software / animation, 66 mins

Watch the short festival version
Watch the extended version

Fire Underground is an animated fantasy inspired by the industrial history of Appalachia, which pitches myths of forgotten forests, crawling proto-reptiles, and chthonic infernos against labor history, natural history, and folk culture.

The project has been exhibited as software, as a multichannel video installation, and as a feature-length film.

The project features original music by Sarah Louise Henson, as well as:
  • “Rime,” performed by Sarah Louise, courtesy Thrill Jockey Records,
  • “Thirty Inch Coal,” recorded by Men of the Deeps, with permission. 

This project was made possible with support from the Carnegie Mellon School of Art, the Frank-Ratchye Fund for Art at the Frontier, and a Carnegie Mellon Graduate Education GuSH Research Grant.

This project also would not have been possible without kind support and advice from Matteo Bittanti, Peter Burr, Erin Cosgrove, Jim Duesing, Jamison Edgar, Steve Gurysh, Sarah Louise Henson, Shohei Katayama, Golan Levin, Erin Mallea, Michael Neumann, Tom Hughes, Tyler Stefanich, Rich Pell, Joy Poulard-Cruz, Eddo Stern, Shaun Slifer, Angela Washko, and the West Virginia Mine Wars Museum.