Art meets Science: Photographer adds watercolours to magnetised ferrofluids

Art post – I like the look of these works by Fabian Oefner (see website, I came across them through this article on Wired:

A photographer has created a series of rainbow-coloured, brain-like images by introducing tiny watercolour droplets into magnetically charged ferrofluids.

The Millefiori series by Zurich-based Fabian Oefner takes advantage of the iron nanoparticles present in ferrofluids. By placing the oily substance on a glass surface and fixing a magnet on the opposite side, the fluid springs into strange three-dimensional shapes due to the particles continually repelling and attracting one another. Oefner found that by adding liquid to the ferrofluid at this time, it began to form viscous channels like oil slicks, vivid pockets of colour plugging the gaps.




So what’s a ferrofluid? They’re about the neatest thing since sliced bread. I remember being stunned when I saw these Youtube clips a couple years ago:

  1. Ferrofluid Sculpture
  2. Ferrofluid Demonstration
  3. Fluid creates magnetic sculptures

One day art might assemble itself…