Magnets have been used to display art for as long as households have had refrigerators, but now Fabian Oefner is using them to create it. He discovered that by placing the viscous, magnetic liquid known as ferrofluid under a magnetic field and mixing it with water colors, iron particles rearrange, creating dark channels that separate the watercolors from the ferrous liquid. The result is gorgeous, thumbnail sized images that resemble planets or brains and Oefner has captured them just beautifully in his Millefiori collection. The images are so trippy that they could replace the eggs in the classic 80’s “This is your Brain on Drugs” PSA.
Magnetism is not the only scientific happening that Fabian Oefner has been able to capture stunningly. For his Dancing Colors collection, he placed pigments on a speaker, played music and captured the vibrantly explosive outcome. Using high speed flash units, Oefner caught rainbow-colored soap bubbles morphing into psychedelic figures at the moment just before they burst in his Iridient project and created intergalactic, celestial-looking scenes with fibre glass lamps in a dark room for his Nebulae collection. To explain what draws him to this kind of work, Oefner said:
To me, photography is an analytic tool. Often it is the only possible way to make the results of my experiments visible, since most of them are either very tiny or very short-lived… With photography it is possible to magnify such tiny structures or to freeze a moment lasting only in the blink of an eye.
Check out the rest of the Swiss photographer’s collections and a more detailed description of how he accomplished each set on his website and Behance gallery along with his engaging interview on It’s Nice That.