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6 Artists Who Use Waterfalls As Canvases

From the Rain Room to Olafur Eliasson's installation at the Brooklyn Bridge, these six projects creatively interpret falling water.

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In a fantanstical collaboration between man-made art and natural beauty, French artist Pier Fabre strung 240 bright red cords from a waterfall in a project called Dripping, amplifying the chaotic movements of running water. Set at the Horizons Sancy nature festival, the installation's environment complemented it's thematic exploration of man's relationship with Mother Earth. The sporadic, impossible-to-predict patterns of the deluge are exacerbated by the project's bright red strings, which channel the millions of droplets into an even more chaotic stream.


Several other artists have modified waterfalls with their own creative projects, provoking ideas about the balance between natural bodies of water and the human bodies who interrupt them. The following includes five stunning projects where humans interacted with foamy onslaughts to make gorgeous art.

The New York City Waterfalls by Olafur Eliasson


Artist Olafur Eliasson—whose sun-lamp project we covered in-depth—is known for a variety of waterfall-based installations, but by far his most ambitious was the The New York City Waterfalls series, which spread throughout Hudson River in 2008. Eliasson even used the Brooklyn Bridge as one of his Public Art Fund-sponsored canvases.

Rain Room by rAndom International


rAndom International's Rain Room—the blockbuster exhibition hosted at Moma PS1's EXPO 1—offered a singular experience with falling water: not being caught in it.

The Waterfall Swing by Dash 7 Design


The Waterfall Swing was the brainchild of Mike O'TooleAndrew Ratcliff, Ian Charnas and Andrew Witte and built by Dash 7 Design. Similar to the Rain Room, the Waterfall Swing captures the playfulness of falling water in a modern, technologically-empowered culture.

Octfalls by Ryoichi Kurokawa


Octfalls—an audiovisual installation where eight waterfalls rained down on the displays of plasma screen TVs—contrasts the natural setting of a waterfall with the urban setting of the Venice Biennial. Artist Ryoichi Kurokawa (whose work we previously covered in a documentary here) had to contend with a city surrounded by water and still make the waterfalls stand out, but eight separate channels of relaxing waterfall audio seemed to do the trick.



Using steel triangles to sculpt the flow of a waterfall in central France, sculptor Laurent Gongora tamed falling water in the most simple fashion possible. Much like Pier Fabre's strings, Gongora's steel plates subtly demonstrate that the chaos of a waterfall is no match for artistic interference.

Falling Water by teamLab


Digital studio teamLab brought waterfalls into the final frontier in their installation, Falling Waters. The project was a digital simulation that interacted with a model of a floating Japanese satellite in Universe of Water Particles Under Satellite’s Gravity, one of the more stunning iterations in the set.


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