Summer Exhibit: Surface Tension

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 12PM-6PM, Opening, June 1, 6PM-8PM
Cost: Free

The future of water is the subject of tension. Water is both disposable and sacred, a muse for artists and a necessity for life – a source of healing and of conflict. The Earth has abundant water, but only a very small proportion is available for human use. How should this be managed and sustained, and what would a water-scarce future look like?

From May 31 – August 11 Eyebeam Art & Technology Center will present SURFACE TENSION, a travelling exhibition developed by Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin, which brings together work by international artists, designers, engineers and scientists to explore the future of water. The work exhibition examines water’s physical properties, its role in politics and economics, and ways in which it may be harnessed, cleaned, and distributed.

SURFACE TENSION features innovative artworks, events, and a lab in the gallery, all of which explore the complex tensions surrounding the future of water. Visitors to this free exhibition are invited to bring a water sample from their locality, participate in the exhibits, join the discussion, and explore their own water footprint. Key exhibits include a water lab where you can investigate the quality of water samples you bring to the gallery and works by Eyebeam alumni John Cors and Taeyoon Choi and Fellow Mary Mattingly.

The exhibition is curated by Ralph Borland, Michael John Gorman, Bruce Misstear and Jane Withers – and made possible through the generous support of Culture Ireland, the Cordover Family Foundation and the University of Dublin Fund.


Among the many water-themed exhibits, events, workshops, and interactive experience, exhibition highlights include:

  • An open source prototype for a robotic swarming, sailing ship that could clean up oil spills in the future
  • Umbilical filters, artificial insemination kits and precocious puberty dolls, all responding to rising levels of chemicals and hormones in our drinking water
  • A water pump that requires the same amount of energy to fill a plastic bottle as would go into producing it—approximately 3 hours of pumping per liter; 1,000 times more energy than would be required for tap water
  • Water themed films screening in the Eyebeam Project Space

More information on the work featured in SURFACE TENSION is available on the microsite for the show’s first outing at Science Gallery Dublin.

For more media enquiries about Science Gallery and SURFACE TENSION, please contact Elizabeth Lutz ([email protected]), David McTiernan ([email protected]), or Rebecca Shapiro ([email protected]) at Shore Fire Media, 718.522.7171.

More info on special screenings, symposia, and events to be announced in the coming months.