NTAA22 FINALIST: ::vtol:: - Floating Point Number

The Floating Point Number project is a small automated sculpture consisting of a container of water, a pump pumping water from this container, a system of pipes, a perforated funnel, a suction pump, and also an optical sensor and electronics, including a screen, control interface and a sound generation and reproduction system.

The pump in the container generates a continuous stream: a stable and seamless flow. The uniformity is disturbed at the opening where the stream descends into the funnel – this happens due to the entry into the system of air bubbles formed from the excess thrust of the suction pump. The stable flow becomes discrete, with a clear-cut segmentation into water and air. To all intents and purposes, this creates the effect of a binary system appearing to chaotically change its state from “open” to “closed” ("1/0"). After returning to the container, the water and air separate and the pump submerged in the water again generates a continuous stream. Moreover, the system has the attributes of simple but stable self-regulation: despite the openness of the contour, the circulating water and container through which the water passes manifest attributes of connecting vessels, while pressures are constantly redistributed through the pumps. An optical sensor is installed at one section of the transparent hose through which the “binary” flow passes. The sensor rapidly records the state of the flow, in other words, what is specifically passing through the pipe – water or air. The sensor data are transmitted to the computer, which saves this information as a graphical matrix displayed on a small monitor of the installation. In turn, the matrix serves as the graphical score for rhythmic compositions, using it for different transformations of the graphic information into sound (depending on the mode selected).