Air and Liquid Display Sculpture

1982 Amsterdam, Netherlands 

Coauthors: Jeffrey Shaw, Theo Botschuijver

Production: Eventstructure Research Group, Amsterdam

The Air-Liquid Display Sculpture was a site-specific commission for the Frascati Theare in Amsterdam. Its design and engineering allowed controlled flows of air and a dark blue liquid to interactively generate text and images within an architecturally shaped structure that extended approximately 30 metres from the outside of the theatre building, through its front door and then across the ceiling of the hallway until it reached the entrance to the theatre auditorium.

Sixty-four electromechanical valves pumped measured quantities of air and liquid into thirty-two clear plastic tubes that were coiled to create wider bands sandwiched inside the sculpture’s transparent Plexiglas structure. Computer control of these valves enabled exact volumes of air and liquid to be input, so that users could program monochromatic texts and images to appear and flow through the sculpture, creating a hybrid digital/analogue display that was thirty-two bands wide and thirty metres long.

While the sculpture was mainly used by the Fradcati Theater for its announcements, a video touch screen situated in the foyer of the theatre allowed visitors to enter their own drawings and messages into this work. A number of technical shortcomings severely limited the longevity of this installation. 

Related Documents
Exhibition Record

1982 : Frascati Theatre, Amsterdam, Netherlands