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Ode to Kirlian

Sam Manera, 16mm, 3 minutes, 2008

High voltage photography-also known as Kirlian photography or electrophotograpy- is a method of making photographic images or visual observations of electrically conductive objects. The light source is the luminous corona discharge which may appear around conductive objects in a high-voltage alternating electric field.

In the tradition of the Soviet scientists S. and V. Kirlian This film was created completely with electricity. The images the viewer sees is a snapshot of an electrical charge being emitted through 16mm Film. Each frame is unique, so the film has been slowed 500%. What results is a cataclysm of electro-charged visual stimuli.

Our environment holds many secrets invisible to the human eye. With film’s inherent sensitivity to bandwidths of light, far beyond the human spectrum of sight is where Sam Manera finds his subject. Film, whether it is in a camera or not can be tricked into producing images using light, electricity, chemicals or a combination of all. Sam enjoys using film to capture nuances that might go unnoticed or to confuse orientation of the viewer by warping positive and negative space.