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The fate of purity

Alex den Ouden

Some winters do bring us snow. Well, perhaps not so much for the last few years, due to global heating.

Now snow looks very nice, when fallen recently. This however does not keep. This gave Alex the idea for an ad-hoc performance. He made a rough face mask from fresh snow and sat with it, holding the mask in his hand in front of his face.

As was to be expected, the mask gradually melted down. In the end, it crumbled and fell apart, so exposing Alex's face, which was a bit blackened to suggest the smuttiness of non-purity.

It soon became clear that the melting did not proceed very quickly. After a quarter of an hour, Alex's hand was nearly frozen and hardly anything else had happened.

No problem. We rigged a 500 Watt halogen spotlight at a distance of about half a metre and hey presto, the snow started to melt in grand fashion. The drops of melting water soon formed a small stream flowing down Alex's shirt front.

After about 10 minutes Alex was soaked, the mask was considerably reduced in size and then, suddenly, the remaining part of the mask collapsed completely.

The whole performance was time-lapse photographed from a tripod, a photo every 5 seconds. From these photos we have assembled the photostrip shown at the right....