Missed the MoMA’s Rain Room exhibit? London-based artist collective Random International is at it again with another watery exhibition, this time for Germany’s Ruhrtriennale music and arts festival, on display through October 6.
Tower: Instant Structure for Schacht XII harnesses the natural, chaotic power of water, as Rain Room did before it. But where the indoor exhibit kept visitors dry, the outdoor Tower is designed to soak those admirers who dare step too close. Although that’s sort of the point — visitors are encouraged to interact with the exhibit, at their own risk of getting completely drenched.
Commissioned to create an installation for the festival, Random International’s founders said it wasn’t their intention to use water as a medium this time around. But after being introduced to a historical coal mining factory on-site, which pumped out millions of cubic meters of water for the region, the material “offered itself.”
Four huge curtains of water fall from spouts in a rectangular frame — up to 30,000 liters per minute — which form a ‘building’ whose liquid walls feign structural purpose. In order to keep the walls’ rigid shape, Random International’s founders worked with a number of international hydraulics specialists, creating a custom system of pumps and nozzles. They described standing underneath the structure:
The raw power that surrounds you is really surreal [and] it feels like you’ve suddenly be caught in the middle of a perfect storm. It’s loud, wet and physical. It immediately gets to you.
Photos by Random International.