Sunday, December 30, 2012

Lithograph on Steel

Expanding on the themes generated by The Aqua Lautus Machine, here is a recently completed Lithograph with acrylic transfer on steel piece. It is Untitled for 2012 and measures 26cm x 76cm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Great Lakes Guardian Fund

Through McMaster University I have made an application to the Great Lakes Guardian Fund. This funding would be used for construction costs, materials, and some travel expense for the sculpture. Still waiting to hear back on my application. Here is my Letter of Intent included in the application.

Oct. 10Th,2012

Great Lakes Guardian Community Fund
Rural Programs Branch
1 Stone Rd.,W., 4th Floor
Guelph, ON N1G 4Y2

I, Christopher McLeod, am writing in support of McMaster Universities application to the Great Lakes
Guardian Fund regarding project title: An Interactive Sculpture on Water Purification Drinking
Fountain. (The Aqua Lautus Machine)

When we use water it tends to simply appear when needed and disappear when we are finished with it.
There is no sense of its source, its volume, or the energy involved in moving and filtering it. We have
become disconnected from and lost sight of our dependance on water. As a professional artist and
mature student enrolled in the Studio Arts program, I strive to create visceral and interactive
experiences. My last interactive sculpture, The Responsibility Machine, was recently featured at Nuit
Blanche in Toronto where an estimated 15,000 people had the opportunity to engage with the sculpture
and consider the notion of personal responsibility. This project, through a collaboration of Art and
Engineering, The Aqua Lautus Machine (Project Titled: An Interactive Sculpture on Water Purification
Drinking Fountain: An Education Tool) will inspire participant's to engage in the production of potable
water direct from the source through a mechanical centrifuge sand filtration unit, UV unit, and bottling
station that will be constructed from steel, copper and acrylic.

Once completed, the sculpture's portability becomes important as I will be travelling to various parks &
festivals located within the Great Lakes region, drawing attention to the access to clean water,
conservation techniques and maintenance of fresh water sources, and our community's health. The
sculpture, in a fun and entertaining way, will create an experience that will open the door to evaluating
a community's awareness of the issues surrounding the Great Lakes. Art, as an educational tool, has the
ability to enlighten a community's knowledge of our water resource from the Great Lakes and what is
needed to protect these resources. The Aqua Lautus Machine will create a sense of ownership and drive
the desire to take responsibility.

After travelling through the summer, a collaborative analysis of the public knowledge and awareness of
our water resources will be produced. The findings will be based on information gathered and
disseminated from participant's use and interaction with the sculpture. This interactive, educational
sculpture will reach out to the minds of our current generation and future ones. When we as individuals
become aware, there is growth. When we as individuals become connected and passionate, there is
action. When communities of people become inspired, there is change.

Thank you for taking the time to review our application. I look forward to hearing from you.

Christopher McLeod

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Aqua Lautus Machine

Aqua Lautus, is Latin for Water Cleaner

Here are some drawings done on the chalkboard as we work our way through the technical aspects of making the water clean and safe to drink coming directly from the lake. The Aqua Lautus Machine, or Water Cleaner Machine, is not suitable for developing countries due to its complexity. It is designed for developed countries to facilitate our connection to where our water comes from, and how much energy it takes to move and clean it. Plus it will be cool looking and fun to use! Do you think you could peddle for 4 minutes in order to draw water from a lake, filter a few different ways, then drink it? It's all peddle power, no hydro.

we broke the sculpture down into modules

Here are flow rate calculations. Going for 4 minutes for complete procedure - Lake water to drinking water

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Portable water sculpture

So what is The Aqua Lautus Machine?

With our ever increasing population, water has become one of the biggest issues in the 21st. century. Water is essential for all life, humans, plants, fish, and wildlife inclusively. Ontarians are among the highest water users in the world. The average residential water user in Ontario uses 225 litres of water per day. Promoting water conservation in the face of apparent abundance, however, is deeply challenging.

The Aqua Lautus Machine will connect Ontarians to where their water comes from, that being our Great Lakes, how it needs to be conserved and kept clean to protect human and ecosystem health. It will, in an interactive, innovative, and fun way show people what it takes to make our natural water sources, the Great lakes and their watersheds, potable, that is healthy to drink and cook with. When we as individuals become connected to something, start to really understand and care about something, it is at that point we start to take greater action. Greater action of individuals evolves into community action with long lasting respect for the Great lakes and long lasting positive impacts and change.

The aim is to develop a working model of a water purification and distribution system sole operated through renewable sources of energies such as human power, solar, wind, gravity, etc.. I will be working with McMaster University, specifically the engineering faculty, to assist in design and build.

The project aims to design and build a portable water sculpture that through participants' interaction will draw water from a local source (lake/river in Lake Ontario) and feed into various transparent filtration systems and finally dispense clean drinking water to the participant.

The sculpture will visit predetermined areas within the Great Lakes, St. Lawrence River basin and their watersheds where they will interact and educate local communities and local public school system on water conservation, protection, supply and energy demand.
Participants will gain hands on experience and education on the transportation of water from the Great Lakes to residential endpoints; the volume flow rate and energy/cost required to provide potable water to communities around the basin. By educating people to the otherwise mysterious process of turning on a tap, the sculpture will provide a deeper insight and appreciation of the water resource from the Great Lakes; that water should not be commoditized nor wasted.  

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