Science art: TLC | Chemical Romance

This 2010 installation by Laura Alesci (assisted by Dr Aaron M. Socha, Chemist) used CS gas and pepper spray to create a harmless cloud of the TLC molecule and lights.

The TLC installation explored the junction of science, art and design. The chemical agents of pepper spray and tear gas were deconstructed and merged to create a new, non-threatening, molecule. And, a pink gas.

The name ‘TLC’ comes from the plates that are used for reaction and products tests: Thin layer chromatography (TLC). TLC is used to monitor and visualise reactions.

In the installation, the molecule is dissolved in acetone and water, placed into a humidifier, and vaporised. Although the effects mimic a tear gas grenade being detonated, the vaporous cloud is harmless. The pink lit room creates the pink cloud vapor and offers momentary disorientation.

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