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.

I was commissioned by Suzon Fuks for this performance, building a machine that mimicked the natural water cycle. 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.