Intuitive Leaps

One-of-a-kind photographs by Bruce Kasanoff

 
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One of my first images that "worked"

Taken in 2006

 

It all started when...

In 2006, I read a physicist's article about his side project trying to take a creative photograph of superstrings (as in the physics theory of the same name). This poses certain technical challenges, since the average size of of a string is thought to be about a millionth of a billionth of a billionth of a billionth of a centimeter.

Yes, that's small.

So this guy used string and a small light and a pottery wheel of sorts to produce some pretty intriguing photos that—to my eyes—appeared pretty close to what the fabric of the Universe might look like.

I enjoy a challenge, so off I went to my basement in an effort to reproduce his results.

It worked! I was hooked. I took thousands and thousands of images. Most looked like what happens when your grandmother tries to take a picture with your iPhone and partially covers the camera lens with her finger.

But every now and then, I'd create an image like the one at the top of this page.

The creative process turned out to be an antidote for my always-thinking, ever-whirling brain. Plus, it was a good refuge from being asked to take out the garbage or help Junior conjugate verbs. 

Over the years, I have been tempted to "elevate" my process, to invest in "better" lighting or a larger space in which to work. I've come to realize any of these would be a huge mistake.

The whole point of my images is to demonstrate that majesty, beauty, and wonder surrounds us. I use the simplest materials possible: bits of string, scraps of paper, odds and ends that cost a buck or two, and flashlights from Walmart. Everything I capture exists around you right now and every moment... if only you take the time to look closely.

I hope that when you look at my photographs—hopefully in your office, home, or favorite institution—you remember to keep your eyes and heart open.