Artist Fabian Oefner likes to work with colour. But he’s neither a painter nor a graphic artist. Instead his work deals with concepts illustrated by colour – works that illustrate the forces in the physical world through bright hues and slow motion filming technology. Throughout his work this interest in how colour itself moves has resulted in experiments with flying paint and bursting balloons, but in this piece, Dancing Colors, Oefner has created a visually arresting exploration of how sound and colour might meet.
These mid-motion images are stills from the film below. In it Oefner has used thousands of coloured crystals to make visible the waves and vibrations that carry sound. “I mounted a thin plastic foil on top of the membrane of a common loud speaker,” Oefner explains of how the film was made. “I then added hundreds of colorful, tiny crystals onto the foil. Every time now that I would play a sound through the speaker, the vibration caused by that sound will make the crystals to jump up and down, forming into these peculiar looking forms and figures you see in the images. Depending on the frequency, pitch and volume of the tone, the figures change their appearance.”
Born and based in Switzerland, Oefner’s work is also a fascinating embodiment of his varied training. He studied painting, photography, typography and art history at the Basel University of Art, later completing a Bachelor of Arts in Product Design at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Northwestern Switzerland. These two strands have created in his work a fascinating hybrid where notions of time, colour and natural law intersect, capturing otherwise unseen moments or movements. You can see much more of his work, including a range of equally exciting colour films, at his Studio Oefner website.