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2019 SPE Annual Conference: The Myths of Photography and the American Dream / Major support by The Joy Family Legacy Foundation

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Nate Larson

SPE Member since 2000
Member Chapter: Mid-Atlantic

Kirlian Photogaphs

Kirlian Photography is a process that uses electricity rather than light to make contact images on photographic media. The Russian-born inventor Semyon Kirlian pioneered the process in 1939, which works by shooting high voltage through an object and recording the multicolored emanations on light-sensitive film or paper. Many fringe scientific researchers believe these images reveal the "biofield" or "aura" of the subject, which they think gives physical form to the etheric body or "life force" that surrounds each living thing. As evidence, many proponents point to the "phantom limb" phenomenon, in which the photograph of a torn leaf will reveal the whole leaf. Some experimenters use it to make health care decisions, detect deceptions or seek answers from the great beyond. Curious, I began my own experiments with a hand-built device, seeking insight into the food we choose to ingest into our bodies. In doing so, I hope to gain insight into our methods of sustenance and the influence on contemporary American culture.

Kirlian Photograph: Wonder Bread

Kirlian Device

Kirlian Photograph: Apple

Kirlian Photograph: Twinkie

Kirlian Photograph: Banana

Kirlian Photograph: Beef Soft Taco

Kirlian Photograph: Salami

Kirlian Photograph: Pear

Kirlian Photograph: Chunk Light Tuna

Kirlian Photograph: Chicken Nuggets

Kirlian Photograph: Spam

Kirlian Photograph: Collared Greens

Kirlian Photograph: Wishbone

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