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Le Attrata: Flame and Tech Meet in a Fiery Steel Sculpture to Debut at Burning Man 2016, by THERM, a West Oakland Artists Collective.
Le Attrata: Flame and Tech Meet in a Fiery Steel Sculpture to Debut at Burning Man 2016, by THERM, a West Oakland Artists Collective.
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255 backers pledged $26,056 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Therm + Maker Faire

Therm is proud to be a part of Maker Faire Bay Area 2016: May 20-22 in San Mateo. We will be displaying some of our favorite fire sculptures and showing components of Le Attrata. It’s always an amazing event! Please stop by and say hello, and learn more about Le Attrata in person! You will be able to pledge to our campaign at our booth, and all Backers at Maker Faire will receive their stickers on the spot!

Do you like fire? 

Have you ever wondered if people would flock to flame-throwing moths the same way moths flock to flame? Le Attrata is an attempt to answer these questions in the form of a stunning 20ft tall, illuminated, fire sculpture. Three moths, each powered by their own jet engine spewing fire, perch atop crystal towers. Each one creates its own beautifully terrifying song reminiscent of a sci-fi action movie, and wrapped in a futuristic, glowing sculpture that doubles as an ethereal gathering place. Do you like LED's and art?  We have a reward for you! 

Thermokraken, an early work by Therm.
Thermokraken, an early work by Therm.

Le Attrata: The Experience

From afar, in the darkness, you see blazes of flame coming from the tips of a triad of glowing, crystalline spires. Your ears detect a low roar punctuated with a great booming as fire shoots into the sky. As you approach the flaming sculpture you behold the Fuoco Falene: giant creatures that resemble moths -if moths could consume the flame that attracts them! The Fuoco Falene, the fiery beasts of Le Attrata, come to us from an imagined future in which they cleanse toxic waste in a captivating display of colored fire and roaring sound.

As you make your way to Le Attrata your path is lit by the Falene’s glowing chrysalises. The creatures metaphorizing within sense your presence and begin radiating colors as you approach. The Fuoco Falene, quiet for the moment, perch twenty feet above the ground. A gentle pool of light emanates from the spires they rest upon. The wings of the Falene stretch overhead, gently burning. Their flames are flickering yellows and hot blues.

The Falene-Handlers appear, and the Fuoco Falene’s feeding begins! The Falene’s bodies begin to glow as they emit hot, almost violent, flames in a mesmerizing show of light, color, and fuel consumption. The Falene speak in fires of orange, blue, green, pink, and yellow -punctuated by showers of brilliant sparks. Sharp blasts rock the night as the Fuoco Falene consume their fuels. Great gushes of fire emerge from their mouths, while their wings reflect the fiery splendor!

After the feeding, as the fires burn low once again, Le Attrata’s illuminated elements provide a soft, alluring light, and the wooden benches amongst the Falene’s perches beckon the gathered souls who, like the Fuoco Falene themselves, are drawn to fire -waiting, together, for the next feeding to begin!

Rendering by Jake Bjeldenes.
Rendering by Jake Bjeldenes.

Le Attrata: Specifics

Le Attrata's footprint is a 40' x 40' circle dominated by a trilateral base. The core of the sculpture contains an LED light well, which illuminates the three crystalline spires that provide the perches for the Fuoco Falene, creatures that resemble moths. Three turbine driven blast furnaces power the Fuoco Falene, the principal fire effect of Le Attrata, filling them with heat and colored flames. A team of trained operators conducts live fire shows. The surrounding structures provide not only a perch for the Falene, but also an immersive and beautiful platform for human interaction with illuminated sculpture and wooden benches embedded in the sections of the sculpture that connect the three spires. Surrounding the sculpture are multiple cocoon-inspired LED lamps, that glow in a shifting set of colors. At the perimeter of the piece are various light effects, including small glowing grubulars, drawing people into the heart of the piece -like moths to a flame. Le Attrata will debut in Black Rock Desert at Burning Man 2016. We will also be filming Le Attrata’s debut to share at film festivals. This film will be available as a pledge reward to Backers who might not otherwise be able to experience Le Attrata in person.

 Le Attrata: LED Spectacle

Le Attrata isn’t just a fire sculpture, it’s also an extensive LED light installation. The sculpture and the perimeter will contain over 3000 LED’s, each a few inches in size. By mapping these LEDs together we can create patterns and lighting effects throughout the sculpture. Le Attrata’s LED lighting stays on, illuminating the sculpture even after the fires die down. Each LED will be individually mapped: they will be placed within Le Attrata’s glowing spires, through the sculpture’s base, under the benches in the sculpture, and along the perimeter. By connecting all of these LED’s we will be able to turn Le Attrata into a light show, by creating lighting effects that will ripple throughout not only the sculpture but its environment. Le Attrata’s LEDs will be programmed to run multiple light patterns, which means an ever-changing flow of different colored lights throughout the sculpture.

In Le Attrata’s center, between the three crystal spires that the moths perch upon, will be a central light well that provides uplighting to the spires and a light spectacle of its own! This well will be filled with lighted crystalline structures made of PLA and resin that mimic the three tall spires. Each large crystal will have a ring-shaped LED in their custom 3D printed bases and will have strips of dense LEDs going up their insides, creating a capillary effect in light. The five LED filled chrysalis pods will provide lights around Le Attrata’s perimeter. During the moth’s fire shows rope lighting will be strung between the chrysalis to cordon off a safety permitter around the sculpture.

Le Attrata will use AdaFruit addressable LEDs in small groups of 10-20 lights, each one the size of a pencil eraser in diameter; arranged in ring, bar, gem, and strip shapes. These LEDs can be connected with each other, and then, using FadeCandy controllers with a Raspberry Pi processor, all of the connected LED’s can be programmed to change their color and brightness in a coordinated show of lights. Le Attrata's six benches will have LED strips illuminating them, creating a soft under-glow to light up the benches in the desert night. The moths themselves will be lit from below by DMX controlled RGB Par CANs, LED spotlights that can be controlled via midi to create a custom light show.

This monumental work of lighting and computing technology can only be achieved if we reach our Kickstarter goal. For a $200 pledge you can take a class in programming LED art taught by members of Therm’s LED crew. Please help us bring spectacular lighting shows to every one of Le Attrata’s fire performances!

Le Attrata: Lore

It was in the year 2175 that The Events began. Earth had become inhospitable to we humans, ravaged, as it was, by our industrial pollution, population explosion, and the eradication of our planet’s biodiversity. Until then we had been unable, unwilling, to change our ways: the pull of money and power, and the filth that came with it, had been too strong for too long.

The Events of 2175 demanded all of our creativity: to find fantastical solutions to the horrific problems we, ourselves, had wrought. And it was a promise that saved us: a renewal of the vows between Science and Nature. One team of Biomech-Engineers found a way to transform our millennia-long accumulation of waste (much of it not only toxic, but highly flammable). Guided by Nature Herself, the team developed several successful methods for consuming the accumulated filth, but the most popular by far were the Fuoco Falene.

The Fuoco Falene were at once BioMech, artistry, and divine intervention. Fuoco Falene -Fire Moths- are drawn to the most noxious wastes and consume them in a fiery fashion, leaving behind only a benign byproduct from their combustive consumptions. So spectacular are their feedings that the Fuoco Falene have become sought after for their beauty. It has become fashionable to convert outdated civic fixtures, from fountains to foundries, to attract the Fuoco Falene. There the people gather, beseeching the Fire Moths to come and absolve us of our wastes.

Le Attrata + Therm

Le Attrata is the literal re-ignition of Therm: a fire arts collective made up of 30 highly skilled artists and experienced sculptors of flame and steel. Since 1998 Therm and its members have produced both static and kinetic sculptures featuring sophisticated flame effects, exploring the intersection of thermodynamics and art. Members have displayed their work both individually and collectively as Therm. Le Attrata, designed by Margaret Long and Orion Fredericks, has challenged Therm’s members to push the boundaries of fire art, embracing a more inclusive sculpture while maintaining the level of expertise and safety Therm is renowned for. Among the many creations of the collective and its individual members, Therm created the Thermo-Kraken: a 26 ft tall blast-furnace-based steel fire sculpture that debuted at Burning Man 2002, and which was shown for several years running.

Rewards

These are just some of our rewards, be sure to check out the full list!

 Classes:

Learn how to make (and then take home) your own programmable LED art from Therm’s experienced LED artists! In this five hour session at the Therm studio in Oakland (max four students), you will learn: basic soldering, how to connect basic electronics to a 5 volt power source, and introductory programming, to make your LEDs blink, strobe and flash. All materials will be supplied and no previous experience is required. Soldering irons will be provided, and we will be using lead-based solder. This class will be held before Burning man, so you can use the provided LEDs, flora, wire, solder, conductive thread, needles, magnets, and pins to turn your art into a fully lit, wearable object for the playa!  BONUS CLASS JUST ADDDED: INCLUDES RAIDING LE ATTRATA'S LEFTOVERS!  You can pick and choose, take home, and treasure anything you like from the materials left over from building Le Attrata!

 Digital Sound Library:

Sound plays a huge role in Le Attrata, from the blasts of the furnaces that create the flames to the sounds in the our workshop as we build it: welders, grinders, motors, and the clang of metal on metal. We are offering a professionally recorded, digital library of the sounds of Le Atrrata to Backers who pledge $10 or more. A special reward for those who play with sound, make music, and love unusual sounds! Delivery via Dropbox August 2016. Check out a sample here: 

Custom, Unique Fire Sculptures. Three left!

Yes, you can have a fire sculpture of your very own!  These sculptures are made by past and present members of Therm and range from 18-36" in height -ideal for a back yard.  Each sculpture comes complete with plumbing, and ready to hook up to a standard BBQ propane tank. 

The beautiful flower sculptures are made by Therm artist and Le Attrata co-designer, Margaret Long. The sculptures are made of stainless steel, mild steel, and copper. They are completely TIG welded, and finished in a variety of patinas, with heat treatments, and clear coating.  Designed to burn blue/yellow flames, they produce less soot than orange/red flames. Read more about the artist here: https://cutewhendirty.com

"Sprout" comes from Therm veteran Vance Cearley, and evokes Therm's earlier work, "Thermokraken".  A lovely feature for your patio!  Read more about the artist here: http://www.varnishfineart.com/Artist-Info.cfm?ArtistsID=512&Object=#GeneralInfo

 Two Nights in the Green Mountains of Vermont:

 Original Paintings on the Theme of Winged Insects:

Internationally renowned artist Janet Fredericks has contributed two of her lovely paintings to help Therm create Le Attrata.  Featuring moths and butterflies, respectively, these two paintings gracefully echo Le Attrata's moth-y theme, but in a radically different, non-burning, format.  Read more about the artist on her web site:  http://www.janetfredericksstudio.com

 Le Attrata: Our Progress

Le Attrata: The Project

Art of this complexity doesn’t come cheap -nonetheless Therm members receive no payment for their services. Le Attrata’s budget of $62,000 goes entirely towards the sculpture’s components, shop space, supplies, and support logistics. Burning Man has provided us with an honorarium to cover close to two-thirds of our budget (Burning Man’s honorariums are not intended to cover the full cost of the projects that receive them). We have also held two benefit shows featuring fire art from Therm members to raise money for Le Attrata. So far we have $42,000, and now we turn to you, through Kickstarter, to raise the last $20,000 necessary to bring Le Attrata to life. (Of our $25,000 Kickstarter Goal $5000 will go to Kickstarter’s fees and to produce pledge reward gifts for our Backers). Your pledge will go toward steel, bolts, and grinder disks. It will go towards propane hoses, safety gear, and electrical cords. It will go towards creating a story told with light and fire -one you become a part of with your pledge!

Should we surpass our funding goal, the additional money will be spent on improving Le Attrata and building backup components to ensure that Le Attrata’s performances will not be disrupted. It will also go towards rent and equipment for our fabrication shop, and storage space for Le Attrara when it’s not in use. Le Attrata is expected to be shown at a variety of venues and events long after its debut at Burning Man 2016 -making it all the more important that we raise the funds needed to build it to last far into the future.

Please back us! Le Attrata is going to be the hottest thing Therm has ever created -we could melt steel if we aren't careful! Be a part of the hotness: back our Kickstarter campaign and please, spread the word!

 Le Attrata Timeline

Risks and challenges

Our biggest challenge is the race against the clock! The build cycle for Le Attrata is very short and we are entirely dependent on the unpaid labor of the 30 members of our collective who individually contribute between 10 and 40 hours a week towards our projects.

Our love of reuse presents its own challenges- most of which we are inspired by and enjoy- but old turbines carry their history with them, and dealing with that requires ingenuity and skill.

Playing with fire is not only inherently risky, but even with our combined 50+ years of experience, fire can be fickle. Using it to bring the sculptures to life will require experimenting and testing.

We have a team of highly experienced artists, welders, engineers, and sculptors with a proven track record of building huge, safe, and fiery sculptures in time for Burning Man.

On a more profound level, the challenge of raising the funds to complete Le Attrata is just as great as the time to complete it is short. Without funding from our Kickstarter campaign individual members of Therm will have to go into debt to complete the piece. This kind of financial sacrifice leaves our members with less time and resources to share our art with others or produce new pieces in future.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Want to just send us a little something to pay for an angle grinder disk? $5, just because you like us. No strings attached.

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    A digital sample library of high quality recordings of shop sounds, turbines, robots, etc. Many of the recordings will be performed by a professional acoustician using high quality gear such as Sennheiser MKH 8050 microphones and a Sound Devices 788T field recorder.

    The library will include ten unique sounds and one short video of one of the subjects making the sounds. Delivery via Dropbox August 2016.

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    Stickers! 3 different designs, 3 of each (9 total)
    Put them all the places!

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    A snazzy limited edition Le Attrata bandanna, for those things you use a bandanna for, and a sticker pack.

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    Wear your love of Therm! Limited edition Le Attrata T-shirt + sticker pack

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    Stay cool and still be hot: Special screenprint Le Attrata tank top + sticker pack.

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    Flask and shot glass, adorned with the Therm logo, + a sticker pack.

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    Stay warm in your limited edition Le Attrata hoodie + sticker pack

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    12" x 12" high quality metal print of Le Attrata, to be taken at Burning Man.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Fire Photography Class.
    Capturing the color and movement of fire on digital media can be very challenging. Join Therm photographer Lorah Gross to learn how to record your most magnificent encounters with fire.
    This exclusive class will have no more than four students, allowing for plenty of individual attention. There will be a fire sculpture set up during the three hour class for you to practice on with your cameras, as you learn how to choose settings, as well as tips for post production and printing your photos. You'll also get a sneak peak at Le Attrata and meet some of Therm's members.

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    LED Art Class:
    Learn how to make (and then take home) your own programmable LED art from Therm’s experienced LED artists!. In this five hour session at the Therm studio in Oakland (maximum of four students), you will learn: basic soldering, how to connect basic electronics to a 5 volt power source, and introductory programming, to make your LEDs blink, strobe and flash. All materials will be supplied and no previous experience is required. Soldering irons will be provided, and we will be using lead-based solder. This class will be held before Burning man, so you can use the provided LEDs, flora, wire, solder, conductive thread, needles, magnets, and pins to turn your art into a fully lit, wearable object for the playa!

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    LED Art Class & RAID LE ATTRATA'S LEFTOVERS!
    Learn how to make (and then take home) your own programmable LED art from Therm’s experienced LED artists!. In this five hour session at the Therm studio in Oakland (maximum of six students), you will learn: basic soldering, how to connect basic electronics to a 5 volt power source, and introductory programming, to make your LEDs blink, strobe and flash. All materials will be supplied and no previous experience is required. Soldering irons will be provided, and we will be using lead-based solder. This class will be held before Burning man, so you can use the provided LEDs, flora, wire, solder, conductive thread, needles, magnets, and pins to turn your art into a fully lit, wearable object for the playa! PLUS: Raid the leftovers from Le Attrata's build, keep whatever you'd like.

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    Schwag maven! You well branded lover of fire, get a Le Attrata hoodie, Le Attrata t-shirt, flask, stickers, bandanna and a 8" x 8" high quality metal print of Le Attrata.

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    4hr welding lesson for two with a member of Therm. We'll provide an introduction to mig and tig welding.

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    Two Nights at a B&B in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Two evenings at the country home of well known magician Tom Verner and international artist Janet Fredericks located in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont. Tom and Janet who will make you hearty country breakfasts and recommend the best places to view the Fall colors! Date to be determined for Fall 2016.

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    "Sprout", by Vance Cearley.
    A one of a kine, small-scale fire sculpture, evocative of Therm's early work, "Thermokraken", made by Vance Cearley. This sculpture is perfect for a patio and will run on a propane BBQ tank.

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    Beautiful, one of a kind fire flower sculpture by Therm member Margaret Long.
    These flowers are spiky seed puff balls of flowers- layers of perforated stainless steel folded to create a texture that traps and plays with flame. The stalks stand about 2ft high, the base is about 1ft wide, and the flowers produce a blue and yellow flame.
    The sculpture comes set up to connect to a standard 5lb BBQ propane tank.

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    Beautiful, one of a kind fire flower sculpture by Therm member Margaret Long.
    This sculpture is a swirl of poppies made from copper, and mild steel, and is completely tig welded. High quality finishes including patina, clear coating, and heat treating. The flames burn bright blue and yellow, producing very little soot, and the sculpture comes set up to connect to a standard 5lb BBQ propane tank.
    The piece sits securely on a heavy base, about 2ft wide and 2ft tall.

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    Become a part of the Le Attrata crew for a night at Burning Man, and take the honor of lighting the sculpture, bringing the Falena to life.

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    Pledge $1,050 or more About $1,050

    Beautiful, one of a kind fire flower sculpture by Therm member Margaret Long.
    This flower is a bird of paradise, made from stainless steel, copper, and mild steel, and is completely tig welded. High quality finishes including patina, clear coating, and heat treating. The flames burn bright blue and yellow, producing very little soot, and the sculpture comes set up to connect to a standard 5lb BBQ propane tank.
    This elegant piece stands about 3ft tall, and has a 1ft base. The flower itself is about 2ft long, petals about 1ft.

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    “Flowers that fly and all but sing . . . “
    An original painting of moths by Vermont artist Janet Fredericks, inspired by Robert Frost.
    Acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30”.

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    “Psyche and Her Sisters”
    An original painting of butterflies by Vermont artist Janet Fredericks.
    Acrylic on canvas, 30" x 40".

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    Private party for you and 100 of your friends at the Therm work space in Oakland, CA. We'll provide several sculptures on fire for the evening, as well as some libations. To be scheduled after Burning Man.

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Funding period

- (38 days)