Mesmerizing, Camera-Less Images of Electrocuted Flowers

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It can take up to 150 attempts to capture one of these glowing, alien plant images — not to mention the risk of accidental electrocution with 80,000 volts. But look at the results! Beautiful. Fearless, patient San Francisco artist Robert Buelteman worked on his recent project at a biological preserve at Stanford. All of the images were created without a camera or computer wizardry. As Design Boom explains, Buelteman slices and shaves down his plant specimens until they’re as transparent as they can be without disintegrating. Then, the flowers are placed into a DIY contraption of metal sheets, diffusion screens, plexiglas, and liquid silicone. And then… ZAP!!! They’re electrocuted. Their electrons jump into the metal, imprinting an image which is then color-painted with a tiny, tiny optical fiber white-light. See the unbelievable results in the slideshow and in his book, Signs of Life . And do not try this at home. Seriously.

Photo credit: Robert Buelteman

Photo credit: Robert Buelteman

Photo credit: Robert Buelteman

Photo credit: Robert Buelteman

Photo credit: Robert Buelteman

Photo credit: Robert Buelteman

Photo credit: Robert Buelteman

Photo credit: Robert Buelteman

Photo credit: Robert Buelteman

Photo credit: Robert Buelteman