Description 'Sprawl' is a digital image of a chaotic branch-like structure growing on and around a regular array of blocks. The form taken by the dark growth is from a simulation of a local surface-growth phenomenon called diffusion-limited aggregation. This piece contrasts two seemingly different growth patterns: one preconceived, designed, restrained, and considered artificial; the other impulsive, disorganized, unconstrained, and “natural.” Referring to both the creeping growth of the built environment and the tendency of species to brutally capitalize on evolutionary advantages, “Sprawl” suggests that the two forms of growth are really no different.
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.