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Spectacular fractal patterns emerge when electricity meets a wooden surface

For the ABC Science series Phenomena, the Australian artist and filmmaker Josef Gatti collaborated with the Australian composer Kim Moyes for an amalgamation of art and science exploring ‘naturally occurring patterns, and the fundamental forces of nature that create them’. In this electricity-themed entry, Gatti combines an electric circuit, a salt solution and a wooden board to demonstrate how electricity ignites into heat energy and finds the path of least resistance on the wood’s surface, forming the fractal patterns known as ‘Lichtenberg figures’. The demonstration doubles as a miniature yet spectacular fireworks show, with the movement of light and fire captured in stunning 4K resolution.

Video by ABC Science

Director: Josef Gatti

Producer: Rob Innes

17 May 2022

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