Yesterday I watched Takeshi Kitano’s ‘Art Beat’ on NHK World about Hiroshi Sugimoto and his images. Takeshi spent time with Hiroshi in his darkroom in New York showing how he makes his ‘Lightning Field’ images. How many of us have a 400,000 volt Van Der Graaf Generator in our darkrooms!

In the last image you can see the generator and a large sheet of metal sitting on top of the bench which is earthed/grounded. He lays a sheet of film on top of the metal, charges up the generator and, when ready, slowly lowers a probe he is holding on to the film. At some point the static discharges and the image is produced. He then develops as you would for a normal neg. Each neg is totally unique.

Fascinating documentary but sadly only 30 minutes long. It also covered Hiroshi’s projects: Portraits, Theatres and Seascapes.

Hiroshi Sugimoto site.


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