Sonochemical Observatory

Camera Lucida is an interactive “sonic observatory” that converts sound waves into light by means of a phenomenon called sonoluminescence.


The continually evolving light sculpture allows one to see sound moving through space – at the meeting point of acoustics and optics. Using sonoluminescence, sound waves are directly converted into light inside a glass chamber filled with gas-infused liquid. After adapting to the darkness surrounding the installation, one can gradually perceive the highly detailed shapes and movements of multiple sound sources.

So far, the only way to view sonoluminescence was in a highly specialized sonochemical laboratory. Camera Lucida presents the first opportunity for people outside the scientific community to experience this rare phenomenon.

Video on the webpage.

By Evelina Domnitch and Dmitry Gelfand, Portable Palace.

The work is at the Garage festival, in Germany, July 22-August 13, 2005.

Via Neural.