Universal Light

Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40h) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation. 


Tutors: Imma Bastida, Thierry Elias, Linh Tran, Julien Arlandis/ physics researchers, Guillaume Lebrun/ photographer, Julien Hillemoine/ filmmaker

Project manager: Mathieu Marion


2015 has been declared “International Year of Light” so this is the time to celebrate it. This project at the intersection of physics, chemistry and the visual arts addresses many questions such as what is light and how is it produced? How does it interact with matter? What colour is it?

The mystery of light 
The history of the connection between physics and light. The class learned how physicists discovered light and phenomena associated with it. They relived several of these experiments through written and visual documents and films.

The properties of light
Next they looked at the physical properties of light. The tutor helped them to observe and measure light, focusing on fluorescence, phosphorescence, diffraction, perception of colours, etc.

The art of light 
The pupils showed the photographer what they had discovered during the first two stages and what had particularly struck them about light. The artist and the pupils chose one case and used scientific data and a lot of imagination to develop a photographic installation.

The class presented its findings, especially the photographs. They took the word “photography” (light writing) literally to make pinhole cameras and silver tone photograms. They played with exposure times to take a different approach to light. 


Outings (selection):
- Foundation EDF “Electra” (Paris): visit to the exhibition “Let there be light”.
- Visit to Synchrotron Soleil (Essonne): the big particle accelerator.
- Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (CEA): visit to several physics laboratories (in particular the Laser Physics Laboratory) and an opportunity to meet researchers.
- Cité des sciences et de l'industrie: “Explora” exhibition

- Class (4th), Collège Lenain de Tillemont, Montreuil
- Class (4th), Segpa Collège Maximilien Robespierre, Epinay-sur-Seine
- Class (3rd), Collège Jean Zay, Bondy
- Class (4th), Collège Raymond Poincaré, La Courneuve
- Class (4th), Collège François Mitterrand, Noisy-le-Grand

Universal light
Universal light
Universal light