Shockfossils: 5 million volts of electric art

Electrons gone wild burn their way through acrylic slabs to create Shockfossils, branching works of art that capture the raw power of electricity.

Shockfossils
Zap! It's much safer than standing in a lightning storm. Todd Johnson

Jackson Pollock had his paint splatters. Auguste Rodin had his bronzes. Todd Johnson has a 5-million-volt particle accelerator.

Johnson creates works of art by sending pieces of acrylic through a bombardment of electron beams. The electrons get trapped inside.

Shockfossil side view
A side view of a Shockfossil lit up with LEDs. (Click to enlarge.) Todd Johnson

A tap with a sharp, insulated tool sets them free, and they melt elaborate branching patterns into the acrylic slabs. These lightning displays are known as Lichtenberg figures.

Add some LED edge lighting to illuminate the threads and you get Shockfossils, wild fractal art that will appease both your aesthetic and geek sensibilities.

Careful application of lead shielding can guide the electrons into shapes. Johnson has created a butterfly, a dragonfly, and a tree, among others. He's open to purchasing inquiries, but doesn't list prices.

The video below will take you behind the scenes of the creation. Any chance we'll see some of this art from the trillions of volts the Large Hadron Collider can generate? That would be pretty sweet.

(Via Luxury Launches)

About the author

Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET's Crave blog. When not wallowing in weird gadgets and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Hot on CNET

The Next Big Thing

Consoles go wide and far beyond gaming with power and realism.