Abstract Art Created by Combining High Voltages with Instant Film


After working with standard photography and digital cameras, Brooklyn-based artist Phillip Stearns decided to experiment with creating works of art using old photographic technologies. He ended up studying the effects of high voltages and household cleaning products on instant pull apart color film. The results are pretty wild.

The project has a long name: “Retinal Pigment Epithelium and Other Vision Technologies, Real or Otherwise Imagined“. The materials list was quite small: some Fujifilm FP100-45C Instant Color Film, various household cleaning products (e.g. bleach, vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, salt, rubbing alcohol), and a 15,000 volt ballast from a neon tube.


Each piece in the series is somewhat random and with unpredictable results. Stearns first applied the various chemicals to the surface of the film, both before and after exposing it.

He then took the neon tube ballast and applied 15,000 volts of alternating current to various areas of the film, causing marks that look like explosions and burns in the material itself.


“As in our eyes, images are conveyed in a stream of such electric impulses, only here amplified some 300,000 times,” Stearns writes, “I find it curious and exhilarating that the impressions left behind after developing these extreme exposures so perfectly evokes the blood vessels of the retina”


Here’s a video showing the process in action:

Here are some of the abstract pieces Stearns has created so far:








You can find more images from the series over on the project’s webpage.

(via Photojojo)