working artists


Mark Stock
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artist statement | technical statement | process

artist statement
The universe is rich with competing forces whose confluence creates the spatial and temporal patterns and shapes that we, as humans, experience every day. Any given force or effect (gravity, erosion, viscosity) operates over many scales of time and space, but is typically dominant over a smaller range. The bounds of this range are where alternative forces' influences become considerable. The characteristics of the pattern or behavior resulting from each dominant force are different; and at the length and time scales where two dominant forces overlap, new patterns will emerge.

I use computer simulation of natural and artificial phenomena to visualize patterns created from either the isolation of a particular dominant force or the interplay between co-dominant forces. An advantage of working with computer models for these physical systems is the availability of data for any component of the system: effectors or inerts can be made visible, temporal and spatial dimensions can be swapped, and non-physical projections of the data can be created. New patterns can be explored by nearly any combination of forces or projections. The aim of my work is the creative exploration of this space.

A paradox of real and unreal natures exists in Mesh #3 Iso. The image is a photometrically accurate computer rendering of a specific scene. The scene is composed of cylinders, assembled into a structure which could not possibly support itself if manufactured. Each visually-solid cylinder represents the mathematical "vortex core" of a small packet of air. The arrangement of these vortex cores is the result of a computational fluid dynamic simulation of the self-evolution of vortexes in free space. The initial conditions that resulted in this shape were completely arbitrary and unrealistic. The superposition of these real and unreal elements pulls the viewer's perceptions in opposite directions.

In the future, when personal entertainment relies on fooling a viewer with scenes of natural and constructed objects and behavior, the lines between nature's actual behavior and a computer's simulation will be gone. The laws of physics used to calculate visually realistic images will be mutable, even irrelevant.