Using a mixture of soap bubbles and exotic ferrofluid liquid, San Francisco-based designer Kim Pimmel creates a time-lapse race between dye and liquid, pulled by the forces of magnetism and capillarity in his experimental art video, Compressed 02.

Pulsing to the beat of Pimmel’s own score, the bubbles dance in a hypnotic trance of contrasting colours with an eerie sense of urgency. The piece culminates in a final showdown between the red bubbles and the central black bubble. The juxtaposition between the red and black from the final moments of the piece, and the black and white that began it, communicates a sense of savagery, as if we have just watched a war-like battle transpire in short bursts.

The sense of eeriness that is derived from this piece comes from the vitriolic imagery that is being associated with something that is usually portrayed as harmless—the household soap bubble. Pimmel, who is “inspired by light and form”, has created an other-worldly tale of intrigue and apparent-savagery, using unexpected items that usually would be associated with bunsen burners and test tubes in an undoubtedly creative way.