From the 1930s through the 1970s, Aerolux Light Corporation produced these amazing novelty light bulbs that contained sculptural filaments in the shape of flowers, birds, and myriad other designs that would illuminate in different colors. The bulbs contained a mixture of neon or argon (or both) and some of the components were coated with phosphors to achieve different color effects. Via Wikipedia:
Aerolux gas discharge light bulbs contained low pressure gas, either neon or argon, or a mixture of the two. Also within the bulb were metal sculptures coated with phosphors. These phosphors fluoresced when excited by glow discharge. Because glow discharge occurs readily at 110-120 volts AC, one could use these bulbs in standard household lamps in the United States.
The phosphors used in the bulbs were somewhat brittle, necessitating care in handling. Shaking or jarring the bulbs would cause flaking and migration of the phosphors to other parts of the metallic sculpture. Such handling would leave non-fluorescing portions of the sculpture and/or migration of phosphors to other surfaces within the bulb.
At the height of production some of the bulbs sold for a mere .20 cents, but can now fetch hundreds of dollars on Ebay or Etsy. If you happen to be in New York you can see a bonafide Aerolux bulb that’s on permanent display at MoMA as part of an artwork by artist Dan Flavin. (via Neatorama, Geyser of Awesome, Oddity Central)
Since 2013, photographer Andreas Levers has been photographing solitary landscapes at night, capturing the streets, train platforms, and gas stations that are rarely populated in the late evening hours. Each image is haunted by an eerie glow, scenes dotted by bursts of artificial illumination. The Potsdam-based artist is a media designer by day, whose spare time is spent focusing his camera on the stark architectural elements that surround him. You can see more images from Levers’ At Night series on his website and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)
We’ve long been fans of LA-based photographer Darren Pearson (previously) who heads out at night to create site-specific light sculptures using long-exposure photography. He mostly uses a device of his own creation called a Night Writer to illustrate almost all of the creatures you see here, from rainbow-hued dinosaurs swimming across lakes to his popular skeletons that were incorporated into a music video. You can follow his work day-to-day on Instagram.
Media artist Akinori Goto (previously) just shared another version of his kinetic light sculpture depicting a series of animated dancing figures. The framework of the sculpture is 3D printed from data of silhouettes traced from an actual dancer, creating a sort of modern-day rotoscoping effect. When illuminated with a bright light, a cross-section of the sculpture is revealed. Goto hopes to soon obtain a patent for the device. (via Prosthetic Knowledge)
As part of his project La Línea Roja, Paris-based photographer Nicolas Rivals constructed bright red light configurations installed outdoors while on a trip through Spain. Each temporary piece was captured in a series of long-exposure shots that reveal an unusual juxtaposition between fabricated objects and the natural world. You can see more from the series on his website and Instagram—and if you liked this also check out James Nizam, Barry Underwood, and this short film from 3hund.
Nestled within a courtyard at the Hôtel de Griffy in Montpellier, France, this 2015 installation of pink and white balloons attempts to capture the feeling of spring by mimicking the color and feel of cherry blossoms as they fall from the ceiling. The 6-day installation titled “Un dixième Printemps” (The 10th Spring) was created by Margaux Rodot, Benoit Tastet, and Mickaël Martin, and draws inspiration from Hanami, a Japanese tradition of enjoying the abundance of blooming flowers across the country from the end of March to early May.
Netting secured across the courtyard ceiling effectively contained the helium-filled balloons that were gradually replenished each day as they gradually fell to a patch of grass below. Sunlight from above cast a pink hue into the space that filled windows and balconies surrounding the installation space. Un dixième Printemps was created for the 10th annual Lively Architecture Festival and went on to win the 2015 Jury Award. (via Designboom)