Photo: Matt Howard. Courtesy of Future Ecologies.

Serpentine Podcast presents: Future Ecologies: On Fire

A History of Burning

On the occasion of the General Ecology festival, The Shape of a Circle in the Mind of a Fish: The Understory of the Understory, Serpentine Podcast hosts the three-part series, “On Fire” from Future Ecologies: A story of burning, first released in 2018. Sign up to The Understory of the Understory here. Find out more about Future Ecologies here.

Part 1: Camas, Cores, and Spores

Part 2: Combustible Communities

Part 3: In the Wobble

Episode Details

Part 1: "On Camas, Cores, and Spores"

The past years have been the worst fire years on record across the west coast of North America, with whole communities being engulfed in flames and smoke enveloping major cities for weeks. But as the airways fill once again with stories of valiant fire-fighters and people who’ve lost their homes, we answer some burning questions that seem to always fly under the radar. For example: How long have fires been burning on this planet? Have our ecologies always been adapted to fire? What role did indigenous peoples play in lighting fires in the past? And how can we return prescribed burns to sensitive ecosystems? To answer these questions, Adam Huggins and Mendel Skulski talk to regional experts, including internationally renowned ethnobotanist Dr. Nancy Turner, in this first part of the series, On Fire.

Part 2: "Combustible Communities"

In this second part of our multi-episode series, On Fire, we look at ways to move our civilization forward – without continuing to deny the role of fire in our landscapes. We discuss how prescribed burns are currently conducted, radical new (and old) perspectives on land management policy, and practical techniques for everyone in fire country to protect their homes, their communities, and their forests. Presented by Adam Huggins and Mendel Skulski, with guests Bill Tripp and Erik Ohlsen.

Part 3: "In the Wobble"

Another year, another fire season. We’ve already had a lot to say about wildfire, forest science, traditional ecological knowledge, and prescribed burning, but we’re not done yet! In this episode, we tour the Province of BC (and dip down into Washington State) to meet vigilante fire fighters, researchers, and First Nations Chiefs: all working in their communities towards a future of true wildfire resilience. With Adam Huggins and Mendel Skulski (Future Ecologies), Clint Lambert, Chief Maureen Chapman, Dr. Lori Daniels, Dr. Sonja Leverkus, Dr. Paul Hessburg, Chief Francis Johnson.


Discover over 50 years of the Serpentine

From the architectural Pavilion and digital commissions to the ideas Marathons and research-led initiatives, explore our past projects and exhibitions.

View archive