COUNTER FLOW

3m x 3.92m x 5.27

Clear acrylic tubing, peristaltic pumps, rheoscopic fluid, custom electronics and software, stainless steel, concrete, hosing, programmable LEDs, City of Kelowna, 2021

 

​Inspired by and in celebration of Kelowna’s ecologically friendly culture of sustainability, this work encourages the community to unify behind an ecological cause in the form of increased use of pedestrian and bipedal transportation. The work uses city road transportation counters and translates the traffic of green transportation methods into a rising of fluids in this reverse waterfall artwork. Each acrylic tube of the artwork represents one counter. The higher the fluid levels signifies the greater the use of green transportation.

CONCEPT

The name Counter Flow acts as a double entendre. Inspired by and in celebration of Kelowna’s ecologically friendly culture of sustainability, I aim to further encourage and unify community behind an ecological cause and collective recreational interests. Rarely do we receive positive reinforcement from the world at large for ethical living. With this work I seek to reward the public for their healthy habits. Although the flow may feel upstream and counter to the larger trending desires of civilization, Counter Flow will visualize the beauty in reversing (or at least minutely pausing) the rising greenhouse gases with a return to bi-pedal locomotion.

 

A Fitbit for the City

The message to return to bipedal activity was inspired by local waterfalls Bear Creek Falls and Crawford falls which feed into the Okanogan tributary. This heart of the City of Kelowna informs and incentivizes its citizens to get on their bikes and take in the view. There’s more color and visual excitement promised from collectively making an effort every day to better the city’s air and arteries.

 

Somewhat magically, the arterial pedestrian paths of this city seemed to trace the outline of a waterfall to me, and unconsciously drew me to the metaphor of expressing progress with water, the most powerful and patient of elements.

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Bear Creek Falls, Kelowna CA

SITE

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ORTHOGRAPHIC VIEWS

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INTERACTIVITY

   1   ECO-Counter Server sends data from 15 minute interval readings from all individual counters from the previous day via wifi to an Arduino controller which controls the positive displacement of each peristaltic pump up each tube. Each tube is assigned to an active ECO-Counter. There are 21 active counters and 21 respective tubes.
 

As the counter value rises throughout the day so too does the fluid level in the tube. At the end of each day at midnight the pumps reverse flow and drain all the fluid contents back into each respective holding chamber. This process takes approximately 1-2 hours. Once all the fluid is drained, the cycle is ready to repeat.

Excluding 5% standard the current average daily count per counter is 350. We will set the max displacement, i.e. a full tube to 350 (this number can be adjusted each month by new server data if the need arises). The idea is to set the max displacement high enough for it to be an attainable goal. But it’s important to continually raise the bar. For that reason we will ping the server monthly to assess the new max day tally.

   2   Counts from ECO- Counter 1 are sent to the server then to a second Arduino via wifi live. This will allow for exciting custom animations created by fluid level rises and descents in the sculpture which will last for ~15 seconds- 1 minute. Eco-counts made during the animation window will not be addressed.

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   3   During the evenings from 8pm - 8am the 21 LED rings surrounding each acrylic tube will shift their color along a warm/cool spectrum. The warmer the color the higher the weekly combined ECO-counts. LED color is updated weekly based on total weekly counts. Each week will display a new color for that week. This can be an effective visual cue to anyone passing from a distance to ascertain the city’s current weekly eco fitness level.

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SUBASSEMBLIES

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PUMPS

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FLUID OPTIONS

Polarized Fluid

PH Indicator Liquid

Rheoscopic Fluid

Pigmented Mineral Oil

ELECTRICAL

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