Camera Lucida – Sonochemical Presence
Friday, 23 November 2007
Camera Lucida – Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand
Recently while in Venice I had a fleeting space-time intersection with Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand, an interesting couple who create sensory immersion environments that merge physics, chemistry and code. Dmitry directed me to one of their works that uses sound to create light in liquids via a process known as Sonoluminescence. This phenomena occurs when certain liquids are exposed to ultrasound, this causes microscopic bubbles to implode at extremely high temperatures causing the emission of light. Camera Lucida consists of a chamber of gas infused liquid surrounded by multiple ultrasonic transducers that generate an ‘ever modulating sonochemical environment’
The Leonardo paper (PDF) is a great read, it includes the story of how various obstacles were surmounted in pursuit of the required sonochemical reaction, how the Camera Lucida came to be, and how in the experimentation process an intriguing side-effect was generated – a ‘high-pressure thermo-acoustic wind’. It then goes onto discuss, in detail, the final apparatus used in the installation to produce patterns of light-bubbles that correspond to ultrasonic sound waves with their inherent interference patterns. Fascinating work.