How Did This Artist Freeze an Exploding Boulder In Time?

We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Unless you're committing life insurance fraud, you'll never get to experience what it's like to be inside an explosion. And maybe that's what inspired sculptor Zhan Wang's My Personal Universe which lets gallery patrons wander through a paused blast.

So how does one accurately recreate an explosion? The 5,000+ pieces of stainless steel rock fragments that make up the hanging sculpture were arranged based on an actual detonation. Zhan started by recording an exploding boulder using six strategically placed high-definition video cameras, recording at 2,000 frames per second.

The recordings, which are projected onto the walls surrounding the sculpture, were meticulously studied, frame-by-frame, to determine the trajectories of the various pieces of shrapnel. With multiple camera angles to work with, Zhan was able to recreate a single moment of the explosion, shortly after it went kaboom. [Zhan Wang via Witness]