Mar 222013
 
Part of the Brightwater Treatment Plant in Woodinville

Part of the Brightwater Treatment Plant in Woodinville

You can tell these pictures were taken last summer, huh?

You can tell these pictures were taken last summer, huh?

Last year I won a commission to make an artwork inspired by the Brightwater Treatment System. This consists of a treatment plant in Woodinville, a conveyance (a series of pipes) and a marine outfall. These all work together to treat the sewage and drain water from King and Snohomish counties, reclaim solids and water for farming or landscaping, and discharge the treated water safely into the Puget Sound.

I and the other commissioned artists got a tour of the plant last summer and it was impressive! I’ve since done a lot of research to make sure I understand the whole process, and I’m going back to the plant on Monday to take the tour one more time. This time, I will have two children with me and I will interview them after the tour about how it works. These audio interviews will be the basis of the animated film I create. I don’t think the weather will be quite as spectacular this time around, but we can hope.

Testing out different inks

Testing out different inks

In terms of technique I’m hoping to use marker-on-glass, which I’ve done before in my last film, They Look Right Through You, but also ink and water. I’m playing around with adding ink to a shape or word written in water. The ink reveals the word, previously invisible. I went out and bought lots of different types of inks – I even got some free toner ink from Cartridge World in the U District that they had lying around in the back. Thanks, Cartridge World! I spent some time doing tests on my stand, taking photos as the ink was added to the water, and then as the ink dried. Here are some results:

This black toner ink actually separates to look blue and purple when added to water. It also beads up quite a lot.

This black toner ink actually separates to look blue and purple when added to water. It also beads up quite a lot.

This Liquitex black ink spreads fairly quickly through the water and dries in large pools, leaving an intersting texture.

This Liquitex black ink spreads fairly quickly through the water and dries in large pools, leaving an interesting texture.

This Pelikan black ink is probably the one I'll end up using the most because it spread through water more slowly, and dries in interesting contracting pools.

This Pelikan black ink is probably the one I’ll end up using the most because it spread through water more slowly, and dries in interesting contracting pools.

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