Watertable

Watertable. Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak. 2009.

Commissioned by the City of Toronto for the newly designed historic Fort York, this large-scale lighting installation by Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak marks the original shoreline of the city with a slowly undulating display that mimics the behaviour of water lapping at the shore.

I was hired by the artists to create a lighting control system that not only looks like water, but behaves like water. Using physical-modelling algorithms, the display ripples dynamically, never repeating.

The behaviour and intensity of the display responds to the weather on site, increasing in intensity with stronger winds, and diminishing to a lull in calm breezes.

Suspended beneath Toronto’s controversial Gardiner Expressway, an elevated highway running along the downtown’s southern edge, Watertable is Toronto’s first new-media public commission. A ten-year symbol of the city’s waterfront revitalisation.