The Electromagnetic Fountain

Freezing electronic and unstable art!

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When discussing the installation of the Electromagnetic Fountain at Article 08, everyone seemed to agree that the temperature doesn’t fall below freezing point in Stavanger at this time of year. But it does!

Last night I got a call from one of the Article 08 team to tell me that the water in the fountain bowl had frozen. Bad news. It can cause unrepairable damage to the pumps and valves. The only option is to remove the fountain from its place on the square before the exhibition ends.

Though the fountain had to be taken into the warm a bit early, I think that it has played its part well. As far as the general public were concerned it had its own opening a week before the exhibition started while I was setting it up. I enjoyed seeing how the fountain changed the nature of an empty square, and turned a seemingly empty space into a gathering place for a short period of time. It was great to see people’s reactions to its presence – the curious, the observers, the playful, the mischievous, the young, the old, the sceptics, the enthusiasts, the impartial, the returners, the passers by, the early birds, the late nighters, the ones in the know – and especially the ones who explained to others what they understood the fountain to be, and how they thought it worked.

If things go to plan I’ll have the chance to work more on the EMF next spring before its next outing into public space. The experiences gained from Article 08 are an invaluable resource to take with me.

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Written by ajsteggell

November 22, 2008 at 9:59 pm

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