The Electromagnetic Fountain

(automagic continued) Luckily …….

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…. the new patch solves the lack of sequence changes. The Electromagnetic Fountain has been performing nicely for the last 12 hours.

Early this morning it got a visit from a whole bunch of very lively kids who circled around the fountain for about 20 minutes, sticking their fingers into the data pool and over the valves, and then sucking the water on their fingers and gloves.

Kiddies_01 Kiddies_02

Following a write up about the EMF and the Article 08 exhibition in the local paper, a journalist phoned to tell me that readers had been calling in to ask questions about the fountain, such as

Does the Electromagnetic Fountain emit electromagnetic radiation?
Is it harmful for people with pace-makers to walk past it?

…. and so on.

The focus seems to be orientated to personal health risks more than anything else. I’m curious about how the the results of this interview will turn out in the paper tomorrow.

The opening of the exhibition is tomorrow, but to be honest, I already feel like the Electromagnetic Fountain has been doing its stuff for the last 4 days, and a couple of people have thrown coins into it!

Disregarding my anxieties about whether the EMF will “work properly” or not, perhaps what has been most interesting for me is to observe how people respond to the fountain – also in relation to how much information, and through which channels, they have of the project. Those who have heard about it through word of mouth go straight up to the open network symbol on the antenna box and put their cell phone close up to it. I have also observed these people telling others how the fountain works and what they should do. I love this kind of transferable story telling/knowledge sharing.

People who have read about it in the paper or on this blog want to ask more about how it works, and what my intentions really are. Others, and especially kids, try to push on the symbol as if it was a button/key that should activate something. Several tell me about the musical fountains they have seen.

The dilemma: should the fountain have more specific instructions, or another icon, that tells people  more clearly that they can affect it by placing their cell phone on the antenna box? In other words, how explicitly “interactive” should the fountain propose to be?

——- melancholic interlude —————-

I am staying in room 509 in the Comfort Hotel. It has brochures that tell me how to be a harmonic person, what I should eat, drink and how I should go for walks, exercise, etc to be effective and ready to meet the demands of modern life. I am not allowed to smoke, but considering risking yet another 1000 kr fine by doing so. The hotel claims to be 100% ecological. It’s not true. Ecological food at the breakfast place is an option, not a standard – and the optional food has often ran out by the time I get there. I am feeling insular, but the skype sessions plus the meetings around the fountain are a good relief, and a place to smile, chat and laugh about things. I am tired and my body aches after spending hours in the damp and cold, checking out the fountain every couple of hours to see if each change has brought with it a new glitch, or has led to more stability.I am wondering about what is actually demanded of me – to be a part of an “electronic” and “unstable” art exhibition. Am I allowed to be unstable? Is the EMF allowed to crash?

I am thinking about being continuously on the move in contrast with the artists I met in recently in Vancouver working for their community – their neighborhood in various ways. I am thinking about bigger troubles I’ve seen on the news: the Gaza strip, suicide bombers, Kongo – to mention a few. I am trying to figure out where to go, and what to do after all the things I am supposed to do in the near future.

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Written by ajsteggell

November 14, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Posted in 01 EM Fountain

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