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Fire artist DAVID HARTZ created this spellbinding spectacle in the Nevada desert sands by carefully laying a linear pattern of fire rope and igniting it after sundown. Dave and his partner in crime, Astrid "Smoke Cookie" Larsen (seen below in her crown of flame) totally inflamed the pumped-up crowd at the '98 Burning Man Art Festival when the glowing, pulsating pattern of a huge circular maze appeared before them. People were encouraged to walk the maze (being careful to avoid being scorched) and appreciate its mystical symbolism--thought to indicate the often-tortuous path to spiritual fulfillment.
In other forms of fire art, both Dave and Astrid appear with Cirque de Flambe, a crazed consortium of fire artists who create a glowing galaxy of madcap and mesmerizing effects in performances all round the greater Seattle area which they call home.
Photos by Bill Smythe; copyright © 1999 by Fremont Arts Council