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Lightning in a Jar · Original Short Story ·
Organised by RogerDodger
Word limit 2000–8000
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The Electroscope
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#1 · 1
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
Art mini-reviews!

I like the composition on this one — especially the balance of the golden elements — although in hindsight I'm wondering exactly how this jar is supposed to work (never mind what the figure is doing in it). The metal of the knob goes through the cap, so it's conducting the electricity in, but then it's not actually connected to any of the other metal bits, so without grounding the charge won't go anywhere…? Is this maybe some sort of Van de Graff apparatus meant to show arcs of lightning? (If so, it's not working at the moment of the picture.) Anyway, nicely evocative for the level of detail.
#2 ·
What is it with the freehanded ellipses?

Seriously, Artist, I appreciate that you took the trouble to hand draw this. The pencil lines lend vivacity to the work. Even if that’s a fantasy apparatus, it’s interesting to look at, and your dancing figure is quite lively.
#3 · 1
· · >>GroaningGreyAgony
The composition is excellent, but I'm not sure if I wish to see it with a background to add some context or not.

As it is, I'm left with questions that both play in its favor and harm it. I think that a piece of art should make the audience ask themselves questions, but here, some of them are related to the function of the object itself, and by proximity, what it is supposed to symbolise.

I got that the "woman" is the conductor for the "lightning", and that the electric current can flow once both of her feet touch the two metallic things. It also means that the current flows when the woman has her legs spread. Aaaaanndd, I'm not sure what this means. Does it mean that women gain power through sex? Does it mean that you can actually have power by spreading a woman leg, and still keep her imprisonned in a jar?
Or is it a representation of "life" as the lightning, only able to act when women "spread their legs"?

As you can see, there are too many unknown variables for me to really get a good grasp on it. However, a lot of these questions are what makes art for me for the most part. So good job with that.
#4 · 2
>>horizon, >>Fenton

The Electroscope

Thanks for liking my art!

I was sure that someone would at least google it, but an electroscope is a real thing, and I took some pains to draw one accurately. These images in particular were my models: (1, 2) The gold foil leaves inside the jar spread apart when the metal plate at top encounters an electric charge, and the upright rods are a safety measure that discharges the foil if it spreads too far. The spark I show at the top is artistic license; the device does not require a visible charge to operate.

This whole piece was based on the visual pun of the spreading gold leaves and the legs of a leaping or suspended dancer. I did a freehand pencil sketch, intending to overlay it with clean lines in Illustrator, but I had no time to polish it, so I just scanned it into Photoshop and colorized it.


Aaaaanndd, I’m not sure what this means.

Whether it’s an energetic charge (of dancing) or a sexual charge is something I wanted to leave ambiguous.