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This Water-Based Video Installation Is Not a Piece of Art—It’s a Medium

The 3D Water Matrix is coming to Italy and Germany this year.
July 23, 2016, 11:40am
All images courtesy the artists

The first thing you need to know about the 3D Water Matrix is that it isn’t a piece of art—it’s a medium. In 2001, video installation artist Shiro Takatani dreamed up an intelligent fountain which would be able to communicate through shaping letters with falling water. Lacking the correct technology, Takatani’s idea was not realized until a couple of years ago. Richard Castelli combined 900 computer-controlled electrovalves into a grid with 30 streams of water surrounding it. The 3D Water Matrix is a type of very low-resolution video, in three dimensions, where the drops of water are pixels. This is the medium into which sequences, the individual works of art, can be programmed.


The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Christian Partos

For the first two performances of the 3D Water Matrix, Takatani performed a piece called ST\LL and installation and light artist Christian Partos performed a piece called The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is described as a water sculpture, whereas ST\LL is described as a gravity-defying animation.

The 3D Water Matrix is an Epidemic production and it won a CODA Award in 2015 in the “institutional” category. The piece will be shown from July 21st to September 11th at ZKM Karlsruhe in Karlsruhe, Germany and from October 7th to November 27th at La Pelanda in Rome, Italy.

ST\LL, Shiro Takatani

To learn more about the 3D Water Matrix, visit Epidemic’s website.


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