Feeling the need to "explore the tools of (his) medium beyound both their traditional and innovative uses," and channeling a bit of a mad scientist mentality, Robert Buelteman developed a technique resembling that of Kirlian photography. His tools: jumper cables, fiber optics, and 80,000 volts of electricity. He places flowers and leaves on a color transparency film, on top of that he lays plexiglas with a sheet of metal in between, floating in a liquid silicone. Then he hits everything with an electric pulse which causes the coronas and outlines to appear on the film. The last step he needs to do, is hand-painting it with a white light coming from an optical fiber. It can take up to 150 attempts to get this right. The outcome of all this, images that capture the colors of these plants like we've never seen or could ever imagine before. You can find out more about Robert's series based on this technique in the book, Signs of Life.
Through The Green Fuse
Through the Green Fuse is a portfolio of images that i created as an interpretation and celebration of the design of being, and through them, to enhance my understanding of its nature.
In march 1999, I began to feel a need to explore the tools of my medium beyond both their traditional and innovative uses as means to advance self-expression. In contrast to those artist who are turning to technology for additional tools to achieve their own freedoms, i turned to simplicity mindful craftsmanship, and the direct exposure of photographic material to exercise my own freedom of expression.
Without using either camera or lens, my new techniques has more in common with Japaneses ink brush painting and improvisational jazz than does the current practices of photography. Each delivery of light, like every brush stroke or not played, is unrehearsed, and, once released, cannot be undone.
The recognition the light in all its manifestations nourishes my life allows me to accept the rigorous demands of this process of imagine as a spiritual exercise. Although the technique has no relationship to those I have used previously, the quality of the creative experience is similar to that of photographing the landscape of my beloved California.
The imagery succeeds when I reach a point where my conscious intention dissipates, and, dependent as it is on my hands and my heart, is replaces by a sense of being a conduit for the serendipitous dance I have imagined between subject and spirit. This development creates a perilous condition, moving me into a world that is unfamiliar and full of risk yet seems to be a place I must explore for what it might reveal.
With this work, I am pursuing something that I cannot define, anticipate or manipulate into existence. In surrendering to the dance of art, I see my life and my work as parts of that design of being which I seek to understand. - Robert Buelteman