DescriptionWhat attributes come to mind when you think of a tree, a mountain, a river, a cloud, or the sun? The shapes of natural things such as these compose a language of symbols that is less reliant on cultural context than the spoken or written word. We recognize these shapes because we are immersed in a world which obeys physical laws, each of which manifests in predictable ways and in doing so recreates familiar objects and patterns. The applicability of physical law to every place humans have lived makes these experiences common, allowing the symbolic language to bridge culture and geography. The ability of these shared experiences to connect people has resulted in global appreciation of the wonders of the natural world.One theme prevalent in Green Streamlines and much of my visual work is the reduction of complex physical phenomena into its constituent parts and the subsequent exploration of those parts. In scientists' language, I eliminate terms in the equations and search for beauty in those limited spaces. This is especially easy with computers, because a simulation that included all of the known terms or phenomena would be computationally intractable. Nature, however, blends them together effortlessly, to be cleverly disentangled by the experimentalist. As a simulationist, I have the easy job.Green Streamlines depicts flow paths through fluid turbulence. The chaotic nature of the flow equations makes these traces twisted and meandering. Highlighting these seemingly-random paths reverses the typical lack of emphasis on the role of turbulent flow in our world. Every person spends their entire life swimming in oceans of air or water, surrounded at every moment by these invisible, rapidly-fluttering paths. They allow hummingbirds to fly, they churn the clouds, and they shape the ocean currents, yet their beauty sadly remains hidden from view.
Mark J. Stock, Newton, MA Member Since February 2008 Artist Statement Mark Stock is a programmer, researcher, and artist who explores the boundary between the real and the unreal reflected in the sciences of fluid dynamics, computer simulation, and visual perception. He has had work appear in juried exhibitions since 2001, including Ars Electronica, ASPECT Magazine, and six SIGGRAPH Art Galleries.
He first learned simulation and visualization by programming Moire patterns and particle dynamics routines on a Commodore computer. His interests in mathematics and programming followed him through high school and led him to acquire degrees in engineering at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. An interest in photography led him to discover computer graphics as an undergraduate at U-M. He spent several years exploring different techniques and tools for creating virtual images. In 1999, while attempting to debug some of his simulation software, he rendered the suspect program's output with a highly-accurate lighting visualization package called Radiance. This inadvertent discovery of an unnatural beauty, hidden within the sciences of computational fluid dynamics and radiosity, prompted him to pursue this branch of new media art. Now, using computationally-intensive tools and methods, he creates artwork that examines perception and humanity in this world of ubiquitous computation.
Mark works for a small fluid dynamics research company in California. He currently resides with his wife and their two cats in Newton, MA.