solar-powered kinetic installation
custom electronics, modified montreal-saskatoon miller solar engines, aluminum, super capacitors, custom solar panels, sunlight, wire, cinder blocks, 55 gallon drum, shock cord, hardware, miniature pumps, plastic tubing and connectors, modified 18L water bottles, rope, ratchet tie-downs, float switches, water
A water-filled drum rests on the floor, fixed to the ceiling with tensioned stretch cords. Two metres above, an identical vessel sits on a metal tower.
Sip by sip, a small, solar powered pump displaces the contents of the lower drum to it's upper counterpart. As it's suspension system relaxes with the decreasing weight, the barrel gradually rises. When it is lifted to a distance equal to it's own height, the pump stops. A leak valve opens, permitting the water to trickles back down to it's source, lowering the container to its initial position. The cycle repeats.
The system is intermittent, depending on the weather. Things move lethargically. It may take days or weeks for levitation to occur.
Small things can work to eventually act upon forces larger than they. Trees do this. A network of tiny 'pumps' in a tree slowly moves large masses of water great distances, from underground up to the top leaves. A tree moves many times its own weight in water over its lifetime.
The initial version of Leak To Lower Lazy Levitating Load appeared in the exhibition Lambinatronique / Lazymode at Oboro (Montréal, Spring 2008). There have been several subsequent revisions. Notably, the water tower was constructed for the exhibition Process As Paradigm curated by Suzanne Jaschko at Laboral (Gijón, Spain, Spring 2010).
Timelapse video made during the exhibition Stop. Look. Listen. curated by Pat Macaulay at Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, Canada, 2011). One shot was taken about every 3½ minutes, from May 29th, 2011 at 1:16pm to June 12th, 2011 at 9:36am (approx. 2 weeks) with a Canon PowerShot camera running CHDK and Andrew Hazelden's intervalometer script. Thanks for the help Andrew!
Oboro version, approximately 48 hour period in spring 2008.