Description My subjects are usually abstract, fluid-like forms, born from lengthy computational fluid dynamics simulations. The surfaces represent boundaries between fluids in a virtual space, and those fluids are constrained to obey certain rules of physics. In The Trouble With Algorithmic Art, the subject is the result of a simulation of the collision of three spherical blobs. The surfaces are rendered as thin, colored, sheets of glass in front of a virtual lightbox. The image is then presented as a transparency, illuminated by a real lightbox.The Trouble With Algorithmic Art describes a frustration that I sometimes feel with my chosen form of artistic expression. Because I use computational algorithms to define the detail and structure of my subjects, the resulting forms should only bear resemblance to natural shapes insofar as those natural shapes originate from the same fluid forces. For example, when I view my simulation results, I might expect to see a cloud, but not a book. But the pattern-matching capability of the human mind conveniently ignores such physical limitations---especially in the rigid medium of a still image---and mine regularly conjures an embarrassingly puerile form.
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.