Weather Machine is an interactive installation built for the Water Wheel performance at the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts. The machine consists of a number of electronic contraptions wired together to recreate an indoor model of the water cycle - mimicking the evaporation and precipitation process - and operated when audience members ride a bicycle.
Keeping in mind our natural water system: a closed system with limited water resources, recycling the water over and over again, the machine copies this process, pushing water through pipes, falling from above, collected, and reused again.
Whereas in nature we rely on the sun to warm the water causing evaporation and other climating conditions to make it rain, the bicycle generates electricity allowing this process to occur indoors.
The machine consists of: a power generating bicycle, water vapour vortex chamber, rain machine and sonic water collection reservoirs. Each of the components are joined together to represent the complete water cycle.
During the performance audience participants are invited to ride a power producing bicycle. The generated power drives a fan on top of a recycled tea chest and activates ultrasonic transducers in a bowl of water to create water vapour clouds inside. The resulting effect of the fan drawing out air from the chamber creates cyclonic conditions, causing the water vapour to spiral out like a water spout.
As water evaporates from the chamber a signal is sent to activate the rain-making machine. This machine pushes water through an overhead network of pipes,with rain like drips falling into metal bowls with contact microphones. The sound of the rain is heard throughout the space. Eventually the water drains away back into the system and recycled while bicycle is generating power.
About the Waterweel
Exploring water—as a topic and metaphor—Waterwheel is an interactive, collaborative platform for sharing media and ideas, performance and presentation.
Waterwheel investigates and celebrates this constant yet volatile global resource, fundamental element, environmental issue, political dilemma, universal theme and symbol of life. It encourages you to explore and discover, share and collaborate, contribute and participate.
Brisbane performance crew:
2011 Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts (Brisbane)