IM FREIEN FALL (‘In Free Fall’), prototype

Atelier Hattingen

A water wheel of some ten metres diameter is connected to a treadmill drum via a shaft and a multiple gear. When visitors ‘tread’ the mill in the direction pre-ordained by a retaining latch, its rotation is transmitted at a lower speed to the water wheel. This now rotates its twin scoops, attached to eight steel girders, through a tank filled with water. During this process each twin scoop fills with 130 litres of water. The full containers are raised counter the direction of rotation of the treadmill, until the scoop openings, tilting more and more towards the centre of the circle, let the water plummet back into the tank from a height of almost ten metres. This is not an abrupt event but occurs while the containers pass through an arc of some 60° over the zenith of the full circle. The ‘performers’ in the treadmill experience the sight of the water in free fall aware that this natural spectacle is being caused by the force of their own physical effort.

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© Gereon Lepper, 2015


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