Saturday, September 8, 2018

Elsenaar & Scha- Electric Body Manipulation as Performance Art

I didn't realize that electricity was discovered as long ago as the ancient Greeks, when they realized that amber attracted small particles. I honestly never gave much thought to how electricity was actually discovered. Stephen Gray's discoveries are also very interesting, how he used a glass tube and velvet to transfer electrical attraction to soap bubbles, which then attracted small silver particles. I would like to see his 1730's experiment with the young boy in action, because through the description given I have no idea what that performance would actually look like. So glad they have a picture though. Georg Marthias Bose's experiment would have been fascinating to see as well, when he electrified a person until they glowed. I wonder if it felt weird. Gray's Electric Kiss performance would have been pretty funny to watch as well.
The Leyden Jar sounds pretty crazy as well, I'm glad I wasn't around then to test it out, I can handle a few shocks, but being knocked unconscious sounds like way more fun. And it could electrify up to 180 people at a time, BEST PARTY TRICK EVER.
And what was up with Joseph-Aignan Sigaud de la Fond's (gotta love the name) experiment? He chained 20 people, 3 being castrati (a term I had to look up, it means a male singer who was castrated before puberty in order to maintain a high pitched voice...yikes btw...) together to see if sexy-time fluids were necessary for electrical conductivity. What. on. earth. was going through this guy's head.
What was he expecting would happen? Anything goes for science I guess.
ALSO didn't realize that Edison was so messed up. Conducting a "noteworthy series of animal electrocutions" at his research laboratory. I can't even imagine being there for the elephant electrocution. That must have been intense.

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