When a drop falls by Loop

“When a drop falls” is an interactive art installation placed in the hall of the new east wing of Bari airport’s passenger terminal to communicate Apulia’s attention to and respect for water and the environment.

This work of art was made in compliance with Italian Law 717/49 and subsequent amendments and additions. It is 14 metres high and integrates perfectly with the terminal’s architectural space. The play of changing lights and its different sections express the value of water as a primary good, focusing the attention on the drop as an essential iconic element, and emphasising the symbolic meaning of water as a source of life and common good.

The work consists of different sections:

  • a cloud of light;
  • a fountain for the drop;
  • a multimedia panel with touch screen.

When you tap on a drop that appears on the monitor, it falls at the centre of the fountain, lighting up the entire structure. A rainfall of drops, each containing a face, fills the screen. Users can see their faces in the rainfall of drops by tapping on the “Add your photo” icon. A webcam detects the user’s face, takes a picture, and automatically adds it to a drop. You can even send your photo to your email or post it on social media, helping us communicate the concept of this work of art installed in Bari airport.

You can use the same app on your devices (computer, smartphone, tablet) and upload your pictures without having to actually be at the airport. Other content can be added to this app (regarding water, the artwork, or Bari airport).

The poetic symbolism expressed through the falling drops is enhanced by interactivity, which puts the spectator/user in direct contact with the work of art and its meaning.

The sociality of water and its circulation are also enhanced by interaction on social media.

Notes on the author

What happens when a drop falls?

This work of art symbolises the value of water as a primary good, focusing the attention on the drop as an essential iconic element.

Drops are a key symbol of a large number of campaigns on water as a common good and a primary right: “every drop counts”, “save a drop”, “a drop in the ocean”.

This is why the work’s symbolism focuses on the drop, avoiding the use of large amounts of water for a work of art that wants to emphasise how precious water is and how we shouldn’t waste it, not even a drop.

One drop alone is enough to create life, light, and emotions.

The fountain for the drops at the base of the work celebrates both the strength of the single drop (which lights up the entire structure) and its fragility that needs to be protected and saved.

An articulated and elegant structure that fills up the skylight, visible from all floors, with ever-changing points of view.

A lively and bright structure, where changing colours draw the attention.

The airy and lightweight structure fits perfectly in the architecture, enhancing the luminous skylight and its vertical perspective.

An interactive structure that comes to life with users’ interaction.

A social structure, which allows users to share their experience with their network.

The structure brings to mind a drop; the cloud of light on top, the gaseous status of water; the centre, which withholds the symbolic value of the work, represents water in its liquid status; at the bottom, a glacial mirror reflects the entire structure.

The central fountain is a metaphor of water in its absence. The water in the monitor is virtually alive and moves, but there is no real water in the fountain. The absence of water speaks louder than its presence.

Local material (Trani stone, Murgese pebbles) create a bond with the territory.

The structure is always alive. The lights of the vertical components and cloud create changing effects, which draw the attention of passers-by as a large sculpture of light.

The two interacting panels on the ground floor captures the glance.

Anyone can interact with the work from any of the panels. When you tap on a drop on the touch screen, the whole work comes to life. Suddenly all the lights go off. Then, the light focuses on the centre, from where one drop falls, magically recreating the light that goes up the entire work to reach the cloud on top.

When a drop falls… life begins.