This video looks absolutely computer-generated, as though it were made by some super-advanced particle engine. But this is actual, real-world video footage, showing a fine power called Lycopodium reacting to vibrations from speakers placed directly below it. Amazing!
Cymatics was produced and directed by German artist Susi Sie, who tapped CypherAudio for the music. The video's title refers to the act of making objects or materials vibrate with sound. In this case, the material is lycopodium powder, which is usually used for pyrotechnics. But thanks to its unique properties that cause it to clump and re-clump when subject to vibration, it also forms the mesmerizing patterns in Sie's video.
This YouTube clip of some experiments from the 60's gives a bit more background into the phenomenon:
Sie used a Canon DSLR and 100mm macro lens—along with some artful post-production—to turn Cymatics into a spellbinding piece of work. [Vimeo via This Is Colossal]