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David Fine

David Fine

area: Media Art

Key Facts




Media Art


San Francisco

recommending institution


time period

October 2007 - November 2007

David Fine is a San Francisco based artist and context hacker. His aim is to
create experiences beyond the mainstream without attribution or explanation. With a focus on public performances and guerilla installations, he invites his
unwitting audience to participate in an alternate version of reality, if only for a moment. His favorite art is most often comprised of electronics, industrial
materials, epoxy, and large groups of people.

SF Zombie mobs. Organized a series of simulated zombie outbreaks in downtown San Francisco, spawning copycat events in cities around the globe.

Buzzed Bee. A bi-annual spelling bee contest for drunken adults held in a small art gallery.
Divining Pod. A performance for Monochrom involving an attempt to lift a human into the air using helium balloons.

D.O.P.E officers, wherin we create a parking authority to harass people at the Burning Man festival

External Combustion Engine. An RFID enabled cocktail robot created for the RoboExotica festival based on the stylings of an automobile engine.

2piR (Interpretive Arson). I designed the electronics for a large scale piece of fire art that interprates the motions of one or more participants into patterns of fire from 16 vertical flame throwers.

False Histories. Commemorative plaques around San Francisco.

Tree Simulation. An artificial tree which uses technologies to simulate the functions of a real tree. Installed in Biome Gardens for 5 days until it was removed.

Door Henge. An unauthorized installation in golden gate park. 31 Doors are arranged in the shape of Stone Henge. Each door was painted by a collaborator.

Collaborations, groups I have worked with
Interpretive Arson. Dance Dance Immolation is a recreation of a classic arcade game, but with real flame-throwers pointed at the players.

Flaming Lotus Girls. The Serpent Mother is a 30 meter long fiery serpent made of stainless steel.

Monochrom. Contributor to the english version of the blog, and help with organizing events in the U.S.


I arrived in Vienna at the peak of “Sturm” season and stayed through a few weeks of mulled wine. With my home base at quartier21/MQ I started to explore the city. In foreign place, buying milk is an adventure. My first night was spent at Metalab, where I met Graffiti Research Labs. Mike and Flo would end up helping with a lot of my projects from then on.

When I arrived I didn’t really know what my artistic output would be like. I tend to do things that are public or performance based. In other words, I’m not used to having an official space to present, or permission to do so.

We decided that Vienna would benefit from the import of a San Francisco cultural technique, the Zombie Mob. We arranged for a public event where we dressed as zombies and paraded along Mariahilfe Straße. Christmas shoppers were caught by surprise, but after the initial shock most people seemed to enjoy our antics.

I gave a pair of lectures at the FH in Graz about the history of fire art. I travelled back two more times to help a class of design students build cocktail robots for the Roboexotica festival.

I also ended up performing in a musical at the big brother awards, building my own cocktail robot, running a game based on the prison system, playing trumpet at a local club, befriending other artists, and giving interviews. A guest artist must be prepared for an interview at any moment, for a college class, foreign journalist, TV network, or fellow artist. I was a happy ambassador of San Francisco fringe culture!

I loved my time in Vienna, and left feeling a connection with the city.
One of the first things I did when I got home was to install a Falco Staircase here in San Francisco. There is now one in Washington DC, and more to follow. Thanks, q21!

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