Stretching from Archimedes to Einstein the occurrence of turbulence is one of the most profound unsolved problems of classical physics (1) . The esteemed British Applied Mathematician, Horace Lamb once quoted, “I am an old man now, and when I die and go to heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics, and the other is the turbulent motion of ﬂuids. And about the former I am rather optimistic.”(2)
One can wonder if it is this unresolved preoccupation to which Artist Sachiko Kodama responds in her opening sequence of ‘Breathing Chaos’.
The video, ‘Breathing Chaos’ is entrancing; it opens with a ﬂow of ripples across water until the image abruptly cuts into a thin skin-like layer of ferroﬂuids drawn in by an invisible magnetic force. A rash of goosebumps appears and spreads itself onto the surface as a physical response of anxiety. In stages we witness this dark fluid matter transforming from ﬂuid to surface, from texture to form.
The film deals with the subject of chaos and its undercurrent of order. Pure science is here presented to the viewer with great poise as Kodama’s ferrofluid landscapes revel in organic patterns mimicking a system more commonly found in plants and cell structure. Landscapes that call attention to the micro-mechanical properties that govern our everyday environment, by nature responsive, directly subservient to triggering the senses.
About the Artist
Sachiko Kodama is best known for pioneering the use of ferroﬂuids in art. Since ‘Protrude, Flow’ (2001) her sculptures, photographs and ﬁlms have positioned her as one of the most inﬂuential forces within the New Media Art movement. Her formalist exploration of an unorthodox medium like ferrofluids has inspired an emerging generation of Artists to rethink materiality, source from disciplines such as physics, computer programming, engineering, biology to challenge our visual preconceptions on nature and the artificial.
Sachiko Kodama is currently also in the group show,’ Turbulences’, curated by David Rosenberg and Pierre Sterckx at Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton
Download the Artist’s CV here
(1) Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman attributes turbulence as the most important unsolved problem of classical physics.