To follow-up on the watercolor music video that Bobby posted earlier this week, here’s another music video that uses colored water in a completely different way. It’s actually a fun experiment that involves mixing together Jon Hopkins, Linden Gledhill and Craig Ward. You might not hypothesize that the three men (a musician, a biochemist turned photographer and an art director, respectively) would mix well together because of their distinctly different expertise, but what comes of their collaboration is really stunning.
The short explanation of these crystal is that they form as the ingredients in a solution fall out of that solution. Either there’s not enough solvent anymore or components of the solution react with each other to form some insoluble product. Don’t be too intimidated if that sounds like a lot of chemistry, Linden used food coloring. Well, food coloring, a camera attached to a microscope, and techniques he has developed over the length of his career to make these stunning moving images. Craig Ward edited these videos into the visuals for Jon’s new album, Immunity. The folks at the Creator’s Project have a video about the entire process which you can watch here.
In a bizarre but very real way, these videos are handmade. Instead of each frame being rendered by hand, the video is the result of using your hands to make a solution, set up an apparatus and seeing what crystallizes. Linden says that the images “take the person away from reality.” But the images are very real, just inhabiting a world so minuscule and fantastic that it seems alien; a flamboyantly saturated universe I think we’d all like to visit. And we can, because when the images are combined with the hypnotic and immersive sounds of Jon Hopkins, the visuals are an oddly cohesive and embarrassingly beautiful trip.
P.S. An important, and rather nerdy, distinction is that these images were created using light microscopy. The color in the images are, astoundingly, real. Waaaaaaay back a long time ago we talked about Caren Alpert and her images of food taken using electron microscopy, and as is the case with all electron microscopy, the color is added after the fact (because the structures are not big enough to have color; they’re smaller than the wavelength of light).