Turbulence is a sculptural work exploring the unresolved tension between scientific reduction and irreducible phenomena.
Turbulent flow is an example of a non-linear fluid dynamic system, in which the smallest change to initial conditions leads to radically different outcomes.
The scientific method relies on isolating variables, but with the patterns of weather and water where turbulence emerges, reducing variables is not a feasible option.
The patterns which emerge from turbulence are an example of a kind of order that is both deterministic and so complex as to appear chaotic, it never repeats, it cannot be predicted in its specifics, but it can be understood in its principles.
RESEARCH | EXHIBITION
In order to reduce the phenomena of turbulence I have used aesthetic techniques of abstraction and embodied cognition. The viewer necessarily circles the piece in order to perceive all the detail which is hidden from mutually exclusive viewpoints. This mirrors both the vortex motion of the patterns described by turbulence, and the inability to study an entire natural turbulent system at once, as the parameters are constantly shifting in and out of view.
From the periphery to the center the patterns are further and further abstracted towards a linear form, using imaging software to find edges in a photograph of turbulent flow, through to semi-automatic drawing, through to patterned reduction.