Introduction to Holography Course by William R. Alschuler - Spring 2023

Holography is a photographic technique that records the light scattered from an object and then presents it in a way that appears three-dimensional. This process involves the use of lasers to illuminate the subject and to record its image. Unlike traditional photography, which captures a two-dimensional image, holography captures the light field emitted by an object. This is achieved by recording the interference pattern between two light beams: the reference beam and the object beam, which reflects off the subject.

Procedure used in my holograms:
Adjust the laser beam to ensure that the laser beam will reflect off the object and onto the film.
Block the laser.
Set up the holographic film and the object.
Wait 3 minutes for the object  to settle.
Lift the laser cover for 30 seconds while still blocking the laser beam.
Unblock the laser beam to expose the holographic film and object to the laser for about 9 seconds.
Remove the film and immediately develop it in the developer solution.
Rinse the film thoroughly with water.
Squeegee and dry the film.
Rinse the film thoroughly with water and place it in the bleach solution until it’s completely clear.
Rinse the film again with water and let it dry in a dust-free area.
Inspect the hologram for quality and clarity.
Submerge the film in photoflo for 3 minutes.

This course profoundly expanded my understanding and appreciation of both the art and science behind holography. This course has been a comprehensive exploration into not only the techniques of producing holograms that can be viewed in white light but also the underlying principles that make such stunning 3D images possible.

The course began with an introduction to stereoscopic imaging techniques, grounding our understanding of human perception and its application in holography. We delved into the photographic process, and the principles of geometrical, wave, and quantum optics, crucial for understanding how lasers and coherent light sources contribute to holography. Learning the history of holography connected us to the field's evolution, enriching our appreciation for its advancements. Hands-on practice in holographic and non-holographic stereo photography practices honed our skills, enabling us to critically evaluate 3D imaging technologies.

Hologram setup sketches 

Single beam reflection (our setup)

Split beam transmission setup

Denis Gabor holography proof of concept experiment in 1947

The course  covered the science behind stereoscopic vision, the significance of atomic spectra, and the techniques in photography and holography. Equipped with knowledge and skills, we emerged ready to set up our holographic laboratories and continue exploring the potentials of  3D imaging. This course ignited my passion for further exploration and innovation in holography.

Experiential Art Installations

Experience Design Course by Jesse Lee Stout  - Spring 2022 and Winter Session 2024

This intensive course focused on the rapid conceptualization and creation of experiential art installations. Throughout the course, we engaged in a dynamic process of iterating multiple versions of each art installation within a span of a few hours, fostering an experimental and hands-on approach. Each session culminated in a collective critique, allowing us to experience and analyze one another's creations in-depth.

Prompt: Living Music Video

Let’s rethink a music video. How can we create an experience without the performer? The experience must be an appropriate fit for the song. Consider the mood of the music, the rhythm, the lyrics, or the artist’s previous branding.
Collaborators: Ilse Castro, Bonnie Kim and Shannon Siegel.

Prompt: Power in numbers

Create a “moment” using multiples of a lo-fi technology to create an overwhelming experience. The experience must be kinetic; moving physically or moving light.Collaborators: Jae Lee, Sajen Green, and  Hazel He

Photoluminescent Art

I have worked on projects that harness the properties of fluorescence and phosphorescence to create artworks and experiences. These projects utilized materials selected for their ability to absorb light and re-emit it, resulting in pieces that glow in the dark and transform in appearance under varying lighting conditions. I am familiar with the industry standards, techniques, and materials used to integrate these effects into large-scale themed experiences.

Fabrication and Construction

I possess a comprehensive understanding of fabrication techniques, tools, and software. My experience spans the use of laser cutting, 3D printing, CNC routing, and other advanced fabrication tools to create physical objects for my artwork and large-scale immersive experiences. I excel at integrating new software and adapt quickly to new technologies, a skill largely honed through self-directed learning.

I have a keen exploratory instinct and an insatiable curiosity for engaging with new tools, technologies, software, methodologies, and perspective. This explorative drive ensures that my creative ideas and solutions are never confined by the tools at my disposal. Typically, I utilize Fusion 360, AutoCAD, and SketchUp in my projects, continuously expanding my toolkit to bring my ideas to life.

Light Lab

Course by Christopher Akerlind - Fall 2022

Photos exploring  light, projection, shadow, reflection, and scale, among other elements, to redefine the boundaries of visual and spatial perception.

This interplay of elements—light, projection, shadow, reflection, and scale—acts as a conduit for my investigations into the intricate relationship between space, perception, and the observer.

Altered Perception Experiences Research

Centering the Audience and Origins of Immersive Courses by Noah Nelson - Fall 2023 and Spring 2024

I’ve been conducting research on "Altered Perception Experiences" for my immersive experience design coursework at CalArts. This research will culminate in contributing to the Immersive-wiki, a collaborative, Wikipedia-style repository designed by the immersive creator community. It aims to archive immersive projects, case studies, and insights through time for public reference.

My research encompasses case studies, valuable references, and profiles of experience creators who are redefining the limits of perception, consciousness, and the human experience. I'm investigating how innovative technology, imaginative environmental design, and purposeful interventions can significantly transform and enhance individual perceptions and experiences. Among the examples I've delved into are:

🔮 Sensory Deprivation and Overstimulation Experiences:
Deliberately reducing or heightening sensory input to challenge perception. Pushing individuals beyond their usual sensory thresholds.

🌊 Sensory Submersion Experiences:
Immerse individuals in environments that manipulate or fully engage their senses, creating a heightened sensory experience. This could involve immersion in water, altered gravity environments, or audio-visual simulations.

⏳ Time-Distortion Experiences:
Play with temporal perception, either by altering the perception of time passing or creating non-linear experiences where time seems distorted or inconsistent.

💭 Dream Incubation Experiences:
Environments designed to influence dream content, vividness, or lucidity. These experiences aim to enhance dream recall, induce specific dream themes, or facilitate controlled dreaming.

🧪 Substance-Infused Experiences:
Consuming legal and controlled substances that affect cognitive function, alter sensory perceptions, or induce specific mental or emotional states.

🎨 Synesthetic Experiences:
Blurring the boundaries between senses, eliciting a phenomenon where stimulation of one sensory pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in another.

🧘‍♂️ Mood-Modulating Experiences:
Influence emotional states by manipulating environmental factors, sensory input, or technological interventions.

🧠 Neurofeedback Experiences:
Measure brain activity and provide feedback in real time. By influencing brainwave patterns, these experiences enhance cognitive function, relaxation, or altered states of consciousness.

Culinary Experience Design Independent Study

Mentorship by Shannon Scrofano - Fall 2023 and Spring 2o24

I am in the process of completing an independent study titled "Culinary Experience Design," a self-designed course focused on supporting my exploration and development in food-based experiments, including prototyping and playtesting. My fascination with the transformative power of food, paralleled with art, drives this study. Recognizing food as a profound expression of culture, I've dedicated time to develop a framework for exploring food as an artistic medium. My interest particularly lies in integrating various sensory stimuli within large-scale immersive experiences, employing innovative technologies to leverage taste for immersing audiences, storytelling, and engaging with our culture.

In May 2024, I will to showcase concept art, research findings, and outcomes of this study at my portfolio review. This course is structured as a deep dive into the intersection of food with art and science, aiming to create sensorially rich, immersive, and meaningful engagements. It goes beyond mere taste and aroma to examine food's potential as a conduit for storytelling, cultural preservation, and artistic expression.


Explore Food Beyond Nourishment: Understand the multifaceted role of food in our lives, from nourishment to emotional connection, culture, and creativity.

Foundations of Food Experience Design: Acquire the fundamentals of Food Experience Design, including its principles, history, and key concepts.

Design Thinking: Apply design thinking methodologies to reimagine food and beverage items and the entire experience surrounding them.

Rapid Prototyping: Learn how to quickly and inexpensively model, test, and shape culinary experiences.

Culinary Explorations: Embark on culinary excursions, and engage in conversations to gain insights and inspiration.

Throughout my Culinary Experience Design Independent Study, I am  engaged in a series of activities and projects aimed at conceptualizing and developing three distinct culinary experiences. Each of these experiences will focus on a different aspect of culinary design, catering to specific themes:

♻️ Health, Wellness, and Sustainability
🎭 Storytelling and Immersion
🍲 Culture and Heritage

Among these three, I will select one experience for prototyping, where I will bring my concept to life through practical design and testing. Here’s how I plan to complete this work:

Project Overview:

My study involves conceptualizing and developing three distinct culinary experiences, each focusing on different themes: Health, Wellness, and Sustainability; Storytelling and Immersion; and Cultural Heritage. I will select one for prototyping, aiming to embody my concept through practical design and experimentation.

Conceptualization Phase:

Health, Wellness, and Sustainability: Investigating the cross-section of culinary design with health-conscious and sustainable practices.
Storytelling and Immersion: Crafting narratives through food, emphasizing menu design and presentation to create immersive stories.
Cultural Heritage: Exploring culinary traditions to develop a concept that honors and innovates upon cultural culinary practices.

Prototyping and Testing:

Selection of one concept for deep dive development, focusing on menu design, ingredient sourcing, and presentation.
Creation of a prototype, including sample menus and test meals, to refine the dining experience.
Gathering feedback through user testing to assess the concept's impact and appeal.

History of Simulation and Interactive media

Course by Norman Klein - Spring 2022

I completed a course focused on the social history of fantasies that have been built in real space, and the narratives they deliver, choosing examples from theater, film, urban planning, theme parks, world's fairs, malls, animation, live-action cinema, video, electronic games and VR; including the literature of eighties cyberpunk and cyberspace, but also much older sources that are in wide use across media today. Those include scripted illusionistic spaces since 1500; automata (clockwork bodies) from 1760, pre-cinema toys after 1780; urban panoramas, and arcades from the nineteenth century. We examined the shift from tangible industrialism to a world dominated by simulations, affecting everything from privacy to politics.

The course emphasized the profound impact of illusions on our understanding of the world, demonstrating that our modern fascination with replicating reality—whether through digital avatars, plastic surgery, or theme park experiences—echoes centuries-old practices of crafting illusions to explore power relationships and human perceptions. Through this lens, we viewed simulations not as modern inventions but as a continuation of a historical narrative, deeply rooted in the ways we interact with and interpret the world around us.