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Mark J. Stock



Digital C-print, 24"x24" print, 30"x30" frame,2009.

"Sprawl" detail

"Sprawl" aims to illustrate the similarities and differences of two forms of growth: planned and adaptive. A simulation of locally-constrained diffusion limited aggregation (DLA) "grew" the plant-like geometry that wraps around and over the regular, rectangular landscape. Within this particular DLA, the particles were allowed to diffuse through space freely, but they would not "stick" to the existing structure if they were inside the regular geometry. Because of the very large amount of detail, the rendering used a parallel projection, which allows the piece to be explored from very close as a collection of small vistas.

"Midnight in the Bathtub of Good and Evil"

Digital C-print, 24"x24" print, 30"x30" frame, 2007.

"Midnight in the Bathtub of Good and Evil" detail

"Midnight..." is an image from a high-resolution vortex-based Lagrangian-Eulerian fluid simulation. Each computational step involves examining---for each pixel---the surrounding pixels, comparing those states with the previous states, and projecting forward with a prediction of where the conserved quantities will travel. A battle is a natural analog, as each actor in this computation behaves according to its own strengths, and under the distance-decaying influence of its neighbors. The numerical limit of convective instability is locally exceeded, causing chaos in the spatial pattern of "good" and "evil" fluids.


"Sunset On Squares"

Digital C-print, 24"x24" print, 30"x30" frame, 2004.

"Sunset On Squares" detail

"Sunset On Squares" is a digital image of a seven-level refinement of a Vicsek-like fractal and contains 105 million unique cubes. This angular fisheye view from the center of the object reveals not only square geometry, but circles, triangles, hexagons, and other surprising symmetries. An accurate light interreflection simulation (particle-based pseudo-radiosity) during the rendering stage elevates the geometry above the virtual.

"Droplet #7"

Digital C-print,24"x24" print, 30"x30" frame, 2004.

"Droplet #7" detail

"Droplet #7" is an x-ray of the surface of a spherical Rayleigh-Tayor instability (in which an interface between fluids of different densities subjected to an acceleration) in the Boussinesq limit (small density difference). A regularized remeshed vortex sheet method computed the evolution of the surface. Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities appear at a variety of scales in nature and physics, from localized atmospheric convection to high-energy laser research to supernovae dynamics.

Mark J. Stock, Research scientist and independent artist, Applied Scientific Research, Inc.

"All of my work depicts imaginary scenes that derive their complexity from the deceptively simple behavior of large numbers of independent actors/agents/particles/elements. The rules governing the action of each element are often based on primary natural and physical forces and can be described in a single mathematical statement or a few lines of code. Alone, each element emits a trivial and boring solution, like a single star floating motionless in space. Together, though, these elements create massively-complex galaxies of shapes and forms inspired by, and reflecting, the natural origin of their rules. As a scientist and an artist, I create computational tools to simulate physical and natural phenomena. I strive to use these tools to reveal the beauty inherent in nature and the mechanisms that both nature and computational science use to create those wonderful patterns."