The name of the piece is called Stochasticity. I built it to demonstrate the randomness that humans introduce into very precise systems. Humans are stochastic; we are far from predictable and very imprecise. That being said, the tools we used to build were similarly imprecise but we could live with the imperfections. The imperfections did not hinder the ultimate intention of the tool. This method of tool building could only last so long though. Eventually we started to build mechanical and electronic tools requiring so much precision that any direct interactions from us would introduce too much randomness, and the tools would not be able to function correctly. We punch keys, pull levers, and move mice to interact with the tools of today. We do not directly write to hard drive platters, dictate the flow of electrons, or change the pixels on a screen. To do this would be tedious, and also impossible because these tasks require an amount of precision we are incapable of delivering.
When someone uses my art piece they are directly interacting with a very precise electronic tool. It produces musical tones based on the amount of resistance sensed in trails of water. The resistance changes unpredictably, and thus this is where the variability in the system arises from. The water evaporates, the user will flex their muscles, their hearts will pump blood at varying rates, and the conductivity of their skin will change. All of these variables change the placement of the notes in the water and make the system unreliable. I found it interesting that even though imperfect animals such as ourselves are plagued with randomness, we are capable of producing reliable highly precise tools that we can indirectly interact with.
I have included it here on my web page because it fits within my philosophy rather well. The concept of resistance is commonly explained with analogous personal experiences, a common experience involves turning on a water faucet, wider openings allow more water to flow through and more water means more electricity. My art piece bridges the gap between personal experiences and the complexity of resistance. The user can visually see themselves changing the resistance of the electronic system, by changing the thickness of the water trail, while receiving an instantaneous auditory response. They become the resistor and can manipulate that variable in a familiar way.