ITER — a piece of art
His black and white images of the stellarator Wendelstein 7-X have more resemblance to an alien spaceship than a fusion device. And, through his lens, the rather prosaic Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility at ITER takes on another dimension.
Photo: Christian Luenig
German photographer Christian Luenig is well respected in the fields of documentary photography, photojournalism and photo arts. He has won many awards for his interpretation of architecture, technology and research — and even the occasional rave party. One of his most recent prizes was received for work on two German fusion devices, the Textor tokamak in Juelich and the Wendelstein stellarator in Greifswald.
"I have always been fascinated by capturing complex scientific projects, by translating high-tech into art. When I read about Wendelstein being assembled at the Max-Planck-Institute for Plasmaphysics I thought—I have to get in there! And so it was..."
It comes thus as no surprise that — having made contact with the fusion community - he wished to shoot the "the making of" at ITER.
The characteristic texture and particular lighting of Luenig's images comes from a technique called "tone mapping." Multiple exposures of one object are digitally layered and then rendered by a special program. The result is quite dramatic on metal surfaces such as fusion devices.
The image gallery below shows some of the results from his maiden visit to the ITER worksite. He will certainly be back once the assembly of the ITER machine is in full swing to create art from the ITER machine.
For more information about Christian Luenig and to view his work, visit www.arbeitsblende.de. (All images: Christian Lünig/ VG Bild und Kunst)
The Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility in colour ...
... and in black and white.
Seen through a tilt-shift lens, ITER's Poloidal Field Coils Winding Facility takes on another dimension.
The stark whiteness of the Assembly Building pillars against a darkened sky.
A circle of formwork in the centre of the Tokamak Pit catches the photographer's eye.
It's overhead as you walk through the winding facility, but you'd never see it in quite this way: the 40-tonne circular spreader beam.
The future home of the ITER Tokamak, photographed in May 2015.
Soon to reach 60 metres, the pillars of the Assembly Building loom over the Tokamak Seismic Pit below.
The characteristic texture and particular lighting of Luenig's images comes from a technique called "tone mapping." Multiple exposures of one object are digitally layered and then rendered by a special program.
No complex steel fusion machine to photograph yet, but plenty of graphic form work, rebar and crane towers.
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