Ripple is primarily a fountain.
The installation displays 15 large transparent vertical columns (shown here in blue), each containing a stream of water falling to a base reservoir. This acts as a water organ, emitting a powerful and resonant sound of water into the space. Sound from the waterfalls is gently amplified into the installation.
The base water level in each tube can be controlled by visitors, altering the length of the resonance column and thus the pitch. This creates a tension between discord and harmony, controlled by visitors. Each column is backlit with soft blue light, deepening the feeling of being in water.
The water system is closed-circuit and airtight, making for an infinite flow of pure, clean, sparkling water. The 15 columns are controlled in five separated zones, allowing for five separate tones at any given time and ensuring the installation will continue to function if any zone experiences issues.
The sound you hear from the audio file below is from a proof of concept we have done with a single waterfall tube. In this 3 minute clip, the water level rises from the minimum to maximum and back again several times, demonstrating the auditory effect.
The space is enclosed by five large panels covered in intricate backlit art (shown in blue here). On the interior face of each panel is a different work of written word, reflecting the depth of the human experience. These were written by the founding artist, and have been posted at the Black Rock City Temple since 2016 as 12-foot multi-panel hanging displays. Together they tell a story, with no start and no end, with different meaning depending on where you start.
A central area offers a multi-tiered pagoda-like lounging area with a roof and five central water columns. This seating area offers an interactive and comfortable place to enjoy the installation, surrounded by sparkling waterfalls and within a beautifully designed artistic space. All written works are clearly legible from the central area.
Ripple is solar powered, for respect to the playa and for sustainability.