Evaporation
experiment #0201505202140 ·

 

evap1b

This is an ongoing rule-based experiment in observing Time and its inevitable consequences.

Three rules:

  1. Fill vessel with seawater at high tide.
  2. Let it be, unstoppered.
  3. When water level falls below half-full, go to step 1.

The piece is complete when the artist dies or is otherwise unable to complete step 1.

Evaporation occurs slowly; it takes months for the level to fall to the halfway mark. As pure water escapes through evaporation, and with each successive refilling with fresh, living seawater, the liquid solution becomes ever more concentrated.

If I am successful in carrying this piece to completion, I will never see it in its final form. Evaporation will continue for months after I am gone, until the vial is bone-dry and encrusted with salt crystals, minerals, microscopic bits of plastic debris, and the tiny skeletal remains of millions of plankton. This is the crystalline residue of life that I will someday leave to the world, but which I will never know.

It lives on a shelf just inside my studio door. I glance at this gentle memento mori each time I enter or leave the studio, and bow in gratitude for this gift of life.

Refill dates: 20181007, 20180308, 20171123, 20170610, 20170129, 20161015, 20160407, 20160213, 20151212, 20150916.

Refill 020160213 (February 13, 2016):

Refill 020151212 (December 12, 2015):

Refill 020150916 (September 16, 2015):