Bitfall: Making pictures with drops of falling water.

This appears to be a couple of years old now, but I just came across it thanks to a link over at The Lippard Blog and it’s too nifty not to share. Some enterprising folks got together and figured out how to generate images in falling drops of water not unlike the half-tone images folks used to generate on ASCII printers. The end result looks something like this:

The site used to have links to Quicktime movies of the effect in action, but they’re down at the moment. It’s an impressive effect in the still images none-the-less. The text appears to be in German which I am illiterate in so perhaps one of our European regulars will do us the service of translating it.

2 thoughts on “Bitfall: Making pictures with drops of falling water.

  1. Way cool.  Here’s a quick and dirty translation:

    “In the installation Bitfall, water serves as a medium between information from current events and the observer.

    A computer program, following statistical rules, selects headlines from various news sites on the internet and thus delivers the input for the installation.  The digital information is analogized, so that words formed of water appear before the eyes of the observer.  It is a sculptural, floor-to-ceiling, transparent information curtain.

    The construction affixed to the ceiling of the room consists of 128 nozzles, which eject single droplets of water by means of magnetic valves.  A computer program synchronizes the valves, so that the falling droplets, taken all together, form a bitmap pattern.  A capture tray collects the disintegrating water structures.  A pump returns the water to the valve construction, so that there is a closed cycle.

    The ephemeral information curtain is a metaphor for the continuous flow of information that we are exposed to, from which we derive our ever-changing reality.  The visual information is only temporarily perceptible as a picture, before it falls apart.  What remains are associations in the imagination of the observer.  What is decisive is not what we see, but how we evaluate it.  Bitfall refers, with ironical refraction, to the information society, which constantly attempts, by means of technological achievments, to create an objective portrayal of reality.”

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