Fluid Communication

fluidcom

Digital communication, in its electronic form, is invisible to the eye. This machine visualizes the flow of binary data, by using oil and water as binary states instead of voltage levels.

The software which serves as data source is a simple chat program. When the user enters text, the machine sends the binary representation of that text by alternately pumping clear oil and colored water through the tube. The two differents fluids represent the binary data: Oil for 0, Water for 1. The resulting black and white pattern is the encoded data sent from the terminal.

The machine communicates with itself, decoding the pattern it has generated. Through the turbulences in the tube the data gets distorted. This distorted data reminds us of the difficulties that one has to overcome to build reliable digital devices.

Oil and water – the resource for communication.

The encoded data.

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