Playing with Fire Symposium

🔥 October 7-9.
We will explore the pleasures, perils & politics of fire through art, theory, practice, and activism.
October 7, 8th and 9th. DARC 108 CLICK HERE to view supporting documentation.


Everyone is welcome. The symposium is free.

All events take place at the UCSC DARC building. Google map link here. It's a big campus, be sure to follow our link! There are many food options for purchase on campus, have a look at the cafe link here.  We've also got a great link with directions to the DARC building hereYou can find everything else you need below, but if you have any additional questions, shoot us an email at [email protected], and we'll be happy to answer.

Photos by Lydia Daniller

Photographs by Justin Hoover

Photographs by Saul Villegas

Photographs by Jaren Bonillo


WHERE: All events are at UCSC in DARC #108 (Digital Arts Research Center), except where noted

Friday, October 7

Honoring and Celebrating our Environmental Art Ancestors:
a Tribute to Newton and Helen Harrison

Manifestadora del altar– Juanita Mora-Malerva
Video: Linda Montano (9 minutes)

WelcomeBeth Stephens & Annie Sprinkle

Ritual for the Departed & a Sevda–Nada Miljkovic
Kaddish–Ruby Barnett
Metabolism is the Fire that Burns Within Us–Lauren Bon
Poem–Ed Shanken
Open Mic– Share your stories
Closing- Beth & Annie 

Eat, drink and be grateful

Saturday, October 8

At UCSC in DARC #108 (Digital Arts Research Center)

Time  Event
Morning Gathering

Breakfast bites, coffee, tea

A Warm Welcome 

Professor Beth Stephens–artist, filmmaker, and
Annie Sprinkle–ecosexual artist 

Panel # 1 — Smoldering Embers

Becca Fenwick, Director of UCSC’s CITRIS Program. “A Drone’s Eye View of the UCNRS”
Cláudio Bueno, Assistant Professor of Art, UC Santa Cruz. “Curupira; The Red Head”
Kim TallBear, Professor of Native Studies, University of Alberta.
“A Sharpening of the Already Present: Apocalypse and Radical Hope”

Panel #2 — Art and Artists On Fire

Michael and Heather Llewellyn– Artists and Co-Creators.
 “Creating the FOREST⇌FIRE Exhibition”
Laura Smith-Fillmore – Artist and Translator.
Fire: the Wà:šiw word for wildfire is yengi’iši’ (the plural of ‘running’) or literally ‘everything is running’
Tracy Brown–Artivist and African American Art & Culture Center FellowChoose Your Punctuation from the Fire”
Justin Hoover– Artist, Director of the Chinese Historical   “Fire as Practice in Chinese American Traditional Culture” 

Panel #3 — Flaming Desires

Courtney Desiree Morris, Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley.  “Fire Wedding Orishas” with Martîn Perna (sound design and saxophone) & Sequoia Jane Morris-Perna (firebaby).
K-Haw of the Rural Alchemy Workshop (R.A.W.) “Any Body Can Be a Rodeo Queen of the Pyrocene,”
Lady Monster, Eco-burlesque Artist, “Bringing the Camp to the Fire as the Quadra-Flame Twirl-inator”
Nicole Rudolph-Vallerga, Artist, “The Phoenix Letters, A Ritual Offering. 

Outdoor Dinner & A Sound Performance

Anna Friz & Gabriel Saloman“Between the Fires”

7:30 sharp!-9:30pm
Feel the Heat — Live Art and Film

(Performances are listed in random order and subject to change)

Julie Weitz. Prayer for Burnt Forest” (Film, 14 mins)
Courtney Desiree MorrisSopera de Yemaya” (Film, 20 mins) with sound design and saxophone performance by Martin Perna
Vin Seaman as LOL McFiercen–Mistrexx of Ceremonies:
Roxi Power“Zig Zag: Fire Poems”
K-Haw“Rodeo Queen of the Pyrocene: Fire Ride with Me”
Shelly Truman– “Surviving”
Spyce– “Songs to Light our Fires”
Larry Bogad– “A Word From Our Sponsors”
Lady Monster– “Ignite; a Dance”
Justin Hoover–“Divine Conduits” 

Sunday, October 9

At UCSC in DARC #108 (Digital Arts Research Center)

Time  Event
Morning Gathering

Breakfast bites, coffee, tea

Panel #4 — Firefighter Stories

Julie Weitz, My Golem as a Wildland Firefighter
Brandon Smith (Director of the Forestry and Fire Recruitment Program).
Benny Fillmore (Elder Wašišiw and Former Hotshot Firefighter) in conversation with
Helen Fillmore (Environmental Scientist and Former Hotshot Firefighter).

Community Open Mike

(Sign up for a 5 minute slot)

Final Comments & Closing

Beth & Annie


Food available for purchase around campus, or feel free to bring your own.


There is a fee to park in the UCSC parking lot. Our beloved parking enforcement team is extremely vigilant. Please follow the link here to avoid an expensive ticket.  


We want you to be warm, comfortable, and cozy. Here are some places to stay:

Camping: The Redwood Resort has free camping for symposium participants and their close guests. This includes shower and restroom facilities. They're great friends of Annie and Beth, and are co-sponsoring this event! Please keep in mind that they're a 40 minute drive from UCSC. The map link is here. If you want to use this option, please contact Beth Stephens [email protected]

You may also like Henry Cowell State Park. They don't have a website, but the map link and phone number is here.

Hostels: There are lots of options here.

Hotels: A list of all hotels in Santa Cruz can be found here.

We love staying at The Ocean Pacific Lodge. They're offering a 10% discount for our symposium, just mention that you're going to UCSC when you book. We've had a great time there in the past, and it's a nice mid-priced hotel. A google map is here. For a high end experience, we recommend the Dream Inn. Their location is right next to the ocean, with incredible views.


Heartfelt thanks to our collaborators friends and sponsors

Dean's Fund for Excellence and the UCSC Office of Research

Thank you to the Ocean Pacific Lodge, UCSC catering, and India Joez. Thanks also to the incredible technical team of the Digital Arts Research Center.

Special thanks to our generous, amazing hosts: Donna Haraway, Shelly Errington, Nada Miljkovic, Kyle McKinley & Jennifer Gonzalez.

Our dear friends who gave their time to help us with this event: Scott Brandt, Dean Solt, ARI, Center for Science and Justice, Center for Arts and Science, Redwood Resort, Feminist Studies, Jennifer Gonzalez, Jordan Phillibert, Lindsay Moffat, Rachel Smith, Cowell College--Alex, Kristin Grace Erickson, Julie Rogge, Dr. Gary Greenberg.

Thanks also to the amazing UCSC staff.

  Guggenheim logo


Thank you everyone who gave their time and resources to help us with this event:

ARI, Center for Science and Justice, Center for Arts and

Science, Redwood Resort,

The amazing UCSC staff.

Thanks UCSC catering,

Thanks again to Nada Miljkovic’s KSQID.

Extra special kudos to Rogge Design for the poster designs.

Thank you all for coming!

Posted in Clinics, Symposia.