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Visualising the human breath ("I"), Artwork

  • Jayne Wilton
  • Digital Images
  • Online

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Credit: Visualising the human breath ("I"), Artwork. Jayne Wilton. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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About this work


Artwork capturing the breath expelled from a person as they talk. Titled "I", this artwork was created using the optical Schlieren system. This system records subtle differences in refractive indices, such as would be provided by warm breath in cold air. A laser point source of light is expanded and then refocused by a mirror onto a knife-edge that blocks direct light. Breathing in front of the mirror disturbs the light rays so that some bypass the edge and can be recorded by a camera behind it. Words were spoken in front of the mirror while the patterns produced by the turbulent air were photographically recorded. This image forms a series of work which records the breath from individuals in order to make visible the dynamics of the human breath.


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