Time Machine – Water Community


Short Description

The Time Machine is a wall clock. It is made of a flat “screen” full of liquid attached to the wall. The clock is opening and closing a row of air valves on the bottom of the screen to create bubbles which are to represent pixels to write hours and minutes in numbers giving the time. The bubble choreography giving the time needs roughly one minute to rise to the surface.



The project idea came from thoughts about underwater communication (fish / divers / plants / snapping shrimp). I came to the idea of a digital way of expression using air bubbles under water representing the pixels of a display. Of course, such a display only allows to show moving (rising) signs.



In analogy to a classic Black Forest “Kuckucksuhr” I wanted the power to come from a weight lifted by hand. So the pressurized air comes from a heavy stainless steel piston moving in a tube of acrylic glass. Once the piston is pulled up, it can produce many thousands of air bubbles by the volume below it.

Each single bubble is created by a short time opening of a valve injecting the pressurized air on the bottom of a flat acrylic glass box.

The valves are controlled by an arduino device which is connected to a radio clock module as input.

The arduino board is programmed to “write” the time once a minute.

The liquid is very high in viscosity so the “actual time” needs about a minute to rise up to the surface.

The result is a wall clock displaying the time by rising bubbles. LEDs lighting from the side make them shine bright.