Searching for an interesting story, I bumped up on this – art visible only when it’s wet – Rainworks, made by two young men Peregrine and Xack. Yes, it is almost impossible as it sound, but our rainy days now looks totaly different – we like them! Listen what it’s all about.
You can read text on Serbian/Croatian/Bosnian by clicking on RAINWORKS Da budemo sretni i kada pada kiša!
Before you even started with this project – for which you did get and your first grant and please tell us and how that become doable – how did you come across with this idea, I would say, invisible art, where we can enjoy even in a rainy days?
The idea started with Peregrine. He has a passion for materials, and finding new & unorthodox applications those materials. He also has a passion for finding ways to make people smile. He came across a video about super-hydrophobic coatings being used for waterproofing purposes, and he started thinking about ways it could be used artistically. He realized that since concrete gets darker in the rain, if you could keep portions of the concrete dry with the super-hydrophobic coating, you might be able to create invisible messages that only show up on on rainy days.
We immediately started thinking “what would be a fun thing to write to people in a hidden message that only shows up in the rain?” and created a list of ideas, but at that time we didn’t have the resources to test the ideas. It wasn’t until we learned about The Awesome Foundation, who awards $1000USD to somebody with a creative idea every month. Peregrine applied to the foundation with his rain-activated art concept, and they provided Peregrine with the money to buy a variety of super-hydrophobic coatings in search of one that was invisible.
The first few products we tried to use weren’t invisible, but eventually we got in touch with a manufacturer who was willing to work with us to create the perfect formula specifically for making rainworks. And Peregrine and I began using our secret invisible formula to create positive messages, games, and cool images across Seattle¹.
You started Rainworks when you learned to use super-hydrophobic coatings – can you tell us what is it all about, some kind of chemistry or what?
The spray is a nano-technology that seeps into the nooks and crannies in the crack of the concrete and wood, and creates a water-proof layer. I like to think of it like a force field. It’s really amazing technology, but I don’t actually even know the exact formula, it’s the manufacturer’s secret. It’s not the kind of stuff you can just cook up in the kitchen.
That said, this spray is particularly remarkable for a few reasons. First off, it’s totally invisible on dry concrete – you can’t see it, feel it, smell it. It’s totally undetectable. And secondly, it’s made with all the most eco-friendly ingredients in order to create rainworks that don’t harm people or the environment.
When we are talking about your work, tell us your names – who is behind Rainworks?
Rainworks is currently a 2 person company, run by Peregrine & myself (again my name is Xack Fischer). We’re best friends and business partners, and our mission is to spread smiles, make the world a more interesting place, and to make rainy days awesome. We were the first 2 people to ever make rainworks, and thanks to our work going viral and a successful Kickstarter campaign shortly afterwards, we now distribute the spray and work full time to make rainy days awesome.
That said, there are lots of other people involved now. We’re partnered with another company that helps us with our packaging and shipping, and they have a great team that helps us a lot. And because the spray is now available on our website, people all over the world have been making their own rainworks. It’s really grown from just us two, to a global effort.
Does Rainworks belong to Street Art?
Anybody can make a rainwork and get involved with the project, or use rainworks for their own creative purposes. Our motivation for deciding to launch a Kickstarter and release the spray to the world was because we saw how many other creative people wanted to use this tool to spread smiles. We want to see the artwork take on a life of its own.
The word “rainwork” is just a word, and anybody can use it. When we started making rain-activated art, we needed a shorthand term for the pieces we were creating, so Peregrine combined “rain” with “artwork” to create the word “rainwork”. We hope that people all around the world will use the word when they talk about the rainworks they’ve made!
Rainworks is definitely part of the street art movement, but it’s also part of another movement: a movement to create novelty and make the world a more interesting place. Peregrine talks in more detail about his motivations behind the project in his recent Tedx talk.
Is it possible for us to see you maybe in a future in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and how can we become a part of your project?
The great thing about rainworks is that anybody can get involved, so rainworks are appearing all over the world all the time. We only get a tiny percentage of the rainworks made submitted to the map, and we are constantly seeing pictures on Instagram and Twitter from places all over the globe. So it’s totally possible there are rainworks in Bosnia and Herzegovina already, and we just don’t know about them!
We have a map on our website, where anybody can add the location of a rainwork they created. Right now, there aren’t any locations in Bosnia or Herzegovina, but literally ANYBODY could be the first person to change that! We provide an in-depth tutorial page that will teach you everything you need to know to create your own rainworks. Get involved today and spread smiles in your community!
¹Seattle is a seaport city on the west coast of the United States
Interview made by Ana Galić, B.A. in Philosophy.
(Featured image: Peregrine Church, Photos: Rainworks)