Fluid Memory

2019 - 2020

kinetic-sound sculpture / glass, saltwater, electronics

50 x 50 x 120 cm

Supported by Büro Rix - Organisation von Klang and Goodiepal 

Glass elements execution: Marius Deiac / Structure support: Dorian Largen-Schleich

Transistors become tinier, computers become supercomputers, Fluid Memory sets up a mirror that reflects back to a digital technology that doesn't require many resources to operate, only simple fluid matter guided by natural phenomena.

 

The piece exposes a computer memory built from glass and saltwater, with its insides out. In the core, 3 Flip-Flop elements influence each other in a cascade forming a Fluidic Shift Register. Following Coanda’s physical phenomena, through their sinuous geometry, these elements can perform computational processes with fluids. They are fluidic logic gates, analogous siblings to their transistorized semiconductors. Once triggered, these boolean logic arrangments perform one process at a time: they remember water flow conditions, exhibiting proprieties that amount to memory. As the water-data streams accumulate in the glass-copper coil configured as a transducer, subtle sounds emerge, indicating in their rhythms the activity of the memory. The whole system is placed in a feedback loop, writing, storing and re-writing bits of information, generating patterns of fluidic movement and sound in each cycle.

Fluid Memory reflects upon the inconspicuous anatomy of modern computers and our incandescent love for them. It displays an anachronistic machine that operates with natural irregularities, commuting electronic hardware to a humanesque geometry. The morphology of this machine is drawn after an obscure branch of digital technology: Fluidics, which was established in the '50s and dropped later in favour of its electronic counterpart. The project re-assembles shapes from the past to imagine an alternative technology for the future. Inside the glass circuitry operations of 1's and 0's become visible, almost tangible to the public. Saltwater turns into a programmable material. Fluidic logic poses a metaphor for a utopian computational system that presents itself as transparent, functioning at a natural speed, non-invasive with our environment.