At first glance this piece appears to be a circular table with a black
mirror finish. In reality the surface of the 'table' is pool of water
with a circulating pump, with the water constantly overflowing around the
edges and silently collected underneath the edge. The pump's outlet is
damped to eliminate all ripples, sounds, or other clues that the surface
is liquid. Because the water constantly overflows, the surface is clean
at the molecular scale.
Several times per minute, tiny droplets of oil fall from a ceiling-
mounted pump and land upon the water surface. Each droplet creates a
rainbow explosion similar to soap-bubble colors. The color pattern
expands to invisibility within a few seconds as the oil is swept over the
The 'table' is mounted near the gallery wall. The wall is hung with
black cloth (or painted flat black,) and a 3' lighted disk is positioned
on the wall just above the 'table,' so the table acts as a reflecting
pool. The black table surface is brightly lit by the white disk.
- 120VAC required for the pump within the 'table' section.
- Tracklight spots needed for the wall-mounted 'disk' section, or
perhaps some internal incandescent backlights within the hollow
translucent disk would work better (120VAC required for lighting.)
- 120VAC needed for the ceiling-mounted metering pump assembly.
- The piece needs to be positioned away from strong air flows in order
to prevent obvious ripples. This is probably not a big issue.
The container for oil being collected under the table will need
to be emptied every few days (or perhaps far less often.) The
water supply will evaporate over a period of days and need
refilling perhaps once per week.
Created and maintained by
Bill Beaty. Mail me at: