Digital Water Games | Part 1 RainDance
Woman standing with umbrella under the raindance installation
Auf dem Karlsruher Marktplatz
Thu, July 21, 2016 6 pm CEST, Opening

The Digital Water Features will be opened in two places. On Thursday, 21 July – Part 1 »RainDance« at the Karlsruhe Marketplace at 6 p.m., and then the »3D WATER MATRIX« in the ZKM_Foyer at 7 p.m.

RainDance is an interactive sound installation by American artist Paul DeMarinis, where water is experienced as the transmitter of sound vibrations. A series of patented computer-controlled modulation nozzles fastened to a scaffold shoot out streams of water as rain. During the modulation process, a magnetic field imposes controlled vibrations onto the water, equating to sound waves of different frequencies. For example, a stream consisting of 440 water droplets per second is equivalent to a tone of A above middle C (concert pitch being 440 oscillations per second or 440 Hz).

Passers-by are handed an umbrella before they take the leafy, green course through the sound installation. The streams of spray raining down from the valves transmit the sound vibrations. Falling on the ground, they produce little sound, but allow them to fall on a resonant surface – in this case the membrane of an umbrella – and suddenly popular melodies are heard playing under the umbrella (Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain, Banshee’s Rock City, Mozart’s Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, Johann Strauss’ Blue Danube waltz).

Take an active, green break in the heart of the city

At the moment of marvelling at the techno-physical experiment – when the trusty umbrella suddenly transforms under the water into a loudspeaker, opening up a private auditorium exclusively for the bearer – it can happen that, amidst the melodies, water and umbrellas, visitors will break out into their own spontaneous, playful movements and share little dance numbers. With active participants, the artistic, immersive soundscape thus becomes a social adventure setting.