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Water Bell


Water Bell [2018]

Water is older than the planet, and circulates around the globe by day and night. The Water Bell is a sonification of three related streams of data. The work is site-specific. For any given city, the Water Bell seeks a years’ worth of data from, the nearest IOC sea water level monitoring station, the city’s sewage output, and the city’s daily rainfall

These three data sets describe aspects of local water circulation. All three feed a virtual carillon, which plays bells to reflect the patterns and levels of the three flows of water. Converting the data into music establishes a poetic view of the data. It may not stop the next flood or drought, but it emphasizes the interconnectedness of too much and too little.

Performance Requirements

A performance of Water Bell requires a live indoor our outdoor audience, three data sets in csv format, a performer, a computer and a powerful sound system. 2 Meyer Sound 750-LFC and 2 Meyer Sound JM-1P work the best. An autonomous gallery installation is also possible.

Project History

The Water Bell was presented at the Riddoch Gallery in Mt. Gambier, Australia [2018], at Data Beers in Malaga[2018], at San Jose State University, CA [2019], and at Bowdoin College, MA [2019].


Olya Dubatova, Chris Chafe, Ed Campion, Jeff Lubow and Melentie Pandilovski directly supported this project. The first version of Water Bell was funded by and presented at the Riddoch Art Gallery in Mount Gambier, South Australia.