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Form for Fluid Computer

2022/2023 - Ongoing Research project

To be presented late 23' early 24'

Form for Fluid Computer utilises water to showcase the intricate and captivating shapes that fluidic forms can assume. These forms, characterized by their organic curves and aesthetic appeal seem antithetical to modern hardware. With a focus on fluidics as a technology alternative to electronics, the project aims to unravel an obsolete history and highlight the beauty and resilience of fluid machines.


The project proposes a transparent fluid sculptural circuit forged in analogy to a contemporary computer. Its components remodelled to humanesque shapes as curvaceous geometries, guide in their insides streams of water. Water becomes a computational and informational carrier simulating through its motion, pressure and accumulation the behaviour and well-being of the system. While a fluidic transistor switches streams, a slow-rate oscillator pulsates turbulences. Everything appears entangled in feedback loops through tubes and forms. 


At its core, Form for Fluid Computer aims to present a model that can be rebuilt, offering insights into alternative technological possibilities. It imagines a hardware entity for the future, transparent and modest in the utilization of resources while tuned in function to the natural rhythms of fluid flow.



The Anatomy


The project initiates artistic research to construct a prototype for a fluidic toolkit. Looking through a series of old patent reference books, throughout an ‘alphabet of parts’ is sketched. The alphabet consists of a series of carefully designed shapes that can guide and control streams of water through their insides.

When connected, digital & analogue circuits equivalents to those made with electronic components emerge. The shapes are guided by a physical phenomenon called the Coanda effect (named after Romanian physicist Henri Coanda) which states that fluid jets tend to get attached to convex surfaces. Each angle, curve and nozzle width is essential for the proper functioning of the final machine.

Some forms, such as the Equivalence Element, are inspired by human physiology (the oral system) and appear in organic and curvaceous morphologies. Some are logic elements like AND, OR, NOR, and NAND gates. And some come as shapes that can work with exponential values, such as amplifiers and oscillators. One essential shape is the Fluidistor, which can undergo operations of both amplification and switching like a regular transistor.

Read more about the project  →  OBSOLETE

(up) Fluidic Systems Design - Charles Berlsterling, 1971

(left-low) sketched Equivalence Element / (right-low) Fluidic model of oral system / A Guide to Fluidics, Arthur Conway, 1971

Form for Fluid Computer, 2022 - Net. Rivulet

Reimagined fluidic calculator

Images from Research / Form for Fluid Computer

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