In September of 2000, I received an email from a physician
who resides in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He had been visiting the Twin Cities
with his family, and had stopped at the Science Museum. They loved Pipedream
I, and he wondered if I would be interested in the possibility of creating
a similar work for the Science
Station-- a rapidly expanding science museum in Cedar Rapids. Further
discussions and contacts led to the commissioning of Pipedream II. Several
months and five road trips later, I completed the sculpture's installation
in the lobby of the newly constructed McLeod/ Busse IMAX Theater lobby,
at the Science Station, in March of 2001.
While the Science Stations' board had been amenable to
the idea of duplicating the design and function of Pipedream I, we agreed
that I should attempt innovations. Toward this end, I changed the design
in three major ways:
- Number of tubes--
doubled (to 32), while decreasing their diameter.
- Color-- ever since installing Pipedream I, people had asked
me whether I had considered coloring the fluid. I had. But the technical
problems, at the time, seemed too steep. Now, I set myself on this
task, which, after lengthy and numerous experiments, yielded a practical
(and beautiful) solution-- glitter.
- Interactivity-- Pipedream I's failed keyboard saga haunted
me. This time I would keep my input device out from under the public's
feet! Using optical
sensors embedded in the railing, Pipedream II is fully interactive,
and the interaction is manageable.
Pipedream II has had no maintenance problems to date.
A few shots of Pipedream II's development:
From real to virtual.
From virtual to real.
Initial testing and programming.
View from outside, after closing time.