Collecting Carbon, Part 4

April 1, 2010


The carbon trap looked great on the top of my house. As the week progressed, the weather turned cold and clear. I sat outside and watched the trap, especially as it was silhouetted against the night sky. Occasionally, a spark would shoot out of the top of the chimney, make it through the mesh of the carbon trap, and sail out through Orion or some other constellation. These trails of light were magnificent.

We impose our own forms of beauty on material. In this case, I felt like I was witnessing an expression of the fire's form of beauty. One spark and then another—the fire was offering up its own aesthetic language. I began to think of the sparks as a form of calligraphy. Before our calligraphy, comes a calligraphy of fire. The ephemeral dance of the spark is a counterpoint to the indelible permanence of amorphous carbon once collected and applied to paper. So I set up this long exposure and addled the fire a bit for effect. The result was this image. 

Coincidentally, today is the holiday filled with sparks. . .

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