Saturday, October 6, 2012

Visit my Current Exhibit: "Vita Occulta Plantarum" at the Bakken Museum

Vita occulta plantarum (The Secret Life of Plants)
Kirlian Photograpy by Mark D. Roberts

On View now : September 8, 2012-January 12, 2013

at the Bakken Museum 

What is Kirlian Photography?
The nonconventional photographic process referred to as Kirlian photography has, in actuality, been in existence since the late 1890’s.  It deals extensively with high-voltage electricity.  Electricity is used to make electro-photographs, commonly called Kirlian photographs. The image recorded on film is the corona discharge (spark) from the object being photographed. The Kirlian camera used to produce these images is the largest known camera in existence.  It accommodates sheets of film 12” X 20”, both continuous tone (black and white) as well as color.  The camera consists of a flat copper plate upon which the film is placed.  An object a (leaf, flower, hand etc.) is place on the film, and high-voltage electricity, at very low amperage, is pulsed through the metal plate.  The electricity passes through the film exposing it and producing an outline of the object on the plate as well as a surrounding corona.  If the film is color the corona discharge will contain various colors.  The final print will also often contain topographical features not visible to the naked eye. The end result is somewhat unpredictable and often times very surprising.

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