This project was developed as a site-specific installation three times. In the early 1800's, Jean-Daniel Colladon demonstrated the principle of total internal reflection with water "light pipes" which led to the development of fiber optic cables. Using analog AM lightwave transmitter and receiver circuits from Forrest M. Mims III's Engineer's Mini Notebook: Optoelectronic Circuits, PhotoLink shows audio traveling as an optic signal through water laser pipes. Water flows through laminar flow nozzles going in two directions, which carry a visibly modulated signal, demonstrating how fiber optics work. This replicates the data links of the internet at a much smaller, human scale.
The most recent version of this piece was built in a reclaimed sink. Visitors can have a conversation using speakers and microphones at either end. (Radical Networks, 2019)
A version of this project using an initial prototype for a laminar flow nozzle and reclaimed 55-gallon drums (ITP Residents Show at Collab, 2019)
The first version of this project used a line-of-site link through a fish tank. (ITP Winter Show, 2018)
I also wrote this little fiber optics explainer.