Art and science can sometimes have a magnetic attraction for one another. In a new set of images, Flint Weisser, an MFA candidate at New York's Pratt Institute, revisits the old iron-filings-sprinkled-around-the-bar-magnet trick but with more visually arresting results. Weisser, 34, first used a special roller to magnetize parallel strips of an iron-based sheet magnet and then scrambled the resulting field lines by applying a stronger magnet at different angles. To visualize the field (green), he covered the whole thing in a green-tinged, gelatinous layer of fine nickel particles, which bunched around the magnetic field lines. Unlike your old Etch-a-Sketch, however, shaking this objet d'art won't erase the image—although it might get you kicked out of Weisser's MFA show.

Magnetic Field Drawing
(1XREFDMG041308)
Steel, magnets, colloidal nickel film
11" x 17" x .750"
Detail view
2008