Test Burn

20 Aug Flaming Lotus Girls will bring Pulse, a beating heart of living fire, to Art Party 2016


Fire, I’ll take you to burn…

I’ll see you burn

Fire, Arthur Brown


There could be no more appropriate name than “Flaming Lotus Girls” for the Bay Area collective of more than 100 volunteer artists who make immense, interactive, fire-breathing art out of steel and stainless steel, copper, aluminum, glass, and wood. This group regularly shows their work at Burning Man and is currently finishing a large art piece called “Pulse”—a huge, flaming, human heart—that will first appear at Burning Man 2016 in Black Rock City, Nevada at the end of August. If you can’t get to Black Rock City in Nevada this year (or if you’re a Burner and need to see it again), don’t worry because the Flaming Lotus Girls are bringing Pulse to Art Party 2016 in San Jose in late September.



According to the description on the Flaming Lotus Girls’ Web site, “…Pulse is an anatomically-correct heart, beating fire through its four chambers in a visually stunning spectacle emulating the blood flow through the human heart. The outer steel structure is formed by the intricate vasculature and predominant veins and arteries of the heart. Above the heart chambers, the pulmonary artery and aortic arch shoot spectacular pulses of fire into the night sky.” Two pod chambers for viewers flank the main Pulse sculpture.


Test Burn

Recent “Pulse” Test Burn. Photo by Sophie


“Using biosensors, participants can synchronize the beating of Pulse with their own heartbeats. Participants also control the bursts of fire from pulmonary artery and aortic arch using buttons and valves.”

“Interactivity allows participants to fill each pod chamber with the sound and vibration of their own heartbeats. At night, this is complemented by modulated LED effects, which create an immersive audiovisual experience.”

Six women and two men founded Flaming Lotus Girls in the year 2000. Since then, the organization has grown to more than 100 artists. More than half are women, but the collective is not exclusively female and newcomers of all genders are welcomed. The organization’s Web site says:

“Our work stands at the intersection of sculpture, kinetics, robotics, pyrotechnics, and electronic technology. We create interactive large-scale fire sculptures that are both visually stunning and engaging, inviting people to become part of the art.”

“People can join the Flaming Lotus Girls with no previous experience in metal working or fire arts. There are hands-on opportunities for members to learn the techniques used in the design, fabrication, and operation of our projects. We hold weekly meetings in San Francisco; newcomers are always welcome to attend.”


To connect with Flaming Lotus Girls, click here.