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The creative force of a popped balloon

Posted by Kevin Hartnett  September 26, 2013 09:10 AM

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There is a degree of terror in the idea of popped balloon. Prepare to run, cover your ears, don't handle that thing so roughly! Swiss artist Fabian Oefner dramatizes this small-scale, explosive moment in his series, "Liquid Jewels." Oefner covers modeling balloons with layers of acyrlic paint, pricks them with a pin, and takes high-speed photographs of the ensuing calamity. The paint flashes outward in intermingled waves and tentacles, taking on the aspect of a primeval eruption. It's fun to get a concrete visualization of an event that passes in the blink of an eye, and Oefner's fantastical images confirm why you've been mildly afraid of popping balloons all along: something really intense is going on there.

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Via Colossal

Images courtesy of Fabian Oefner.

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About brainiac Brainiac is the daily blog of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section, covering news and delights from the worlds of art, science, literature, history, design, and more. You can follow us on Twitter @GlobeIdeas.
Brainiac blogger Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Columbia, South Carolina. He can be reached here.

Leon Neyfakh is the staff writer for Ideas. Amanda Katz is the deputy Ideas editor. Stephen Heuser is the Ideas editor.

Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.

Guest blogger Elizabeth Manus is a writer living in New York City. She has been a book review editor at the Boston Phoenix, and a columnist for The New York Observer and Metro.

Guest blogger Sarah Laskow is a freelance writer and editor in New York City. She edits Smithsonian's SmartNews blog and has contributed to Salon, Good, The American Prospect, Bloomberg News, and other publications.

Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."

Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.

Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.


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