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Salinity Sampler Sequencer - photo by Lucy ridges

All the latest project developments, with updates on design, instruments, research, and things we find interesting.

Development Blog

~Flow Engineering_Writing Commission: Exclusive Previews
18th September 2012

We are delighted to preview the ~Flow Engineering Writing Commissions, exclusively on our website!

~Flow Film Commission_Mat Fleming's 'Waterwheel'
12th September 2012

As part of a series of engineering themed events, ~Flow offered artist Mat Fleming a commission to produce a film which responded to the engineering elements of the project. Watch the stunning 'Waterwheel' here or alternatively visit the BALTIC Quayside to view.


Sunset Sound Walk
2nd September 2012

Birdsong, roe deer and bats... Read a review of last week's Sunset Sound Walk with Chris Watson.


Chris Watson Sunset Soundwalk
20th August 2012

Internationally renowed sound recordist Chris Watson is offering another exclusive soundwalk for a select few as part his new commission 'Going With The Flow.' 

Chris Watson: 'Going With The Flow' Exclusive Recordings
24th July 2012

As part of his major new commission with ~Flow, Chris Watson has been collecting sound recordings of the River Tyne from its sources to the sea.

SummerTyne pop up gigs
21st July 2012

King Jim and the Byker Community Choir brought a little Americana to ~Flow this afternoon... and they're back tomorrow.


Seven Stories Creative Writing Competition
20th July 2012

We have a winner!

Where Are The Wild Ones?
14th June 2012

Tickets for 'Where Are the Wild Ones?" part of ~Flow's summer programme and NewcastleGateshead The Bridges Festival are now on sale.

Moritz Stefaner and Stephan Thiel: Tyne
13th June 2012

Data visualisation artists Moritz and Stephan have teamed up to create a live visualisation based on real-time sensor data feeds generated through ~Flow. 

Write Around The Toon
6th June 2012

Write Around The Toon has been described as a ‘kraken of creativity’, with tendrils of inspiration reaching across the city. This year the creative team have been working as writers in residence onboard ~Flow. 

Summer events programme sets sail!
31st May 2012

We are super exited to launch a new series of events onboard ~Flow this summer. Celebrate this sunshine with music, food, artist residencies, films, family workshops and writing. It's full of brilliantly inventive ways to experience ~Flow and loads of opportunities for you to get involved including commissions and competitions for film-makers, and writers of all ages. 

The Late Shows tours are fully booked!
19th May 2012

All of the artist led tours for The Late Shows are now fully booked.

Flow Tow
16th May 2012

Re-live Flow Tow. On the 28th February Flow made its journey down from Amble to the Tyne and here's a video of the trip. 

Balinese dancing onboard ~Flow
13th May 2012

Time seemed to stand still on Sunday afternoon as dancer Ni Madé Pujawati and percussionist Brendan Murphy performed onboard ~Flow. 

Countdown to GONG Festival
12th May 2012

Join us this Sunday for a spectacular Indonesian dance performance on board ~Flow, all part of the GONG Festival. 

Flow talk
9th May 2012

Want to know more about how ~Flow made the journey from artists' concept to drawing board to the Tyne? 


River Source Sound Walk photos
5th May 2012

Some photos from the River Source Sound Walk as part of Chris Watson's 'Going with the Flow'

Watch and Listen
4th May 2012

Here are videos of our opening event and the public opening day, along with some live audio recordings from Field Music, Owl Project, Ed Carter, Seb Rochford, Andy Sheppard and Chirs Watson. 

The Late Shows are nearly here!
3rd May 2012

It's not long now until The Late Shows... have you booked your tour?

~Flow data
22nd April 2012

Did you know you can see all of the live data feeds from ~Flow at Pachube?

Change of date for ListenFlow/PlayFlow
7th April 2012

The ListenFlow/PlayFlow improvised music performance workshop has been postponed from 10th April to 14th June. 

Make an iLog Photosynthesiser with Owl Project
5th April 2012

Feeling inspired by ~Flow and by Owl Project's incredible instruments? Then join the artists themselves to make your own iLog Photosynthesiser.

Busy Bs workshops this weekend
29th March 2012

Apparently the weather's taking a turn for the worse this weekend, so why not bring the kids along to Busy B's?

Opening Day
27th March 2012

Here are the pictures from the ~Flow Opening Day. 

Spring is here... and ~Flow is open
24th March 2012

Enjoy the Spring sunshine on ~Flow, open to everyone this Sunday.

Launch night
23rd March 2012

Check out some pictures from the ~Flow preview night on Wednesday 21st, with tours onboard and party at BALTIC

~Flow opens
20th March 2012

~Flow opens its doors!

Creative programme now live
15th March 2012

~Flow's creative programme for Spring 2012, filled with talks, tours, music sessions, family art workshops, storytelling, gigs, sound walks and more, is now live...

Wheel Installation
2nd February 2012

On 02.02.12, the bridging decks and waterwheel were installed on Flow. It was an amazing day!

Launch day
31st January 2012

The millhouse was launched at 07:44 on Monday 30 January, by the amazing team at Amble Boat Company.

Final shot of Bellows
30th January 2012

The millhouse was launched at 07:44 on Monday 30 January, by the amazing team at Amble Boat Company.

Bellows finally take breath!
13th October 2011

After a lot of work constructing large composite gears and designing a beautiful Axe and Tipper gear arrangement it was great to finally connect a motor to drive the first of the 3 bellows.  Here are some images to wet your appetites for the final machine.

Creative Programme Manager needed
8th September 2011

We are looking for a Creative Programme Manager to work with us over the coming months, to devise some exciting projects around Flow.


Data to Web and Twitter feed
8th September 2011

We thought people who can't come to Newcastle next year would like a little Tyne-data to play with, so are creating a River-to-web connection.  Our heads are quite full at the moment, so are looking for someone with Arduino skills to come and spend a couple of days working with us. 

Ant in the studio - #03
7th September 2011

So besides the constant drilling, sanding, sawing and miserable country music (my pick again then) the most fascinating/worrying sounds heard in the studio come from Simon's corner of the room.

Pontoons arrive
6th September 2011

The reclaimed pontoons have arrived on site in Amble for the build to start.

Ant in the studio - #02
2nd September 2011

Ok folks, I've been slacking with posting duties so here comes a bombarding of wood based wizardry which I fully understand the mechanics of and can therefore confidently relay to anyone interested*.

Ant in the studio - #01
2nd September 2011

Hello! Ant Long here, newcomer to Rogue Artist Studios and volunteer/apprentice/tea boy for The Owl Project.


Ant in the studio - week 1
9th August 2011

Hello! Ant Long here, newcomer to Rogue Artist Studios and volunteer/apprentice/tea boy for The Owl Project.

Piston Crank
9th August 2011

The crank prototype was good but had some flex and wobble and was made from mahogany and a found broomstick.


Wooden gears
5th August 2011

This is a detail of one of the laminate gears – We will add more detail and images to this section later as its quite a complicated process. 


Turbidity tube
5th August 2011

This week we started to assemble the turbidity sensor. This is the 
transparent tube that will hold water being extracted from the river. 
A laser will project through the tube. Here you can see the wooden 
frame assembled to hold the tube in place. 

Parts for the geneva mechanism
29th July 2011

We are making laminate parts from CNC cut components, to create 
strong wooden peices that dont warp in the changing damp conditions 
on borad ~Flow. Here a peg gear disk is being clamped together 
and glued.


Syringe piston crank
29th July 2011

We have been experimenting with cranks and cams.  We might
use something like this to sample water from the river.

Analog synth circuits
28th July 2011

The electronics within the salinity sampler sequencer have become quite involved

Parts for the Geneva mechanism
14th July 2011

Making laminate parts from CNC cut components, to create strong wooden pieces that dont warp in the changing damp conditions on board ~Flow.


A syringe piston crank
14th July 2011

Experimenting with cranks and cams. Thinking of using something like this to sample water from the river. Also experimenting using wooden pegs to connect things without using screws or glue.

Parts for the Geneva mechanism
12th July 2011

The assembled Geneva mechanism and the peg gears made with Oak and Ash, with hard wood pegs and dowel.


Water samples
17th June 2011

We took water samples from the river tyne over the tide cycle to experiment with at the studio.



The Water Organ
9th December 2010

The Water Organ, has an amazing history so I thought I would track some of it here.


The new salinity sampler sequencer
9th December 2010

The idea behind this was to try and construct a machine that would dip electrodes in water samples of varying salinity. The notes vary depending on how much electricity passes through the electrodes. So the notes vary according to the saltiness of the water and we can listen to the variations. 


Speaker Cones
9th December 2010

A first try at making a cone for a speaker for something like the Bubble Synth. Next up a microphone housing - same style but goes down to about 2 cm at the narrow end.


John Eacott
9th December 2010

Here is a great project where John Eacott used the river to generate a 'live score' which musicians played.


Hydrophonic Periscope
9th December 2010

An Owl Project concept model for a hydrophonic periscope for the project flow.


History of ship-mills
9th December 2010

When we were developing the Flow project our first problem was how to make a floating water wheel that worked with the changing levels of the river Tyne. We decided we had to make a floating structure that moved with the tide. We soon found that the floating mill concept was not new. Floating ‘Ship-mills’ were used in proliferation in medieval times.


Flow Wheel in SketchUp
9th December 2010

A visualisation of the low wheel made in Sketch-Up.  The Millhouse element of the model is only to give a sense of the whole thing, though the entries and viewing areas are quite indicative of our thoughts.

Environment Agency tests
9th December 2010

We met up with the environment Agency to do some test on flow rate in the river, here a floating sensor measures flow volume across a section of the river near where FLOW will be installed.


Engeneering flow
9th December 2010

A three day development meeting with the whole team led to some interesting new developmnets in design. Our consultant engeneer is an expert in maritime engenering; one of his inventions, a floating trashmill is installed in the docks of Baltimore  is also powered by a water wheel.


A Waterwheel hub with pully
9th December 2010

This will form the hub for a 5ft diamiter overshot water wheel to provide auxillary power inside the mill when the main wheel is not turning, this is the most basic design using a square center prototype is built arround an 10mm steel axle and pillow bearing, the spokes and rim are to be attached to this.


A steam bent horn
9th December 2010

A month or so ago David Gilbert asked us if we would like to do something for Derbyshire food and drink festival.


A semi wooden water pump
9th December 2010

Moving water from one place to place to another is going to be an important feature of flow. Here is a video our first attempt to make a semi wooden pump. It worked !


1. a syringe piston crank
9th December 2010

Experimenting with cranks and cams. Thinking of using something like this to sample water from the river. Also experimenting using wooden pegs to connect things without using screws or glue.