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Dear friends,

We're happy to share news about Aquacanta, a collection of analog devices that we created with French artist/maker Hadrien Vénat for the 2nd edition of the public art festival WaterWalls (Esch-sur-Sûre – LU, 08.06-08.09.2024).

The festival – which focuses on the Sûre River and the artificial dams that were constructed on it in the 1950s – invites participating creatives to embrace the principles of circular economy and conceive participatory installations capable of provoking unexpected encounters with the existing natural and built environments.

Aquacanta suggests to stop and listen to the flow of the river, the pitter-patter of the rain, or the summer breeze that crosses the Sûre Valley. The four Sound Detecting Machines (SDM) that compose the installation invite passersby to pause and pay attention to these and other subtle and ephemeral sounds. Instead of producing music or noise artificially, the listening tools are activated only when the sounds they were built for occur naturally and weather conditions are appropriate.

SDM #01 and SDM #02 were conceived and built using repurposed wood from a previous art project and reclaimed gas bottles and oil barrels. The volumes and structures of SDM #03 and SDM #04, on the other hand, were obtained without metal waste and using light welding processes that will enable easy disassembly.

Parallel to the four physical devices, Aquacanta is also an illustrated tale dealing with the subject of rivers as entities owning legal personhood and whose various voices should be listened to and respected. Currently in progress, the publication will be released later this year.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.


Laura & Olivier

SDM #01

Place your ear against the amplifier. Close your eyes. Can you hear the small stream flowing into the Sûre River? And the bullfinch singing in the late afternoon? [N.B. This device works best after a full day of rain when the little stream on the opposite riverbank is full of water]

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SDM #02

On a rainy day, bring the tip of the hose to your ear. Listen to the rain falling on the sides of the device and trickling before mixing with the waters of the Sûre. [N.B. If it isn’t raining, this device can also be activated by throwing water on the metal surface with your hands]

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SDM #03

When stimulated by the Sûre’s natural stream, the steel cable vibrates and transfers its reverberation to the membrane of the device. Place your ear to the hole and listen to the muffled and enveloping sound of the aquatic world that this low-tech sonar captures. [N.B. This device works best when the upstream dam has just been opened and the water flows at a certain speed]

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SDM #04

Lie down and listen to the summer breeze. On windy days, the 60-metre-long steel cables capture the natural airflows and transform them into vibrations that are transferred to the two large metal ears. Ephemeral and characterised by spacey tones, the resulting sounds transport you to another dimension. [N.B. In order to work properly, this device needs a certain wind speed, which generally occurs in the late afternoon]

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Concept & design: d-o-t-s (Laura Drouet, Olivier Lacrouts) & Hadrien Vénat

Production: Atelier Modern Garage

Metal provider: Ferronnerie d'Art Nico Betzen

Production support: Ateliers Communaux de Esch-sur-Sûre


Production: Esch(t)kultur

Artistic direction: Services for Creatives

Photos: Olly Cruise

d-o-t-s (Laura Drouet, Olivier Lacrouts)

www.studiodots.eu[email protected]@we_are_dots
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