Every Drop Counts (2005)

48" x 72" x 24"

Glass labatory apparatus, custom electronics, wood, metal bowl, water

Collaboration with Cynthia Lawson Jaramillo.

Every Drop Counts is an interactive, quasi-scientific sculpture that acts as a metaphor for a cause-and-effect relationship. Every viewer has the opportunity to release single drops of water that trigger illuminated text displays. The information released is an array of short but provocative fragments about water scarcity, pollution, and conservation tips interspersed with ancient water-related proverbs from diverse cultures.

Exhibited at Exit Art, New York, NY.

Example text fragments:

- By the year 2050, 2 billion people will lack water

- 12% of the world’s population uses 85% of its water

- One in five children have no access to safe water

- 1 kg of hamburger uses 20,500 liters of water

- Dirty water cannot be washed (Togo, West Africa)

- Water that has been begged for does not quench the thirst (Uganda)

- All water flows into the ocean or into the purse of the rich (Denmark)

- You cannot turn blood into water (Albania)


Each drop of water falls through a hole in the pedestal base and is collected in a bowl for recycling. A copper plate with a thin gap under the hole acts as a water sensor; the water is salivated to increase electrical conductivity. A PIC microcontroller chooses a text fragment from an internal database and displays it on a random LCD text panel. Simultaneously a built-in LED backlight flashes and illuminates the text. If the stopcock is left open, the water continues to drip and text fragments are rhythmically displayed at a rate determined by the stopcock flow.

Using Format