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Bubble Wall

1979 Velsen, Netherlands
Coauthor: Theo Botschuijver

Production: Eventstructure Research Group, Amsterdam

This work was commissioned specially as a permanent installation for the public swimming pool de Hoogeberg in Velsen. It is an interactive sculpture that is controlled by visitors to the pool as they pass through its interior entranceway.

Bubble Wall features an architecturally integrated transparent plastic window composed of thirteen panels filled with pale blue liquid. Every panel has an electromagnetic air valve that can release bursts of air bubbles into it. Optical sensors in front of each panel recognize when someone is passing by, which causes the respective air valves to be triggered. Thus visitors walking back and forth in front of this wall create bubble patterns in the sculpture that leave traces of their movements.

The initial proposal for this commission was to position a matrix of air valves on the floor of the swimming pool itself, thereby enabling the creation of bubble patterns and images over its surface—the entire pool becoming a bubble pixel screen.