Leopold Zaumseil

Februar / February - 2019

Burg Giebichenstein Kunsthochschule Halle


Uniquely sintered glass relics, formed solely by the power of nature but within a human manipulated and guided natural process

What is the Topic?

To use nature's creative power and its potential to inspire a human design process, without harming the source itself. Hence transferring lightning energy to create something new, rather than to destroy something.

Why does it look like this?

Nature gives my objects their final shape and texture. When a lightning hits my apparatus, it generates a lot of energy in a very short period of time. To use this energy, I direct the natural power along a guidewire through the quartz sand. Under the tremendous current strength this wire blows out and a plasma current ignites. It has such a high temperature that the sand immediately melts into glass and solidifies along the contour of the guidewire. So I'm just carrying the discharge along a shape and demonstrating that nature can be steered without taking advantage of it.

What is special?

In my experiment SOLID CURRENTS I transfer the fleeting, immaterial discharge patterns of lightning into a material state, thereby making their ephemerality accessible in form of an object. By borrowing lightning’s incomparable and wonderful energy and thereby nature’s handwriting in a human-manipulated process I use it as a source material for my artistic work. My process uses the otherwise wasted energy of this rare natural phenomenon and captures its uniqueness while preserving this naturally created resource. What emerges are objects that follow my designed contours, yet are subject to the rules of the fractals of nature. Fusing nature’s handwriting with human made geometries within these naturally grown structures fascinates.

What is new?

Everything and nothing. I adopted a natural process, shaped it and directed it in ways usable for my creative approach to investigate its potential. I aimed to use the sudden, unpredictable power of lightning to transform it into something beneficial in our human centered environment. Could that be a possible option to use nature's powers for creative design processes without harming our planet? With SOLID CURRENTS I want to further investigate this capability – exploring a physically and technically field in a creative way, trying to figure out its potential.