Amphibious Trilogies

Electromagnetic Fountain 2008

Every city has an invisible twin made up of electromagnetic waves emitted by its numerous electrical and wireless communications devices. The water jets and lights of the Electromagnetic Fountain respond to these waves as they pass by in its near vicinity.

The project was created by Amanda Steggell. See the project video here.


March-July 2010: Norwegian Telecom Museum, Oslo

September 2009: National Research Days, Porsgrunn

November 2008: City Square, Stavanger, Article 08, biannual exhibition for electronic and unstable art.

November 2008: Porsgrunn square, Culture Night.

The fountain is transportable and designed to appear in urban spaces (inside or outside) for a temporary period. Once loaded off a lorry it only needs to be filled with water and plugged into a mains supply to work. Everything else happens automatically.

Though the fountain is happy to dance to ambient signals, the public can influence and play with its kinetic behaviour by coming close to its antenna with their electronic devices. Its bowl is a redundant parabola antenna dish 2.5m in diameter that once transmitted analogue signals from Norway’s TV tower at Tryvann, Oslo.

Now it has been given new life in an artwork that can;

• change the ambience of the urban space,

• create a new meeting ground for pleasure and discussion,

• evoke a sense of the hidden nature of the city’s invisible twin,

• act as an enigmatic electromagnetic barometer,

• call attention to the hotly fought over private, commercial and

• political territories of the electromagnetic spectrum.

. . . . . . . . . .


Producer/curator: Atle Barcley/ROM3Industry Partner: NLI Engineering AS
NLI team: Øystein Lia, Svein Kjetil Haheim, Espen Jorgensen and Geir Erbo
EM sniffers: Martin Howse (uk/de)
Programming help: Trond Lossius (no), BEK (Bergen Centre for Electronic Art)
Funded by: ROM3, Arts Council Norway, Grenland Municipality
Sponsorship: NLI Engineering AS


Click & Drag: Rotate the view.
Right Click & Drag: Pan the view.