bioephemera

An electrifying garden

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Alstroemeria, sp.
Robert Buelteman

One of my favorite short stories is Hawthorne’s Rappaccini’s Daughter, in which an eccentric, Frankensteinian botanist breeds increasingly beautiful, increasingly deadly flowers. These images from Robert Buelteman remind me of Rappaccini’s garden. His creative process sure sounds like something Dr. Frankenstein might have employed:

Buelteman hits everything with an electric pulse and the electrons do a dance as they leap from the sheet metal, through the silicone and the plant (and hopefully not through him), while heading back out the jumper cables. In that moment, the gas surrounding the subject is ionized, leaving behind ethereal coronas. He then hand-paints the result with white light shining through an optical fiber the width of a human hair, a process so tricky each image can take up to 150 attempts.

Hmmm. Do you really need all that drama to get these images? I’m not sure. But it’s kind of fascinating to think of art made by blasting electricity through flowers.

More at Buelteman’s website

Comments

  1. #1 Lab Rat
    July 20, 2009

    Wow….that is really beautiful. It does look like it’s been electrified…and I know my younger sister would confidently tell you that it made by fairys 😀

  2. #2 John
    July 20, 2009

    Stunning images.

  3. #3 Luis Brudna
    July 22, 2009

    Flores e 80.000 volts
    Posted on: julho 5, 2009 1:00 PM, by massacritica
    http://scienceblogs.com.br/massacritica/2009/07/flores_em_80000_volts.php

    🙂

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