Magnetic Movie’s spooky science at Screening Video

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IMG_5764 Semiconductor
from Magnetic Movie, by Semiconductor (UK artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt)

A video about the forces we cannot see sounds like an oxymoron. I honestly don’t know if the coronas and corollas demonstrating electromagnetic fields in the video Magnetic Movie at Screening Video are the real thing or a rather literal visual translation of electro-magnetic forces or pure fantasy. But it sure is a wow! Better than the Franklin Institute (I remember the kids’ hair standing on end during a class trip)!

from Magnetic Movie, by Semiconductor (UK artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt)
from Magnetic Movie, by Semiconductor (UK artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt)

The video, which is by Semiconductor (UK artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt), is set at NASA’s Space Sciences Laboratories at UC Berkeley. And the genuine science milieu is complemented by voice overs of space scientists describing their visualization techniques for showing invisible phenomena.

IMG_5762 Semiconductor
from Magnetic Movie, by Semiconductor (UK artists Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt)

For all the scientific trappings, the phenomena in Magnetic Movie feel more like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’s bubbling test tubes. The unspoken plot is similar. The grubby reality of scientific hodgepodge spaces becomes a cross between a diabolic threat mixed with the elation of scientific discovery.

By using big-screen conventions of horror movies, these two artists are working close to the practices of both Matthew Suib and Nadia Hironaka–the two behind Screening Video, who like to borrow and turn movie conventions on their ear.

Anyway, this has to be my favorite video so far at this young gallery. It’s a feast for the eyes, and maybe an eye-opener into the phenomena of electro-magnetic waves–or not.

Tags

joe gerhardt, ruth jarman, screening gallery, semiconductor

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