Ripple Effect

By Dorsey Kaufmann
Close up photo of water droplets against dancing in the air

March 11-13, 2022
Wonder House | Fogo de Chao


Ripple Effect is an art installation that visualizes water quality data through sound, light, and water. Through software technology, water contamination levels are translated into sound waves. The installation consists of speakers that play the ‘data sound tracks’, which vibrate the water held in attached trays. The sonic vibrations create unique patterns to emerge in the water, known as water cymatics. Participants hear and see the water vibrate based on the chemical concentrations in their water samples. The more active the water, the higher the concentration. Ripple Effect travels to communities that face environmental pollution and has communicated water, groundwater, and rainwater data.


Dorsey Kaufmann is a multimedia artist who creates socially engaged art installations and works with communities neighboring toxic mining waste, miners, labor organizers, environmental historians, environmental research laboratories, and those living in the aftermath of industrialization and resource extraction in the U.S. Southwest.

Employing a diverse range of mediums including film, animation, installation, sculpture, writing, and performance, her work is shaped by research-driven experimentations that explore invisible human and nonhuman structures - from the cosmic and geologic to the ecological and political. Her artworks contain critical analyses of the power structures around natural Earth systems and how they dictate access, health, and livelihood in local communities and habitats.

Dorsey has received numerous awards for her artwork, including the French National Center’s Interdisciplinary and Global Environmental Studies Award, the University of Arizona School of Art’s Marcia Grand Centennial Sculpture Award, and the UA College of Fine Art’s Medici Scholar Award.

Her work has been shown nationally and internationally at Biosphere 2, AZ; Tucson Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ; the Duderstadt Center in Ann Arbor, MI, Inscape Arts in Seattle, WA; Harpa Kaldalón in Reykjavik, Iceland; Sonic Acts in Amsterdam, Netherlands; ACM’s Creativity and Cognition Conference in Venice, Italy; and for the College Art Association in New York and Los Angeles. She has published in the youarehere journal of creative geography, the International Journal of Science Education, and the Journal of Risk Research. She will be exhibiting her work in the 2022 Venice Bienniale at the Istituzione Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa (forthcoming).

She earned an MFA from the School of Art at the University of Arizona and worked in Dr. Ramírez-Andreotta’s Integrated Environmental Science and Health Risk Laboratory.