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Chelsea Exhibit Floods Viewers With New Uses For Water

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People don't usually associate water with technology, but a new interactive art exhibit in Chelsea is changing that idea. NY1's Technology reporter Adam Balkin filed the following report.

Water is not terribly high-tech, but it does not stop artists, scientists, and tech folk from producing amazing products on display at "Surface Tension: The Future Of Water," an interactive art exhibit at the Eyebeam Art and Technology Center in Chelsea shown as part of this year's World Science Festival.

"One of the major reasons for this is there's an impending crisis about water. We sometimes think issues with water shortage is just something we just see in the developing world or sub-Saharan Africa but actually there are a lot of those issues a lot closer to home," says curator Michael John Gorman of Trinity College Dublin. "But this is an exhibition that is also playful there are lots of interactive works, there are experiments you can do with water, you can even drink water from the Hudson [River], if you're very brave."

People can get their news from TV, from newspapers from a mobile device, but one of the most eye-catching displays in the exhibit shows buzzwords from the news printed as grouped droplets of water.

"It's actually printing out words in water, little water droplets, so it's like a dot-matrix printer. And it's actually getting these words from live newsfeeds so these are words that are really trending in news right now," says Gorman.

From reading water to playing water, there is the Hydro-Cordion, an accordion that uses water for sound.

"As the user, or as we call them, 'squeeze-icians' pumps his or her feet up and down on these air slippers down here, he or she propels air up these tubes and into these flutes at the top so you hear this kind of tooting sound," says Di Mainstone of Queen Mary University of London.

Finally, the project "Hydrogeny" provides a new way to see water, as the display breaks down water to show hydrogen particles, all the "Hs" in "H2O."

"When electric current goes into water, into the ocean, primordial soup is created and amino acids are synthesized, but what we are interested to observe in this installation is the dance of hydrogen," says Evelina Domnitch of Hydrogeny.

For more information on the Surface Tension exhibit, visit www.eyebeam.org.

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