Who We Are

The Hydrocarbon Collective is a group of artists and engineers. Operating out of the Box Shop in San Francisco, we seek to create art that is dangerous, difficult, and challenging.

The Box Shop, SF

Torch Song

Torch Song is a kinetic fire art sculpture that was displayed at Burning Man 2017. A double tetrahedron balanced on a corner, each edge has an independently controlled flame that travels along the 8’ length. The effect is of a set of dancing flames that perform a synchronized ballet.

Torch Song Model

Hot Hand Luke

aka Fire Skeeball

Hot Hand Luke is an interactive fire sculpture, a twist on the game of Skeeball. Except, the balls are on fire. Because art should be dangerous.



In 2016, the homelessness problem in San Francisco became increasingly visible, with tent camps popping up around the city. We created Snapcamp, a fake app, website, and social media account, to draw attention to the misguided "hackathon" culture of relying on software to solve society's problems. Snapcamp also lampooned the clickbait media itself, by becoming an overnight but disposable hot button issue.

Articles about SnapCamp


Good Times Santa Cruz: Glow: Festival of Fire and Light returns to the MAH

Apparently, no one ever told Matthew Gordon not to play with matches. Or maybe they did, and he didn’t listen. But who doesn’t like to light stuff on fire?

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Art illuminates science at a Santa Cruz festival Saturday