Volute 1: Au Clair de la Lune

This sculpture is the world’s first 3D-printed speech bubble. In 1860, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville recorded the phrase “Au clair de la lune” on his phonoautograph, making the first known recording of human speech. In this piece, the same phrase is materialized with a new method developed by Lozano-Hemmer’s studio in conjunction with fluid dynamic scientists from Georgia Institute of Technology, Auburn University, and NYU. Breath exhaled while speaking is scanned by a custom-made laser tomograph, then converted into a 3D shape using photogrammetry and, finally, printed in high-definition stainless steel. In Lozano Hemmer’s series of “Volutes”—words, phrases, and songs—are rendered into turbulent clouds, containing layers of complex folds and vortices. This piece is inspired by Charles Babbage’s 1837 statement that the atmosphere is a vast library that contains all the words that have been spoken in the past. The piece includes a video of the tomograph slices on a square display, showing the cloud in motion.

General info

Spanish name:
Voluta 1: Claro de Luna
Year of creation:
3D-printed polished aluminum, tomography video
Room conditions:
Natural or artificial light. The piece is silent and is not affected by other sounds.
Sculpture: 65 x 19 x 21 cm
Video: variable dimensions
6 copies + 2 AP copies



  • Stephan Schulz, Kitae Kim, Miguel Legault, Sergio Clavijo - Antimodular Production
  • S. Johnston, J. Imgrund, D. Fries - Georgia Institute of Technology
  • K. Johnson, J. Bolton, C. Clifford, B. Thurow - Auburn University
  • E. Fonda, K. Sreenivasan, D. Ranjan - New York University