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Here's How You Paint With Electric Shocks

Luke Evan's turns electric shocks into beautiful paintings—we're sure he and Ben Franklin would have a lot to talk about.

Luke Evans is not the type of artist to make an image through traditional means. In place of cameras, pens, or paper, the London-based Evans has created fascinating work by digesting pieces of film, and in another case used standard office equipment to print Tweets that included the word "hate" before shredding them during a live installation. His newest work continues his eschewal of traditional (or expected) mediums in a, well, shocking manner. For his Xero series, Evans is making paintings with electricity. 

As the image series implies, Xero implements the same technological process of xerography, or photocopying—which was originally called electrophotography. A Xerox machine works by charging an internal drum with an image, then toner powder with an opposite charge is placed on the drum. This gets pressed and heat sealed on the paper, yielding copies of your text books, tax returns, or butt cheeks.

Evans follows similar steps, but charges a piece of acrylic with nearly half a million volts of electricity. The static material is then sprinkled with toner powder and (like a copy machine) gets pressed and heat sealed onto a sheet of paper. The resulting images look like something out of a biology lab or sci-fi movie, as compared to a lightening bolt shape (which, to be honest, is what I originally imagined).

The forms change based on factors such as the humidity, the shape and size of the electrode Evans uses, and the amount of toner powder sprinkled, among other elements. This is a shocking series, indeed. We're certain Evans and Ben Franklin would have a lot to talk about.

To help visualize the process, Evans made GIFs of each step: 

And here are some of the final images: 

For more on Luke Evans, visit his website here.

h/t Wired

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