water surface

View from beneath the water surface showing the two transducer paddles which are mounted on waterproof loudspeaker cones.

The surrounding array of wave traps serve to disrupt reflections from the edges of the tank. Without these the image would be swamped with reflections from the tank sides.

experimenting April 06 making the acrylic tank

Experimenting with surface reflection, April 2006.

Making the acrylic tank.

Initially, I was intending to use two point-source transducers each radiating audio frequency ripples. Where the ripples overlapped they would cause complex interference patterns which would be magnified and projected onto a screen. However, a few experiments showed that the ripples themselves do not form an image, they simply distort light rays passing through. Though I could project sharp images of objects on the surface of the water, the ripples themselves were poorly defined.

Observing the patterns which are generated when sunlight falls obliquely on the sea suggested that a reflective process might be more effective. Experimentation showed that much greater reflection is achieved by using the underside of the water surface, hence the current arrangement.

Due to the fact that there is no visual magnification of the image, the higher audible frequencies are not visible as ripples. However, the low frequencies achieve some of the desired effect and the chosen sound sources enable the interaction between sounds to be visible.

all images © martin winfield 1990-2007