Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mark's Minnesota State Fair Photograph

If you plan on visiting the Minnesota State Fair, stop by the Fine Arts Building to view Mark’s Kirilian photograph: Botanical II (location #294 –right by Denise’s piece!)

Click here to view more Kirlian images

...and read on if you want to learn more about this cool photographic process:

Botanical II (or Parsley) is from the series “Exploring the Inner Lives of Plants”. It is an example of an electro-photographic process called “Kirlian Photography.” To simply explain the Kirlian process: I place an inanimate or living subject, such a leaf, directly on a sheet of film that rests on a copper plate. The plate is then charged with high voltage electricity, creating a corona discharge, or spark, which exposes the film. The result is an ethereal imprint of the infrastructure of the plant. Through working with Kirlian photography I have discovered, (even when using two leaves picked from the same branch) that I cannot foresee what a subject will share or hide on film, as each living subject has a unique essence. I have also seen how the life of each plant unpredictably deteriorates through time by how its identity is recorded with each progressive exposure. In addition to photography, Kirlian cameras have been utilized in Eastern Europe as a medical diagnostic device. In the seventies they were embraced by new age groups in the U.S. as a way to read people’s auras. As a photographer, I am less interested in validating any of the controversial claims of interpreting energy fields or auras through Kirlian Photography. To me, it’s simply an elegant way of recording what you cannot easily see with the naked eye.

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