In the performance Tesla coils generate a massive voltage, creating lightning directed by a pre-composed musical score. Charnas stands between the coils, protected by his chain-mail suit, which conducts the electricity to the ground without electrocuting him. “Each lightning bolt could kill me,” he told me, “but thanks to the Faraday effect I’m shielded in a full body metal suit and my little body stays at zero volts potential.”
If you’ve never seen a Tesla coil in person, it’s a remarkable experience. Purple plasma flashes in unpredictable, wide-reaching bolts. The sound cracks with more fearsomeness than a whip. The air fills with the sterile acridity of ozone. The effect is equal parts frightening and beautiful; this machinery can use enough voltage to carbonize your flesh right down to the bone, yet some self-destructive impulse tells you to look closer. Alexandre Burton plays with this very impulse in his installation, Impacts. The exhibition features several Tesla coils that hang from the ceiling. They fire, not against a cage or predictable grounding surface, but a delicate pane of glass, so the viewer can appreciate the plasma filaments like a framed piece of art or a caged lion.
Айрис Ван Эрпен
イリス ヴァン ヘルペン
This ability of light and electricity to change states and bodies is reproduced using the most innovative technologies (Tesla).
This exhibition place used to be an electric power plant. Yanobe will transform this abandoned building into the “future” place by creating a story and put it as an installation. In the “discharge” part, Yanobe set up a Tesla coil, which will generate an artificial thunderstorm and expressed as if the electric power plant revives.
Tesla coils each fitted with a glass pane and suspended from the ceiling of the exhibition space make up the components of this “live” sculptural installation. The presence of the visitor before each sculptural device activates an audio and visual experience. The visitor’s proximity to the works engages arcs of electricity of variable intensities as well as a rhythmic articulation, generated by the impact of the electrical arc on the glass pane.As a symbolic and sonic source, the Tesla coil’s ability to throw electric arcs has been employed by a wide spectrum of artists. With this new work, Alexandre Burton proposes the use of plasma (loosely defined as an electrically neutral medium of positive and negative particles) as matter and medium itself, circumscribed by a defined frame and articulated through unique programming. In this way, IMPACTS serves as a reminder of the danger and muscle of this marvel while capturing its sublime beauty and rhythmic potential.