Oscillon 40 thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C , Case MB2E, Shelf DR51

Oscillon 40

Photograph
1952 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This photograph was created by artist Ben Laposky in 1952. Laposky used an oscilloscope to manipulate electronic waves that were then displayed on a fluorescent screen. The waves would have been constantly moving and undulating on the screen, but there was no way of recording these movements on paper at this time. By photographing them, the artist was able to capture these images and record them for history.

Laposky photographed different combinations of these waves and called his images 'Oscillons'. The earliest photographs, such as this one, were black and white, but in later years the artist used a filter in order to produce striking colour images.

Oscilloscopes are used in many different disciplines, including medicine, engineering and telecommunications. Laposky used an analogue oscilloscope, in which the electrical signal is recorded as a wave.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
C-type photographic print
Brief Description
Ben Laposky, 'Oscillon 40', C-type photographic print, 1952.
Physical Description
Black and white C-type photographic print of electronic waves displayed on an oscilloscope.
Dimensions
  • Height: 20.3cm
  • Width: 25.1cm
Gallery Label
Ben Laposky 1914-2000 Oscillon 40 1952 Laposky is regarded as one of the forefathers of computer-generated art. He used long exposure photography to capture the electrical signals that were displayed on the fluorescent screen of an oscilloscope. Laposky invented the term 'oscillon' for the electronic abstractions he created. [42] C-type photographic print Given by the American Friends of the V&A through the generosity of Patric Prince Museum no. E.958-2008(07/12/2009 - 20/06/2010)
Credit line
Given by the American Friends of the V&A through the generosity of Patric Prince
Summary
This photograph was created by artist Ben Laposky in 1952. Laposky used an oscilloscope to manipulate electronic waves that were then displayed on a fluorescent screen. The waves would have been constantly moving and undulating on the screen, but there was no way of recording these movements on paper at this time. By photographing them, the artist was able to capture these images and record them for history.



Laposky photographed different combinations of these waves and called his images 'Oscillons'. The earliest photographs, such as this one, were black and white, but in later years the artist used a filter in order to produce striking colour images.



Oscilloscopes are used in many different disciplines, including medicine, engineering and telecommunications. Laposky used an analogue oscilloscope, in which the electrical signal is recorded as a wave.
Bibliographic Reference
Laposky, Ben F., Electronic Abstractions, Cherokee, Iowa, 1953
Collection
Accession Number
E.958-2008

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record createdFebruary 12, 2009
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