allesblinkt ···

 

Leiterblitz

2014
FELD, Benjamin Maus

The Leiterblitz (Wireflash) apparatus is an artwork and an experimentation device to study the effects of high electrical energy applied to thin metal wire. The sole function of this apparatus is to repeatedly stretch very thin metal wire between two brass electrodes and apply a lot of electrical energy in a very short amount of time, thus exploding the wire.

The Leiterblitz (Wireflash) apparatus is an artwork and an experimentation device to study the effects of high electrical energy applied to thin metal wire. The sole function of this apparatus is to repeatedly stretch very thin metal wire between two brass electrodes and apply a lot of electrical energy in a very short amount of time, thus exploding the wire. The effects that can be observed – especially when the apparatus is operated together with a synchronized camera – are the initial flash where there is so much energy being applied to the wire that it turns into a metal vapor plasma within 1/5000th of a second. This phase is visible as a long blue flash and audible as a bang. After this very short phase of plasma, there are still some glowing metal pieces flying through the air.

First Phase – Plasma

First Phase – Plasma

Second Phase – Molten Metal

Second Phase – Molten Metal

The voltage applied to the relatively short piece (30 cm) of wire is about 1000 Volts with varying levels of energy/capacity. The apparatus was built to study the effects of this principle under controlled circumstances as they are very hard to predict and calculate. It is part of an ongoing effort to scale up the dimensions of this principle and create sculptures in space that only exist for a very brief moment. Further field experiments took place in the winter of 2014, where the same principle was tested but with a wire that was 30 meters long and a voltage being 100 times as high (110 Kilovolts). All the ef- fects seem to scale proportionally very well.

The artwork was first shown in the context of the exhibition “Physica” which explored natural forces and physical phenomenons. Two other exhibits were a glowing plate of steel that was undergoing ac- celerated corrosion by shooting concentrated salt solution on the glowing plate; the other exhibit was consisting of a huge ventilator with a very strong light behind it and induced very particular optical effects in the observers visual cortex.

Glowing Metal Plate

Glowing Metal Plate

Psycho-Optical Fan

Psycho-Optical Fan