Dmitry Gelfand (RU/NL) & Evelina Domnitch (MBY/NL) Camera Lucida

installation, 2003

Within a transparent chamber filled with water, sound waves are transformed into light emissions by employing a phenomenon known as sonoluminescence. After adapting to the absolute darkness surrounding the installation, one begins to perceive the fleeting configurations of glowing sound fields. Although it has been established that the source of light arises inside of the imploding gas bubbles, the sequence of events remains predominantly unknown. After much research, numerous theories have been proposed, ranging from collision-induced radiation and quantum tunneling to plasma core ionization and even bubble fusion. No research, however, has been conducted on the implications of sonoluminescence as a perceptual tool. It is our intention to uncover this delicate bio-chemi-physical interface, where the visible is the condition of the invisible (of the audible) and “where the inverse is also true, where invisibility [the disappearance of the observer in total darkness] is the condition of a new kind of visibility” (Roger Caillois).

Dmitry Gelfand (RU/NL) & Evelina Domnitch (MBY/NL)

Dmitry Gelfand (St. Petersburg, Russia, 1974) and Evelina Domnitch (Minsk, Belarus, 1972) create sensory immersion environments that merge physics, chemistry and computer science with uncanny philosophical practices. Current findings, particularly regarding wave phenomena, are employed by the artists to investigate questions of perception and perpetuity. Such investigations are salient because the scientific picture of the world, which serves as the basis for contemporary thought, still cannot encompass the unrecordable workings of consciousness.

Having dismissed the use of recording and fixative media, Domnitch and Gelfand’s installations exist as ever-transforming phenomena offered for observation. Because these rarely seen phenomena take place directly in front of the observer without being intermediated, they often serve to vastly extend one’s sensory envelope.

The immediacy of this experience allows the observer to transcend the illusory distinction between scientific discovery and perceptual expansion.In order to engage such ephemeral processes, the artists have collaborated with numerous scientific research facilities, including the Drittes Physikalisches Institut (Göttingen University, Germany), the Institute of Advanced Sciences and Technologies (Japan), and the European Space Agency. They are the recipients of the Japan Media Arts Excellence Prize (2007), and four Ars Electronica Honorary Mentions (2013, 2011, 2009 and 2007).

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