After reading about Kirlian devices for several years, I finally found myself determined to own such a device. While there are devices available for sale on the Internet, I wanted something that I could play with and modify. I searched online and dug through old books and magazines for plans and historical information, then set to work.
To be honest, my skills with reading schematics are rudimentary at best. I found myself on the phone with my brother Doug, harassing him to help me with my projects.
In the end, I was able to come up with a couple of devices which I am able to modify to suit my needs.
Early experiments were fairly basic - the standard leaf or hand on a sheet of photographic paper. I then quickly moved on to more ambitious projects.
This is Jane's face.
This is a Kirlian portrait of both of our hands. I have not seen anyone else take Kirlian photographs of two people touching. If someone else has done this, I would love to see the results. This is a bit more tricky as the electrical energy circulates through both of our bodies in order to create the circuit needed to make this image appear. As such, the potential for a bit of a shock presents itself.
If I haven't said it before, I consider myself lucky to have a wife willing to go through such ordeals (i.e. - electrical shock) in order to help with my art projects.
I decided that these images were a bit hard to read visually, so I wanted to try something a bit different. I used Fuji instant film (similar to Polaroid pack film) to take a photograph of Jane, then apply the Kirlian device to the photograph before processing the image. The result is my Aether Field Portrait series.
Aether Field Portrait, Figure 1-1 (December 18th, 2011)
I was then curious if I would be able to create a full-body Kirlian image of myself. Armed with a roll of RA-4 color photographic paper, a darkroom, a color processor and a makeshift Kirlian device, I set to work
Believe it or not, this series actually stems from many of the same themes as the Symbiosis series. I'm merging my interest in arcane photographic techniques and attempts to utilize the photographic process to capture the invisible with my quest to understand the new circumstances in my life. I'm utilizing Kirlian photography, aura photography, Radionics and other approaches to investigate my personal life.
For more in this vein, see the Subtle Bodies series on my website.