Mesmerizing sculptural instrument uses water for an otherworldly musical light show

There are plenty of art installations set up around the world, but the majority of them have a “look but don’t touch” policy. After all, “art” is expected to be mostly visual and the risk of damaging a precious, one-of-a-kind masterpiece is just too high. There are, however, other art forms that require your other senses to truly have a complete experience, sometimes involving not just touch but even hearing as well. This sculptural instrument, for example, invites people to dip their hands into glowing drums of water to create a hypnotic audiovisual experience intended to raise their consciousness to higher levels.

Designer: Artur Weber

Inner Waves look nothing like any musical instrument you can think of, except probably for a drum set with too many drums arranged in an almost random fashion around the largest circle in the middle. Like their namesake, though, these are actually small container drums that can hold liquid, in this case, water. Unlike your typical water drum, however, these cylinders have a faint glow on the outside that contrasts with the darkness they hold inside.

As captivating as these eerie glowing drums might be, they’re not designed just for your eyes. After all, you can’t even appreciate the water they hold in the darkness, and so you have to make that leap of faith and plunge your hand or even just a finger inside that darkness. This act rewards you with a brighter light and an ethereal sound that is reminiscent of the tones produced by a theremin. It is also similar to the sound you make when you dip your finger inside a glass of water and then run your fingertip around the mouth of the glass.

This alien sculptural instrument is advertised to link the water inside the viewer’s body with the water within the vessel, a statement that almost has a transcendental message to it. Technically speaking, it most likely uses the vibrations caused by ripples in order to trigger the mechanism that increases the light’s intensity and produces sound. Of course, your brain might not immediately make that connection, making you think that it is indeed your body’s agency that is creating this effect. Either way, the audiovisual art installation has the intended effect of putting your mind in a more meditative state, perhaps contemplating the deeper meaning behind this intersection of art and technology.