Art Lies, Volume 2, May-June 1994

"WHAT IS ANIURA? "'
A STRANGE WEB OF TIME
AND SPACE: THE UNIQUE
APPEARANCE OF A
DISTANCE, HOWEVER
CLOSE AT HAND. OR A
SUMMER NOON, RESTING,
TO FOLLOW THE LINE OF A
MO UNTAIN RANGE OK THE
HORIZON OR A TWIG
WHICH THROWS ITS
SHADOW ON THE
OBSERVER, UNTIL
MOMENT 0 UR
BEGINS TO BE ART OF
ITS ARAI'- THAT
IS TO BREAT THE AURA
OF THOS MOUNTAINS,
THAT TWIG."
-Walter Benjam , "A Short History of
Photogra hy." (tr. Phil Patton)
Reprinted n Classic Essays On
Photography, e Alan Trachtenberg
(New Haven: Lee e's, 1980), p. 209.

AL

artI i e s REFLECTIONS

Traveling on the psychic energy of messages from license plate
letters these days, and on words out of the mouths of
weathermen, I'm talking art (big A) as in Art and Science (big S), a
wonderful "combination" of fact and fiction, truth being the
stranger of the two. The first mouth-organ, harmonica if you
prefer, was called an "aura," patented in 1821 by a German
named Friedrich Buschmann. Different auras around objects (art)
or people may be photographed by exposing them to a high-
frequency electric field. The thing appears to be surrounded by
Discharges of light-blue, white, or red or orange or yellow colors.
Maybe a combination.
Kirlian images, after the two
Russian scientists, Semyon and
. Valentina Kirlian, who developed
the technique, are really pictures
of the re-combination of nitrogen
ions and electrons that are
affected by an electric field and
give off emissions of ultraviolet
light. One of Robert Poindexter's
paintings, Noctolux #5 (Seeing in
the Dark) at Sally Sprout Gallery,
shared its aura in the
shimmerhoverglow reality of
pinkstreakreallife. The Alchemy
House on Blossom Street definitely
had this shimmerhoverglow, and it
transformed the night of Winter
Solstice. Vapors, humours,
elements, energy, fire, music-
what more could you want-
caused a sense of an
electromagnetic field sparking
around it. Not dissimilar to
Ghostbusters or Repo Man for you
film aficionados, but with a hush
given to the season.
Aurora Borealis and Aurora
Australis flashlight up the north
and south skies when streams of
electrically charged particles from
the solar wind ionize the
atmospheric gases. No Universal
Beano that night: major magnetic
storms with color display beyond
the pale at the poles.
Rolywholyover crash/trash skaters
with their moving light-show against music and whatabout John
Cage provided a grounded Aurora Borealis; Dominique deMenil's
presence provided the original energy. I'd like to see a Kirlian
photo of her aura ... Now that would be an AURA: combination of
all 96 Crayola colors including asparagus.*

Chandler, Wade & Schwab, Eric Jonah. Art Lies, Volume 2, May-June 1994. Houston, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth228035/. Accessed July 13, 2014.