steady state / transient flow is a sound and performance installation consisting of water-driven sound instruments created by John Eagle. The instruments, connected in one continuous water cycle, create a physical environment which determine the sonic behavior. Eagle is joined by musicians Emily Call and Ford Fourqurean to perform with the installation throughout the week.

The instruments use PVC pipe, valves, vinyl tubing, glass jars, plastic containers, rocks, sticks, pinecones, bottles, aluminum & acrylic sheets, absorbent polymers, microphones, and speakers. These materials are used to create water channels, temporary water storage (reservoirs), manipulate the rate/route of the water, and to amplify the sounds created by the water flow. The dynamics of the systems, along with the interventions of the performers at times, create different types of flow over time.

This installation highlights the physical power of water and its dynamic properties while complicating its management with humans and in human systems. By itself, the installation is designed to balance itself—accommodating for fluctuations in the water flow in different parts of the system. When the performers interact with the instruments, this natural balance is interrupted and the performers must constantly react to the consequences of their actions in other parts of the system. Chains of imbalances are felt unevenly throughout the system and the performers act to maintain the stability of the system caused by their own involvement.

The installation will be exhibited in the Department of Art’s Olive Tjaden Gallery (Tjaden Hall) the week of April 10-14 and is available to view 8am – 5pm each day. A full schedule of performance times for the week will be posted at the installation and here in the week before it opens. A reception open to the public will be on Tuesday, April 11, 5-7pm and will include performances in the gallery.

Funding is provided by the Cornell Council for the Arts, the Cornell Department of Music, with additional support by the Cornell Electroacoustic Music Center. Special thanks to Emily Call, Alan & Kathryn Eagle, Laurel Gilmer, Milo Tantillo, Cornell Department of Art, and Professors Kevin Ernste, Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, and Ben Piekut.