The audio files that were used in the Genoa installation of Flows 2.0 Treading the Steep Route, along with the python script written for the Raspberry Pi controller, are online now on GitHub.
To make the switch that triggers the mp3s, Alex Shure wired a copper disc and copper coil to the water release lever on the water boiler. These levers are non-standard, so it’s necessary to adapt the design to the lever – possibly even using a motion sensor rather than a physical connector. The python script here triggers when the circuit is closed – as the state of the circuit at rest is open.
I wanted the wires to be as discreet as possible, so I coated them in black heat shrink and ran them through a hole in the base of the boiler (where the heating element is, and through the plastic base to reach the Raspberry Pi underneath. The RPi was installed with Noobs and libraries according to this adafruit tutorial and I made sure the audio was coming from the headphone jack not the HDMI port. Shure also added in a PCB to make the interface with the RPi and the switch plug and play – wiring the switch to one of the GPIOs and adding a pull-up resisitor to vcc so that the switch has a definite level.
Here is a video of the unit in action in the studio: