About this project
This is probably the only installation on the playa which puts the ability to shoot burning liquid fuel (not propane gas) horizontally at real targets into the hands of participants.
Modeled after “County Fair”-style shooting galleries, the Last Flamethrower provides a flaming twist on a long-standing American tradition. It pokes gentle fun at the American fascination with firearms and personal power, along with the Burning Man fascination with fire and “radical self expression” by allowing and encouraging participants to safely play with intense fire, in the form of streams of pressurized burning gasoline.
You may have seen a smaller version of our effort in 2008, 2009, or 2013 under the name “Flamethrower Shooting Gallery” and we are very pleased to once again participate as a Burning Man honorarium project as part of the Charnival art village, this time as the Last Flamethrower.
This year we are ramping up the power by building One Big-Ass Flamethrower (OBAF), which will shoot up to 3 times as far as the old ones. In past incarnations, participants operated flamethrowers which held one quart of fuel and would shoot for 8-10 seconds. The new one holds 2-4 GALLONS and shoots a gallon in about 10 seconds. You do the flaming math.
We are also inviting community participation to create new targets on which to wreak safe havoc. We hope to have a garden of kinetic targets which will interact with the flame in interesting and non-mooping ways.
We are delighted to be selected as a Burning Man Honorarium installation. That distinction helps us cover a large portion of our costs, but there's a large gap we still need to fill. FSG will use donated funds to build the new OBAF, a new shooting platform, a new shooting range, and support construction of new flamethrower targets in addition to covering logistics and transport. If we exceed our Kickstarter goals, we will use funds to help enable community artists to create and transport more interesting targets for you to burn.
Thank you for helping us to reach our goals in getting the Last Flamethrower to the Playa, and enabling us to make it an even better experience for participants than in years past. To show our gratitude, we are offering a range of rewards, ranging from cool stickers to actual targets from the installation.
We have a very limited supply of classic items from years past, including iron-on/sew-on patches, FSG t-shirts, and high-quality heavy hoodies.
As part of our safety plan, we have warning tape that encircles the shooting range. Custom made specifically for Last Flamethrower, it is clear and to the point. For a donation, you can have fifty feet of this to adorn your construction project, camp, or as a fashion statement.
We also have one special gift for a significant donation - a classic "man" target. It has been burned numerous times on the playa and at the Crucible's Fire Arts Festival, and is coated with a proprietary amalgam of soot and playa dust.
Risks and challenges
We are doing a very dangerous thing, safely. With this larger flamethrower, we have to ensure that everyone participating, from the shooter and crew to the audience, is completely safe. This new flamethrower will be shooting more burning fuel a farther distance, for a longer time. Safety precautions cannot be compromised. We may need to reduce the distance or duration of firing to stay safe.
OBAF may consume fuel at a faster rate than we currently expect, which would shorten the time that a participant can safely fire.
We are looking to create a "garden" of new targets that the participant can douse with fire. Because these targets must also be safe while being interesting, we may not be able to approve all targets that are built for the final range.
Finally, weather conditions may dictate that we cannot safely open the range each night of the event, or operate during all of the planned hours.
Based on past years' experience, gleeful shouting from the shooters might require some audience members to hold their ears.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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