The Fire Inside

is an interactive sound and video installation that gives the viewer/operator a way to travel through a virtual interpretation of a burning fire. Fire as a symbol of both an external as an internal state opens itself to many interpretations. Perhaps most clearly as an element which can not be completely controlled or guided. The fire as hostile destroyer as well as a representation of purification and renewal. The installed fire differs from the real because it is separated from the audience with an artificial visual mimicking which can be controlled by the viewer/operator. Via a simple control scheme the viewer can travel "inside" the fire's flames and explore the different manifestations of form, colour and sound that hide within. The fire appears in the installation as an instrument that can be varied, shaped and developed in constantly shifting patterns of image and sound.

Technically speaking "The Fire Inside" is built upon the fire as a simple graphic animation housed in a 3-dimensional virtual room. This animation is connected and correlated to the sound of a burning fire projected through a loudspeaker system. By using a joystick and two foot pedals the viewer can navigate forward-backward-sideways and up/down in the virtual apace of the fire and the sound following it. The visual representation of the fire is controlled by different types of digital processes whose internal control parameters change with the movement of viewers handling of the joystick and foot pedal. In analogy with this change the sound changes in a similar way, depending on where you are in the fire's co-ordinate system. By behaving openly and diligently towards the virtual "instrument" the operator can become with a little practice a "game virtuoso" creating their own interpretation of the fire flow. Different temperament travelling in different ways will give rise to unique variation much like a musician's improvising skills leads to individual and unique expressions

The Fire inside received the ICMA composition/production prize 2000