reflecting pool [2008]

An antique metal toy house sits immersed in water inside a large and shallow plexiglass tray. Inside the house is a water pump which responds to a network of eight wireless sensor units distributed throughout the exhibiting venues entire building.

These discrete yet sentient nodes monitor the minute changes in humidity of a given building’s interior. These fluctuations are sent to the host computer which then signals the pump to activate, flooding the surface of the model house with water and then settling again. The tin house slowly begins to rust due to this constant immersion in water. In this manner the small house embodies the larger architectures hidden somatic nature in a recursive loop of representation.

There is also an accompanying soundscape which is directly related to the currents of incoming data. A database of audio samples (the audio in the clip is purely demo material for documentation purposes recorded by myself) comes to life in an ever evolving 4 or 2 channel auralization of the input.

In both reference and homage, the project speaks to works such as Hans Hacke’s work "Condensation Cube" (1963-65) and the final shot in the Andrei Tarkovsky film "Nostalgia", where a model of the fimmaker's childhood home appears nestled amidst, and dwarfed by, the ruins of an ancient Italian church...

materials: antique metal dollhouse, plexiglass tray, eight custom sensor units (zigbee wireless mesh transmitters, humidity sensors, custom pcb's), zigbee wireless receiver, cyberpak midi controller, water pump, custom software, audio card, mixing board, 4 speakers, macbook.

Patrice Coulombe