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High Voltage Photograms and LSD Seascapes

12.09.10 Marina Galperina

Photographer and architect Hiroshi Sugimoto made these elegant photograms by electrocuting giant sheets of unexposed film with a 400,000-volt Van de Graaf generator “wand” in a darkroom. The “Lighting Field” series of organic, meotrite-inspired images are on view at the Pace Gallery now. Now see what this maniacal mofo looks like.

He’s so awesome.

The exhibit also features his hypnotizing gray seascapes of vast and empty waters, as seen by the first person on Earth. Sugimoto took loads of hallucinogens, went to the Museum of Natural History full of “dead stuffed animals, posing for me,” started thinking about the birth of human consciouness and viola.

The photographer-recently-turned-science-nerd helped curate his “The Day After” exhibit: It’s divided in thirds with each third addressing a part of the history of Earth, from the gas-shrouded “dark hot planet” with “its primordial sea repeatedly struck by lightning and pelleted by tiny asteroids,” to “vast murky protobiotic waters” to “the Paleozoic sea churning with biological phenomena.” “The Day After,” Hiroshi Sugimoto, Nov 6 – Dec 24, Pace Gallery, New York

(Artist photo: Pace Gallery via NYT)