Lights’ Edge from Light Master Kevin Cooley

When you scroll through these images, take into account two things — Kevin Cooley is awesome, and let’s hope he still has that really warm coat he must have needed for this project so he can get his awesome butt out there and do another series!

Kevin Cooley is a guy inspired by people like James Turrell, which might explain how grandiose and larger than life these photographs seem.  I love this series!  It’s called Lights’ Edge, and I have to say I love it, once again.








Thanks DesignBoom!

15,000 Volt Fractal Madness – Lightning on Wood as Art

finished board

I saw this a few days ago, and I was blown away by it’s awesomesaucedness.

That’s right, awesome-sauced-ness.

Meet Melanie Hoff, a woman who figured out that 15,000 volts attached to a wood panel will result in a beautiful wood erosion technique that is really quite stunning:

15,000 Volts from Melanie Hoff on Vimeo.

From the video:

High voltage wood erosion.

Soundtrack: Aire De Zamba by Agustín Barrios Mangoré

To learn when wood pieces will be available to buy, send me a message with your email or follow me on twitter.

The finished board:

What Melanie is doing here is creating what we call a Lichtenberg figure, which is what happens on occasion when high voltage bursts of electricity run through some sort of insulating medium.  This could be glass, acrylic, wood (in Melanie’s case, or even skin, in the case of human lighting strikes.  Like this:


Also, here’s the case of around two million volts having been passed through a block of acrylic.  Notice the three-dimensionality of this work!


Wow.  I wonder what this would look like cranked up to, say, 100,000 voltsYeah, that’s why I don’t play with electricity outside of the confines of distribution equipment.  Consequently it’s also why I don’t ride a motorcycle or 4-wheeler.  I’d give myself a lifespan of about 3 weeks.

Check out Melanie’s other works, Melanie’s Twitter feed, and Melanie’s Squarespace page!  Cool stuff!

Thanks to Wikipedia for the non-Melanie images!

A Nitrate Noctourne from the Turconi Collection

I had no idea what the hell the Turconi Collection even was, I had to research it!

This database is a record of the 35mm nitrate film frame clippings collected by Italian film historian Davide Turconi (1911-2005) from the Josef Joye Collection in Switzerland and from other unidentified sources. The collection consists of 23,491 clippings in total (usually two to three frames each). The vast majority of the frames cover the early years of cinema (from ca. 1897 to 1915); however, some items in the collection represent films produced as late as 1944.

Upon inspection, Turconi found many of the prints to be in advanced stages of decomposition. He arranged for some of the Italian films to be duplicated on safety film stock in Italy, and approached a number of other archives to preserve the rest of the collection. However, given the expenses involved with a large number of prints, no institution could undertake such a project at the time. Finding no means of saving the collection as a whole, Turconi resorted to a desperate step: he cut frames from the films and carefully organized them in envelopes by title and date (when identifiable) in order to preserve in fragments what he feared would soon disappear. Fortunately, many of the remaining prints did survive, and in 1976 — at the instigation of British filmmaker David Mingay — the remainder of the Joye Collection was rescued by David Francis, then Curator of the National Film Archive at the British Film Institute in London.

The gist of this is the images below — strips from the Turconi library’s nitrate film selection in various stages of decay:





















I never really new of nitrate film to be so beautiful.

Thanks, 50 Watts!


When you see Eric Standley’s work, there are some things you must remember:

  1. Yes, these things really exist;
  2. It took Eric Standley a long, long time to make them;
  3. they are multiple layer, multi-dimensional laser cut pieces.

Now that we’re over that, check this out:


Eric Standley apparently has lots of Islamic, Gothic, and almost Buddhist inspiration in these pieces, or at least that’s what the artist wants us to think:






Laser cutting, supreme style.  I think that’s like Animal Style, but with more awesome.  Check out other of Eric Standley’s works at his website, there are lots of wonderful pieces there!

Thanks, 50 Watt!

The Best Use of Light and Shadow is Love

Fabrizio Corneli made a shadow and a reflection into a light statement of love.  Meet AMA, which means love in italiano:

Is that not just awesome or what?!  Shadow propagation and reflections all calculated so that they spell the word love.  I think that’s the best use of light and shadow together I’ve seen lately.

Check out Fabrizio’s website, he’s got fun work there!

Awesome Art History Appreciation: Magritte

The Empire of Light is a series of paintings by René Magritte. Painted between 1950 and 1954, The Empire of Light contains three paintings housed at famous museums around the world, in New York one at each MoMA and The Guggenheim, and in Brussels (where I encountered this piece) at the Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique in their fantastic Magritte gallery.

This piece is absolutely more spectacular in real life, though the images available online of his different renditions are still fascinating. The juxtaposition between the daylight skies and the manmade light on earth is fascinating. It is a simple yet superbly strong surrealist gesture.

Art is such a fantastic inspiration for us as lovers of light. That which is not lit cannot be seen, let alone painted, so these renditions of the world are our kin, and studying them can only benefit our work. This is a very theatrical piece, which shows how a tiny schism can create a spectacularly unsettling scene. What do you think of Magritte’s Empire of Light?

Incandescent Cloud

This has been making the rounds, but with good reason!  Caitlind r.c. Brown created a cloud out of 1,000 functioning and 5,000 donated burned out light bulbs for Calgary’s Nuit Blanche. For those of you who don’t know, Nuit Blanche (All Nighter, or literally “White Night”) is an all-night public arts festival. I personally have always really been drawn to the concept of Nuit Blanches, and would love to work on one. The closest thing I personally have been to is Santa Monica’s Glow, which was wonderful and an idea I really hope to see expanded on.

In Incandescent Cloud, pull strings glimmering like rain hang from the cloud. Nuit Blanche attendees could manipulate the cloud’s luminosity using those strings, creating random small flickers singularly, or working in teams to pull the strings at the same time. It is a wondrous installation, and I’m sure must have been a blast at Nuit Blanche!

Check out some photos and video below:

Vaseline Glass Chandeliers: A Response to Fukushima Daiichi

Some people call it Uranium Glass, insiders call it Vaseline Glass because its color and internal sheen resembles Vasoline as it was made around the 1930’s.  The long and short of it is that it’s glass doped with Uranium, fluoresces under ultraviolet wavelengths, and it is absolutely beautiful.  Check it out:

Vaseline Glass is some lovely, lovely stuff, isn’t it?  Just to show its awesomeness, let’s look at a piece from the Depression era, lit with long wave UV:

Most evidences of this glass come from between the mid-to-late-1700’s to current manufacturing, and yeah, it’s literally made with uranium, the radioactive element that we all have heard of in some form or fashion.  There are instances of this glass being located in a mosaic containing yellow glass with 1% uranium oxide found in a Roman villa, and the guy who discovered Uranium, Martin Klaproth, who was apparently also using the newly discovered element as a glass colorant.

That green color is eerie, yeah?  or as the Canadians say, “eh?”

Two artists took that idea of Uranium-doped glass and turned it into a statement on the horrific Fukushima-Daiichi disaster.  Meet Ken and Julia Yonetani‘s work, named Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nuclear Nations.  They took metal wire, Uranium glass, and some UV lighting and created twenty-nine chandeliers representing the twenty-nine nations using nuclear power.  Check it out:

From Ken and Julia’s website on the work:

In direct response to Japan’s 2011 horrific Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident and the phenomenon of leaking radiation, Crystal Palace: The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nuclear Nations comprises an installation of chandeliers made from vintage Uranium glass beads alongside glowing text based works made from vintage Uranium glass tubing shaped into words such as — ‘radioactive’, ‘meltdown’ and ‘electric dreams’.

Chandeliers are not only an item of luxury, but also an extravagant emblem of the beauty of electricity and the seductiveness of consumerism.The artists have reconfigured them to emanate UV light instead of standard light, and decorated them with specially sourced Uranium glass in place of traditional crystals.

“You can’t see, smell or perceive radiation with your senses, but it becomes visible in our works when illuminated with ultraviolet lights,” says Julia Yonetani. “Presented in darkness, the glass chandeliers and tubes glow with an eerie bright green light indicating the presence of radiation. We hope to prompt viewers to react in their own way to this radioactive presence.”

Commonly used in the 19th and early 20th centuries for sugar bowls, cake stands and other decorative objects, Uranium glass contains very small traces of Uranium within the glass, is legal and poses no health risks.

Crystal Palace references London’s Great Exhibition of 1851, which was intended as a platform to celebrate both modern technology and to enhance Great Britain’s role as a leading industrial nation of the time.

“The chandeliers in Crystal Palace represent the USA, Japan, Germany, Finland, France and various other countries. For the complete body of work we will ultimately make a total of 29 chandeliers, which represent each of the countries that operate nuclear power stations today,” says Ken Yonetani.

“The size of each chandelier correlates to the scale of each country’s nuclear output, with the chandelier representing the USA being the largest at 1.6m in diameter and 2m high.”

“My family lives in Tokyo, quite close to where the disaster happened,” he adds. “At the time of the tsunami, Japan had 54 operating nuclear reactors, relying on them for 30% its total electric power. The Fukushima accident shows Japan’s complacency around nuclear power and radiation and also asks questions of Australians, because Australia is the number one exporter of Uranium to Japan.”

That’s a heck of a statement, and Crystal Palace is one heck of an exhibit.  Ken and Julia’s work will be playing at the Artereal Gallery in Sydney, Australia from October 3 to November 4, 2012.  Check it out if you’re there, this has to be awesome!

Ken and Julia Yonetani:

Thanks 1st Glass, Spoon and Tamago, United NuclearWe Waste Time, and Wikipedia!

So Fly(light)

Studio Drift’s Fragile Future has been a favorite of mine since I saw it years ago at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. And they’re still cranking out the awesome!

Flylight is another beautiful design from Studio Drift. Each piece is composed of at least 180 glass tubes, each individually controlled and sensitive to movement. They react to movement according to a programmed DNA. Each movement of Flylight is unique; there are no repeating patterns. Read about what Studio Drift says about the design DNA below:

The glass tubes that light up and respond to the viewer are inspired by the behavior of a flock of birds and the fascinating patterns they seem to make randomly in the air. Actually this behaviour is not as accidental as it looks; birds have to keep a safe distance from each other. What will happen if an intruder interrupts their flight? This is what the viewer will experience when approaching the FLYLIGHT. We converted this bird-behaviour into a digital DNA and translated it into understandable visualizations with light.

Check out a bit of the video below to see how the piece interacts with humans:

Brigitte Ziegler’s B52 Shadow

You know how much I like shadows.  Even painted shadows.  Now here’s hoping that this was either A) biodegradable paint or B) this grass died for the cause of art.

This is Brigitte Ziegler‘s The Shadow:

The Shadow, painting on grass, 49 x 56 meters, shape of a B 52, 2010, Biennale Les Environnementales, Jouy-en-Josas.

This work was done for Les Environnementales – which is actually pretty cool, dig into this a little – a Biennial of Contemporary Art held at Tecomah, an environmental studies school near Paris.  This school has a pretty great name – TECOMAH:  the School of Environment and Quality of Life.  YES PLEASE.

Brigitte’s works are, by definition, dealing with some violent themes.  The image above is striking to me especially, being that there are kids playing on it.