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September 15, 2004

Water Gongs-performance art bot


Waterways as Networks

the water gong bot, by David Birchfield is a dynamic, autonomous, robotic installation that is comprised of a network of seven water gongs that resonante at fluctuating pitches as the water levels rise and fall. As the gongs resonante, the surface of the water in the tanks ripple; and as the solenoid actuators alter their pulse rates, and the illuminating lamps dim and rise, the visual ripples and shadows change intensity and character.

The rise and fall of water in each water gong tank references tidal cycles. Water serves as the means of communication between nodes in the network, and this anachronistic method references the use of waterways as the traditional vehicle for communication and transportation. The network of water gongs also share a limited resource of water, and its constantly shifting allocation between the members of the system models the shifts of natural, cultural, and intellectual resources throughout the networks of our local and global communities. The sonic and visual aspects of the piece represent the states and shifts of the network as it passes through moments of stability and instability.

Posted by jo at September 15, 2004 08:05 AM