Installing Waterwoorden at Museum Flehite

A busy day yesterday – me, my pc’s and my tech went to Amersfoort to install ‘Waterwoorden’ i.e. ‘Waterwords’ at museum Flehite [facebook] [instagram]. The work is part of the exhibition ‘The City and the Water’e.i. ‘De Stad en het Water’that will run from July 6th until November 10th 2024.

See the short video below for a preview:

‘Waterwords’ has been exhibited on touch screen before, at Waterboard Rivierenland and Waterboard Delfland. For the space at Flehite the screen was a little small, so the curator asked me for ideas to scale the thing up. I did some tryouts to find out if beamering the words would be an option.

This was successful, so we decided to go with it. In order to allow viewers to interact with the words (as with the touch screen version) I made an app for mobile phone where people can look up and compare waterwords. The app was then optimised by Aram Wondergem who did a wonderful job making the thing intuitive. A QR code next to the work will give access to the app.

Installation went smooth, up to a point. Making the words flow over the wall was relatively easy – the museum tech people came well-prepared. The whitewashed brick wall the words are projected on has history, which gives the work an extra layer. And the bricks are a little uneven, which gives the words a lovely little water-like shimmer. What’s not to like?

We did have two challenges, though: when shutting and restarting the beamer we lost sound ánd we got the pointer back in the middle of the screen. All courtesy of the beamer directing the laptop somehow.

This was unacceptable, so after some tryouts and some grumbling we connected beamer and laptop via VGA not HDMI. VGA does image to beamer only, but does not allow for sound. We then made the sound happen via a second laptop and speakers. Good thing I brought a second laptop with Waterwords installed, for just in case ….

Next friday 5/7 ‘The City and the Water’ has its opening, to which I am invited and will bring some guests. Can’t wait to see how my work will interact with the other works – in ‘my’ room there are to be paintings and a video.

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