Kirlian photography is a process that electrifies an object to produce an image on photographic film or paper, without the use of light. The photosensitized material records multicolored emanations from the object, which some refer to as auras or biofields. The Russian inventor Semyon Kirlian pioneered the process in 1939.
Some experimenters believe that the photographs give physical form to psychic energy. Others believe that it reveals the etheric body, one of the layers of the aura thought to permeate all animate objects. Many believe the image to be linked to the “life force” that surrounds each living thing. Some even make health care decisions based on the properties of the image.
I designed and built a Kirlian Device by hand in the summer of 2006, using electrical instructions from the internet. For this exhibition, I was invited to make a series on death, using the device and process to make images from things that are no longer alive. The exhibited photographs are some of my results.
Nate Larson’s (Chicago, IL) photographic work has been exhibited extensively across the US and has been featured internationally in shows in Canada, Greece, and the UK. His work has been written about in numerous publications, including most notably the New York Times. His photo-based works and artist books are included in the collections of the Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Banff Centre in Alberta, the Midwest Photographers Project Collection at the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, and McHenry County College, among others. He has received grant support from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Larson earned an MFA from the Ohio State University and a BA from Purdue University. He holds a tenured teaching appointment at Elgin Community College in Illinois.