Since I felt like I had hit a wall and could not progress any further with the Schlieren Mirror, I finally decided to re-edit my LIDAR photography video & do an extra project for my final. With the edgertronic high-speed camera, I captured a couple of my friends eating   traditional diner food in extra-high speed. Thank you to Ritter’s Diner in Bloomfield for letting me film in their facilities.

After a long reflection, I decided to add an eating audio track, at low decibels and extra high speed, as I felt like it caused this cringe-worthy feeling at the maximum of its extent. About half way through the video, I switch to play the videos in reverse, simultaneously playing the sound at low speed. After editing all the footage, I decided everything looked more annoying, off-putting and gross with the red-ish tint, which I reverted back to.

Without being a huge comment on society, this idea stemmed after talking to my friend about fast food in America and how much this culture differs from the rest of the world. After reflexion, we came to the conclusion that this part of our culture was also the beauty of this country.

“This is it”

Thank you Golan for a great semester!

PS: There is an error with the rendering at 1:39, I am trying to figure out what it is!




For my last project, I was hoping to create something new, as I have reached the technical limitations of the schlieren mirror and what can be achieved with it. I had started to play with the high speed camera in my previous project and was hoping to do explore it further. My current idea is the creation of an exquisite corpse type face, or the creation of an entirely new being by the means of different body parts filmed with the high speed.

Similar projects:

Golan’s project:

Smokey’s project:



For my final, I was hoping to either :

  1. further my research with the Schlieren mirror and capture airflow through speech (which was my original goal). After doing some research and finding this paper dealing with my subject specifically, I have decided to try two different methods: 1) by using dry ice to generate cold air that could possibly contrast with breath and 2) use a high resolution camera without slow-motion, which might help with the loss of detail. If I succeed (huge if), I will visualize a meaningful piece of text (tbd), without sound.

Or 2) put my LIDAR scans into Google cardboard.


VISUALIZING SOUND: Schlieren Photography


I grew up speaking a very specific language known as franglish: a perfect mix of both french and english, stemming from my french upbringing and my english speaking household. Over the years, I acquired an automatic alternation of languages mid-sentence, picking and choosing the words that got closest to the emotion I was hoping to portray. An example: “Mom, where did you put my classeur de maths with the blue carreaux couverture?” Not only did mix words, I also completely reinvented grammatical constructions of sentences. I later added german to the mix, making my vocabulary incredibly precise, but impossible to comprehend for anyone who was not fluent in all three of those languages. My household was bilingual and my primary/secondary education were as well. To put it bluntly, coming here, nobody had any idea what I was talking about.

It led me to constantly consider the weight of my words and the literal meaning of metaphors and expressions. We use the physical to talk about the abstract, but what if the abstract had a physical form?

I rely on my background in science and cognition to create work, this being no different. I was hoping to use the schlieren mirror to visualize the invisible, speech, and the physicality that is associated with language and semantics.



  • Iron 3D printed speech bubble




(see process post







Gesaffelstein at 300fps (gif)


Gesaffelstein, at 300 fps (video)


Whiplash drum solo, at 300 fps (video)


I intend on using the Schlieren for my capstone in order to achieve my first goal, speech. The studio’s mirror is not good enough to show speech by itself, but I am thinking of using a sheet of dry ice to create colliding temperature. Cold air paired with the (real) high speed camera might yield hoped results.

cdslls – EventProgress

I achieved to make a frame specially optimized for the schlieren mirror, in order to hold it up with a clamp and keep it nice and snug. The frontal pieces of plywood were used instead of wood to maximize the amount of light refraction. The biggest difficulty in achieving this first step was building the frame, without bringing the mirror into the wood shop (to avoid it getting dusty and damaged). It was a nice surprise to see that it fit perfectly inside its designed space (with a millimeter accuracy).

Process sketch:

Then I proceeded to setting up the schlieren mirror at a focal distance of about 2 meters. The image below shows my point light source (a flashlight covered with metallic tape) and its refraction at a distance of about 5mm from the original source. Today I will proceed with the razorblade placement and first trials.


I’ve been itching to use the Schlieren Mirror ever since it was introduced in class and what better assignment than “Event”? Because the Schlieren Mirror is such a methodical and scientific tool, I was hoping to depict something that traditionally is not. More specifically, I am interested in human behavior and communication .

As someone who encounters differences in semantics every single day, I am specifically interested in miscomprehension between cultures and languages. Metaphors and expressions are a very specific and suitable example of this. With the Schlieren Mirror, I am hoping to visualize the abstract, be it in semantics or physical forces.



LIDAR PHOTOGRAPHY (a naturalistic observation)

(I didn’t realize until it was too late that I forgot to deinterlace the video before exporting.  A better quality version will be up soon.)

I’ve always loved people watching in public transportation. I find people’s physical behavior incredibly revealing. This was my main source of inspiration for this project: Trying to capture the topographical organization of public transportation and people’s seating and positioning preferences.

To capture my space, I decided to use a lidar scanner, which provides some sense of anonymity and the physical ability to move through space and the people inhabiting it. It felt surprisingly intimate in more ways than one:

  1. People were curious and unintimidated, unlike what I had originally feared.
  2. The shots provide a glimpse into a commonly mundane activity. You wan notice phones, people looking away from the crowd, agglomerations and separation of groups etc.
  3. This capture walks the line between distance and proximity with strangers.

I was hoping to capture my place in a completely naturalistic way, without any interference from the observer. In order to do so, I needed to find a way to exclude myself from the 360° (in reality 270°) scan. I therefore tapped the lidar rig, which was created by the amazing Ben Snell (who also wrote the OpenFrameworks program I used), to a Carnegie Mellon Civil Engineering hard hat. I then proceeded to walk around with a 10 pound Uninterruptible Power Supply in my backpack connected by multiple wires to my laptop, arduino and additional usb port. Golan was nice enough to help me destroy the battery beeping (that occurred every 10 seconds) by opening the battery and hot gluing the mike. Beeps and wires sticking out of backpacks usually aren’t very appreciated on public transports.




A place that has been on my mind semi-constantly for as long as I can remember is Dr. Seuss’ “Waiting Place” from Oh, the Places You’ll Go. I find it incredibly intriguing and terrifying, having seen so many people stuck in a much more real-life version of it.


I came up with a list of places where we are left waiting: bus stops, churches, hospitals, immigration centers, the DMV… Only one of them really stuck: Laundromats.

  1. Because of their eerie lighting and background noise
  2. Because it represents the epitome of “waiting” (boring, mundane activity, unable to leave and pursue something else, waste of time)
  3. Because of the population it is used by (waiting for a change? –> nobody prefers laundromats over owning their own washing machine)

As for the method, I was hoping to create a 3D model of the space using a Lidar Scanner, because I love the image quality it generates. Although I am still on the fence about it, because I would obviously lose the odd quality of light… I am also unsure of how the scanner responds to movement (which would be hard to prevent).


For my portrait assignment I decided to make a digital reproduction of gloeilamp’s interaction with bioluminescent plankton. To achieve this, I decided to use a technique called slit scanning in order to recreate the flow of water with a supplement of water projections and blue glow sticks to recreate the chemiluminescence.

I particularly enjoy slit-scanning as a method because it very literally plays with the way one sees and perceives time. The reason I decided to depict this specific event instead of one that might have been more personally relevant to my subject is due to my own interests. Most of my work involves time, space or narration in one way or another and thought it would be interesting to depict gloeilamp through my eyes instead of her own.


  1. Once I decided what part of her story I wanted to narrate, I immediately turned to Processing and slit scanning + time displacement. I created many variations in my sketches in order to find the visual effect I wanted.
  2. I then filmed gloeilamp in the photo studio. Hoping to add to the authenticity of the experience and the final visual effect, I projected wave sequences onto her body and asked her to interact with blue glow sticks. My intention was for her to stay as natural as possible. The video starts with her getting ready to enter the water. She jumps out of the frame and land back in the (slit-scanned) water. All shots were concentrated on her hands and feet, which was meant to reference the highly sensitive part of our somatosensory cortex (and the parts of her body that would have been affected most by the experience/affect the chemiluminescence of the plankton due to touch).
  3. Finally, I put each video into my chosen processing.js sketches and rendered the final video in premiere pro.

I am mostly satisfied with my project as I got pretty close to my initial idea. I really would have liked to know my subject better before making a portrait of her (it would have added some complexity to the concept) however I do feel like I got to know her through the entire process. I am also disappointed that the shots didn’t turn out as high quality as I would’ve wanted to. The camera I used probably wasn’t the best for low light settings and I should have checked on my computer screen before leaving the studio. I was stuck in an odd place between wanting high quality footage and it not being the most practical option for processing rendering.

(For sketches, see PortraitPlan).





For my portrait assignment I was hoping to use the slit-scanning technique in order to imitate/recreate the flow of water digitally. My assigned partner mentioned she was a rescue diver and described her interaction with bioluminescent plankton, who reacted to her touch.

The idea was to create a video narrating the event, starting from the point my partner enters the water and the transition between earth and ocean. I was planning on using UV light or projections in order to communicate the change of states (currently undecided) + blue glow sticks to re-create the bioluminescence of the plankton. I envision a concentration of shots that specifically concentrate on the somatosensory system.  Finally, I was planning on creating various slit scans in order to recreate different directional and qualitative flows.


cdsllls – SEM

When I tell people what I study, I am usually quickly interrupted with the question “How on earth do neuroscience and art overlap?” Depending on my interlocutor, I don’t always know what to answer. This here is exactly what I wish I could show them. These following images were made with a piece of dead butterfly wing. I remember the way my mom rolled her eyes when I asked her to rummage through her purse so I could use her tampon box as a dead butterfly container. She wasn’t too happy about it. I can’t wait to show these to her now.

The most interesting part of my session with Donna was noticing how incredibly structural the wings were. They are extremely delicate, to the point where they dissolve between your fingers, but due to their incredible architecture they are able to be used as a reliable, energetic and strong mode of transportation. I found the symmetry and intricacy of the wings absolutely fascinating. At the bottom I attached a picture of the MuCEM (Musee des Civilisations), whose architecture gets pretty close to the microscopic detail of the butterfly wing .

cdslls introduction

I am a second year foreign student from Alsace, France. I grew up in a very uneventful city about twenty minutes from both the German and Swiss borders, which was my incentive to spend seven years of my life studying in Freiburg, Germany. Don’t be surprised if some of my sentences only make sense to me. The usual procedure is to nod and smile uncomfortably.

I am pursuing a BXA intercollege degree in Neuroscience and Visual arts with a concentration in Electronic and Time Based Media. I am mostly interested in the intersection of commonly heterogeneously disciplines and the overlap between analytical  and creative thought. What I like most about new media art is the lack of boundaries to the medium.

Best compliment I ever got: “You are the queen of gifs”