. If the gesture is recognized, the game system gives feedback to the player by activating the flame effects.
The Nerd Porn: Flame Effects
The 32 flame effect heads are propane-fed devices that emit a column of fire high into the air. Flame effects are expressed as two rails of eight computer controlled flame effect heads, one rail for the right hand gestures and one for the left, as well as an outer ring of sixteen flame effects triggered by special combos or controlled by the Master of Games for crowd engagement. The game system is computer hardware and software with an Arduino microcontroller that interfaces with the flame effect head solenois to regulate both the intensity and duration of the flame.
What could possibly be better than Skee Ball? How about fire-erupting Skee Ball? Lovingly dubbed Riskee Ball, this reimagined arcade staple will blast fire from the central row of target holes and straight out the top when some serious celebrating is in order. Topped with rotating warning lights and air horns to signal special game modes, like sudden death eruption mode where points scored on one machine triggers flames on them all, this bank of ten modular machines are the perfect addition to any pyromaniac’s arcade. Play it at the Charcade, a 2013 Burning Man Honourarium project.
The Nerd Porn: Flame Effects
The flame effect control system is custom designed hardware that will activate the five flame effects on each machine. One large effect head will connect to two outlets on the top, and four flame effects will fire through the target holes. Feeding of the machine’s primary fuel line, a low pressure pilot system made of perforated copper pipe will circle each of the four central holes, so they glow with a constant ring of flame. The machines themselves will be constructed using formed aluminum, and the ramps will be made of aluminum sheet that can be rolled for easy transportation to our favourite dust city.
Special Thanks to Our Fire-Loving Volunteers
Sometimes it was freezing cold. Sometimes it rained all over our precious circuit boards. Sometimes it was wickedly dusty. Many thanks to all of our awesome volunteers for saying, “fuck it” and showing up anyway. You know who you are.
Interested in getting involved? Send us an email