2020 • Encore Technology Park, Tampa, FL

Tampa is a city of abundant sun, water and culture. Encore Technology Park embraces the sun with its large solar array, and stores an abundance of storm water underneath the Park in a large capacity cistern. Solar power cools nearby residences, and the cistern nurtures the Encore landscape. The Park's sustainable paradigm brings meaning to the art that embraces and engages it. The three Water Bearers and their counterparts, the Cistern Drums, add visual and sonic poetics to the parks purpose, embracing the power and value of sun and water. Encore Park technological infrastructure provides solar power, passive air conditioning and irrigation to the Encore community.

The Water Bearers suggest Aquarius as a mythological reference. Latin for water carrier, Aquarius represents pouring forth the waters of wisdom. The three Water Bearer figures balance water bowls on their heads tilt to receive the sun, referring to the parks large solar array. The water bowls acknowledge the influence of the sun on hydrology, driving the cycles of rain and supplying the large cistern below the park. The cistern mitigates large storm events, as well as supplying irrigation to water neighborhood landscapes. The columns supporting the three figures produce an optical kinetic wave moire to passing viewers. Devised as they are to reference capture sun and provide energy to cool the residential community, one might perceive them as melting "snow men."

The three Cistern Drums, made from repurposed 55-gallon drums, represent contemporary containment vessels and complement the Water Bearers bowls. Each drum is located over an opening to the cistern below thus enabling the cistern to become a resonating chamber for the sonic enhancement of the steel drums. The drums illuminate a rhythmic pattern and invite connections to the rich musical traditions of the neighborhood's cultural history.

At the suggestion of the artist, a unique partnership was created between Tampa Housing Authority and the University of South Florida Deign Build workshop. Its long-range objective is to foster closer collaboration between public agencies and institutions in order to create design excellence.

Site Design: Todd Metten