Electrical Art by Philip Stearns

Stearns removes unexposed instant film from its cartridge, places it between two electrodes . . .

Ink dispersing in liquid? An unknown species of sea anemone? If the title of this post hadn’t given it away, it would be difficult to know exactly what you’re looking at when faced with work by Philip Stearns.  

Born in Austin, Texas, Phillip Stearns studied engineering and physics at the University of Colorado at Denver before switching to music. He completed his MFA in music and integrated media studies at the California Institute of the Arts in 2007, having shaped a series of sound and light installations – often using the knowledge of electronics he’d picked up in his engineering courses.

Lately, Stearns has produced a sequence of images by exposing instant film to high-voltage electricity, with results that evoke both macrocosms and microcosms – from galaxies to nerve clusters in the body. He has launched a Kickstarter campaign to further develop his technique.

Meet the man behind the electrical magic in our in-depth interview in Frame 99, out 1 July.

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