Atlas Obscura is organizing trips! Join us on an adventure »
Today Only: 50% off Atlas Obscura books and calendars at Barnes & Noble »

Watch This Art Installation Made With Moving Rocket Fuel

Where art and science meet.

 In the 1960s NASA invented a new liquid called ferrofluid to be used as rocket fuel for spaceships. As this video suggests, its purpose has shifted quite fluidly into other fields.

In fact, ferrofluid has found a place in electronics, mechanical engineering, medical science, and—unexpectedly—art.

Working with the unique properties of the substance, which changes form when exposed to a magnetic field, Japanese artist Sachiko Kodama has made it into one of her preferred mediums.

This video captures one of Kodama’s most beautiful installations. Titled Morpho Tower/Two Standing Spirals, this piece was created in 2007. It consists of two spiral towers standing on a large plate filled with ferrofluid.

As music plays, the magnetic field around the fluid changes, causing it to form incredibly beautiful shapes around the spirals. The spirals, in turn, affect each other and engage in a sort of dance that is truly captivating.

Kodama’s work has been exhibited in museums around the world, including the National Art Center in Tokyo and the Reina Sofia National Museum in Madrid.

Every day we track down a Video Wonder: an audiovisual offering that delights, inspires, and entertains. Have you encountered a video we should feature? Email ella@atlasobscura.com.