Water 4 Bits, a Second Life for Expo92 Europe Pavillion, was a synchronize (and visitable) installation in both physical and digital space that explored dreams, nightmares and the realities of post-modern technology at the heart of Seville’s Technology Park.
The physical space was the European Pavilion at the Cartuja Technology Park, Seville. The park is the result of the urban recycling of the site of the World Fair held in the city in 1992. Although it is a successful, productive environment, some of the world fair pavilions still stand empty. One such is the European Pavillion, which nowadays looks like a ruin from a novel by J G Ballard: subterranean, empty, partly flooded. The installation in question aims to turn it into a type of visitor’s center for the archaeological exploration of the future.
The digital space was a 3D clone of the physical space created in a synthetic or Metaverse world, Open Simulator, which could be described as a free and distributed version of Second Life. This digital space shows environmental data collected from the pavilion in real-time by means of sensors (arduino-squidbee / light, relative humidity, temperature) while simultaneously displaying a project to transform the pavilion into an experimental citizen’s media lab, on the lines of the Prado and Hangar media labs (Madrid and Barcelona).
Meanwhile, the process was documented at the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo by means of two screens that act like mirrors: one shows the physical space and project details, while the other is an Open Simulator version of the pavilion in the future, which can be toured by visitors.
The project raised public awareness about the place as a space of opportunity for Seville and explores its future use as an experimental citizen’s media lab. Digital artists, architects, students and the public were invited to take part in a forum on the participatory construction of the project.