6 Litres

3 channel video installation
2500 x 1700 x 1000 mm
Exhibited at K-Fest Arts Festival Kerry, Ireland August 2019

6 Litres was made in collaboration with scientists at Nokia Bell Labs in which I used their Schlieren imaging machinery. Schlieren imaging is commonly used in fluid dynamics, as it can show hidden air currents on a television monitor that would usually be invisible to the naked eye. I use this technology to show the breath and heat that is produced and shared between two people.  

Installed at K-Fest Arts Festival

The illusion of space between two people is shattered when we can observe the physical volume a person's breath occupies in space, or how a person's exhale displaces the atmosphere around them. By seeing the how the breath and body heat from a person extends into the space aroundthem we see how intimately close we are to one another at all times. 6 litres is the average volume of air that a person breathes out when they exhale.

To first realize this piece I worked with two Phd students at Trinity College Dublin to examine thier Schlieren setup. They were using it to analyse airflow through a pressurised tube. Their system used two spherical mirrors. The focal length of their system was around 60cm

After working with them I went to Nokia Bell Labs to use their mirror setup. The focal length of the system at Nokia Bell Labs was 4m.

Making a schlieren imaging system
© rory malone 2023