The art of repeatability

Cole-Parmer provide artistic pump solution to Tate Modern

Tate Modern in London, UK, is the most visited modern art gallery in the world with around 4.7 million visitors per year, and for a limited time among its exhibits visitors were able to see a Masterflex pump in action.

The pump is installed as part of a retrospective exhibition about Richard Hamilton

The pump was installed as part of a retrospective exhibition about Richard Hamilton, a founding figure in the Pop Art movement. As part of this retrospective Roger Hiorns, a leading contemporary UK artist, worked with Cole-Parmer to develop a kinetic element showing dye being dropped and dispersed in a beaker.

It was critical for the impact of the piece to dispense identical drops of a specific size at set intervals during the day. The pump needed to run unattended and maintenance-free for a 6-month period. To achieve this, the exhibit used a Masterflex dispensing drive with an FMI Q-series piston pump head.

FMI Q-series piston pump head mounted on a Masterflex L/S Digital Drive

Cole-Parmer’s Application Specialist, Michael Hassan, explains: 'To deliver highly repeatable droplets for an extended period, valveless piston pump technology is ideal. They require minimal maintenance, and are capable of dispensing accurately for millions of cycles. Combined with the intuitive Masterflex dispensing drive, we were able to deliver a user-friendly solution, allowing Roger to fine-tune the size of the droplet and know that it would run maintenance-free throughout the exhibition.'

The piece explored Sir D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s book On Growth and Form (published in 1917), which explained morphogenesis, the process by which patterns are formed in animals and plants. Inspired by D’Arcy, Richard Hamilton brought together in 1951 a range of organic and scientific materials, demonstrations and photographs, making use of the most up-to-date imaging techniques.

Read more about Cole-Parmer’s range of Piston Pumps.

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