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The Fulgurator
June 25, 2008 3:35 PM   Subscribe

The Fulgurator. By using a flash detector and a high-powered flash of its own the Fulgurator can project images that are only seen when photographed. "This procedure is very inconspicuous, since it takes place within a few milliseconds." A short video of the Fulgurator in action shows its usage and the results.
posted by GuyZero (30 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
There can't be many public places where you could wield something that looks like that and not get tazered. Neat idea though.
posted by nowonmai at 3:40 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Great idea, can it display "STOP PUTTING THAT CAMERA BETWEEN ME AND THE BAND" to assholes at rock shows?

This weekend I was at a show where the band asked audience members to actually look at the band themselves and not take photos. People refused. The lead singer actually hit the hand of a guy beside me with a drum stick, who looked puzzled, but they kept holding their fucking cameras up in front of everyone and snapping photos.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:48 PM on June 25, 2008


This procedure is very inconspicuous

Except for the part where there is a guy in the middle of the street pointing what looks more than a bit like a good sized firearm at you.

A neat technical idea with an unfortunate final shape.
posted by quin at 3:51 PM on June 25, 2008


Is this one of those things where you have to shake your head back and forth really fast to see it?
posted by mrgrimm at 3:55 PM on June 25, 2008


Quin is right, this would be much more effective as a permanently-mounted device, which means... uh-oh.

Someday soon every picture I try to take of the Statue of Liberty is going to come out with © 2008 Getty Images already silkscreened onto the photo, isn't it?

This invention will not make the world better.
posted by rokusan at 3:55 PM on June 25, 2008 [8 favorites]


This is a very ingenious hack, easily assembled from readily-available components with little or no modification required, other than some duct tape to hold things together.

However, I fear Rokusan is right, this will be used for viral marketing - in fact I'm sure you could argue that it already is.

Also: fulgurator? I 'ardly knew 'er.
posted by kcds at 4:08 PM on June 25, 2008


Yeah, I can just imagine pointing that thing anywhere in NYC....you'd have people ducking and about 20 cops on your ass within seconds. It is a neat idea, though.

I wonder if the video could have been longer, though, with more time before it got to the point?
posted by nevercalm at 4:15 PM on June 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Google Translate seems to be broken.

It's not translating the German word for art into "ruining unsuspecting people's photos", nor artist into "wanker who ruins unsuspecting people's photos".
posted by CKmtl at 4:27 PM on June 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


Indeed, shame about it looking like something that'll kill you. I'd love to see that thing used at political press conferences.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:29 PM on June 25, 2008


It's not translating the German word for art into "ruining unsuspecting people's photos", nor artist into "wanker who ruins unsuspecting people's photos".

You have to transpose the last two letters.
posted by oaf at 4:47 PM on June 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


Agree with nevercalm. Calling it a 'short video' is slightly disingenuous.

Interesting idea, though.
posted by oats at 4:56 PM on June 25, 2008


It appears to be just the (standard, removeable, found at any decent camera store) pistol grip that makes it look like a gun. It could just as easily have a side grip, or no grip at all.

The pistol grip seems like the best ergonomic choice, although, yeah, it looks a bit terroristy.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:23 PM on June 25, 2008


Great idea, but why does the video consist of 3 hours of random people taking pictures, 10 seconds of the payoff and then no explanation?
posted by DU at 5:32 PM on June 25, 2008


Could anyone decipher the text? I got something like "Hundreds of people died last year by trying to cross the US-Mexico border".
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:39 PM on June 25, 2008


WTF is with that video requiring 1:30 before it even shows the device, and another 1:30 of wankery before we see the effect? Sheezus.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:42 PM on June 25, 2008


I would have felt almost compelled to use this in a prank to superimpose a grinning skull over a painted figure like the mona lisa, or put a looming demon in the backdrop to a family photo.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:44 PM on June 25, 2008


"Hundred of people died last year by trying this at the US - Mexico border"
posted by CKmtl at 5:48 PM on June 25, 2008


"Hundred of people died laughing last year by tying this thing to a Mexican boarder"
posted by subgear at 6:02 PM on June 25, 2008


You could easily make it look like an ordinary, if large, camera. (Just as you can make a gun look like an ordinary, if large, camera.)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:21 PM on June 25, 2008


It appears to be just the (standard, removeable, found at any decent camera store) pistol grip that makes it look like a gun. It could just as easily have a side grip, or no grip at all.

That's not a pistol grip, that's the flash gun that projects the image. The image to be projected goes on a piece of 35mm film, and you put it where the film would normally go in a 35mm camera, but you open the back, and put a flash gun behind it, and wire the flash gun's sync terminal to the flash trigger. When the tourist's flash goes off, it triggers the fulgurator to fire the flash gun behind the transparency, and the image is projected through the lens on the front of the camera onto the target.
posted by kcds at 7:36 PM on June 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


This is so cool.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 7:51 PM on June 25, 2008


It's a silly gimmick which thinks it's all post-modern and clever.
posted by rhymer at 2:53 AM on June 26, 2008


(Just as you can make a gun look like an ordinary, if large, camera.)

Or a camera into an actual gun, which in Hollywood's eyes just might get an assassin close enough to whack the President.
posted by bwg at 4:23 AM on June 26, 2008


Guess who's now on the NSA watch list.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:44 AM on June 26, 2008


That is totally effin' awesome.
posted by kalessin at 6:05 AM on June 26, 2008


The video was long. But I liked the music. There choice in what to project was no fun at all.
posted by Goofyy at 6:13 AM on June 26, 2008


The device is interesting & the video well paced.

You get time to think about the social implications of the device by showing the consternation of those taking pictures, while underlining the premise of an artist as someone who takes the right to invade others life. Not revolutionary in its' concept, but certainly new in execution afaik.

@rhymer: Are there examples of good public art that is "post-moden and clever" or are those terms derogatory?
posted by monocultured at 6:45 AM on June 26, 2008


I don't think I've ever seen an art project that wouldn't be cooler if it wasn't framed as 'art'. This is a kind of cool tool for hiding messages and/or messing with people. But what's up with this "targets the very fabric of media memory" crap?

Remember when we had those guys who rigged a projector, camera, and laser pointer so that they could write graffiti on the side of a building? That was kickass. But how much lamer would it be if they said that it was a comment on the impermanence of graffiti and, by extension, the transience of all things?
posted by echo target at 8:19 AM on June 26, 2008 [4 favorites]


I thought it said The Fugulator (as in making people ugly)
posted by dasheekeejones at 3:59 AM on June 27, 2008


As always, Wired Magazine goes places that MeFi has already run roughshod.

Summary of new info from Wired piece: (1) It's from Latin 'fulgar', lightning. (2) The inventor is applying for a patent in order, he claims, to prevent it from being used in commercial, product-placement, this-vacation-photo-copyright-getty-images fashion.
posted by rokusan at 6:25 PM on June 27, 2008


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