Visual Arts

Summer Fest Art: The Latest from TxRx Labs and {exurb}

There's going to be a Watergate, one of ginormous proportions, at this weekend's Free Press Summer Fest.

A collaborative project between TxRx Labs and {exurb}, Watergate is a site-specific water wall that, at 12 feet high by 35 feet long, will span the westbound lanes of Allen Parkway.

According to project participant and {exurb} member Eric Todd, the system will circulate 500 gallons of water per minute and feature "motion sensors that trigger a parting mechanism that will open a 'door' (like an automatic door) in the center so that viewers can walk through it without getting wet," explains Todd.

"At night, the water itself will become a projection surface for a self-generating video image based on the physics of liquid flow and surface tension," he adds.

Sophisticated stuff, but we wouldn't expect anything less from TxRx, who describe themselves as "a project-based team of makers with backgrounds in the creative arts," and {exurb}, which specializes in realizing technology-driven work such as theremin doorways.

The above photo is a mock-up that doesn't show the finished façade and the water mechanism, but, Todd says, "We're just putting the finishing touches on the facade and building the accompanying sculpture pieces that will surround it -- much of which we'll assemble on-site."

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Steve Jansen is a contributing writer for the Houston Press.
Contact: Steve Jansen