Surface Tension

Surface Tension (2023)

Surface tension is the physical phenomenon where a liquid forms what appears to be a skin on its surface. With water, the distinct properties of its surface tension is the result of two forces: cohesion (when molecules of the same type attract each other) and adhesion (when molecules of a different type attract each other). In Surface Tension, audience members listen to traces of EL Putnam’s performed gestures within Lough Lene in Ireland. This work explores adhesion and cohesion as metaphor using the physicality of water’s surface tension through the asynchronous embodied gestures of performer and audience.

This work was commissioned for and premiered at the Evaporate Festival at the Waterworks Museum in Boston, MA, USA.

I continue to produce work in relation to Lough Lene, including the below video, Displacement, where I engage with the concept of surface tension visually. In particular, I focus on the surface of the water as simultaneously connection and barrier — a thresh hold of refraction and diffraction.