Kimric Smythe: Creator of Explosions, the Java Cow

Kimric Smythe holds many distinctions at Burning Man. He is the only person to be featured on a Burning Man ticket (in 1995). He brought big explosions to Burning Man, and was responsible for rigging the Man with pyrotechnics for many years. He helped build and plumb the Neverwas Haul, the fantastic and fabulous Victorian house-on-wheels.  He is featured in virtually all the early playa photography, often along with his dad Bill Smythe. Kimric was active with  Survival Research Laboratories (SRL), for over 20 years. In many ways, combining machines and fire, and influencing the shape of Burning Man today. He created an excruciatingly loud jet engine on a forklift—or the Kimric Kill Kart with its 6-barrel shockwave cannon.

Kimric worked with Temple of Flux to design the pyro for their 2010 Burningman temple.  Why yes, of course. Back in the 2000’s, Kimric led a winning Junkyard Wars team, meeting the challenge of building a machine using a car and a soccer ball to play golf. Kimric’s idea was to build an industrial version of a tennis ball pitching machine, and with his dad by his side, Kimric not only wooed the audience, but his team won the challenge.

Kimric embodies most what we think about when reflecting on the early days at Black Rock City.

Kimric now runs  Smythe’s Accordion Center in downtown Oakland.