Walk on Water: 13 Interactive Aquatic Art Installations

Ghost Ship Projected Onto Curtains of Water

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The ghostly image of a 17th century ship hovers above the water in Amsterdam, looking especially hallucinatory when viewed from afar. Romania-based architecture collective visualSKIN projected the ship onto a backdrop of water for the Amsterdam Light Festival, referencing a Dutch East India Company ship that wrecked in a storm during its maiden voyage in 1749.

Pod People Walking on Water by Lisa Greenfield

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You might think you’re watching some sort of performance as people in red suits drift by on Boston’s Fort Point Channel in giant transparent balls. It takes a moment to realize those human figures aren’t moving. ‘Walking on Water’ by Lisa Greenfield stuck mannequins inside these floating PVC balls as a “commentary about privacy, isolation and being in our own little worlds.”

Perpetual Whirlpools by Anish Kapoor

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Like portals to some other dimension, swirling black whirlpools appear in the floors of movie theaters and galleries, seemingly waiting for a sacrifice to fall in. Anish Kapoor’s ‘Decension’ has appeared in a number of spaces around the world, including Italy and India, referencing spaces that may lie beyond our reality. “It is the place of the void, which paradoxically is full – of fear, of darkness. Whether you represent it with a mirror or with a dark form, it is always the ‘back,’ the point that attracts my interest and triggers my creativity.

Glass Floods a Benedictine Monastery

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Icy waters pour into a Benedictine monastery through the windows, crystallizing in pale blue-green puddles on the floor. This evocative installation by Baptiste Debombourg is actually made of shattered laminate glass to mimic a flood, its sharp edges making it even more dangerous and potentially destructive than if it were really water. The installation almost makes it seem like the windows themselves have taken on a new form, becoming liquid and expanding.