The Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank was made by Jeff Koons(born, 1955) and features an interesting example of a physical effect called euqilibrium. A state of equilibrium is when something is in perfect balance. In physics this is understood as when the sum of all forces working on the object equals zero, leaving the object either stationary or in unchanging movement. In fact all objects that stand still are in a state of equilibrium between the forces of gravity and the force exertet by the surfae it rests on. In this artwork this equilibrium is a state of perfect balance between the buoyancy from the water and the gravitational force exerted by the earth. The basket balls floats in what seems an unnatural state most people have a hard time of comprehending. However it is not a state of perfect equilibrium as the balls sink to the bottom of the tank over a six month period and then has to be reset. This is however somehting that would be hidden to the viewer unless one would revisit it over time. This adds another layer of symbolism to the work. The artist himself claims that the work is a representation of the death as the ultimate state of being. It was created for an exhibition with the themes achievement, survival and death as its main topics. When it was first exhibited it was presented together with posters presenting basketballs as a means of achievement for the young working class Americans. This juxtaposition would have increased the force of the work and contextualized a lot better than it is in its current setting. Three Ball Total Equilibrium Tank, in its current place in the Tate Liverpool, is presented a bit out of context. When viewed it seems most of the audience gives no heed to the symbolism of the work, but is rather interested in the equilibrium effect. However this effect does spark a fair bit of interest and it helps the work receive more understanding as people are drawn to research the work more to understand it.
Its dimensions are approx 200cm x 40cm x 50cm and standing about 100cm off the floor.