Mark J. Stock, Inside The Bomb, 2007, Digital C-Print, 24 x 24 inches, courtesy of the artist
Mark J. Stock, Perpetuity?, 2008, Digital C-Print, 24 x 38 inches, courtesy of the artist
Mark J. Stock, Midnight In The Bathtub Of Good And Evil, 2007, Digital C-Print, 24 x 24 inches, courtesy of the artist
I am a scientist and an artist. For my research, I develop numerical methods and computer programs to simulate natural phenomena. These programs, being very expressive and complex data manipulators, can be re-tasked with wholly artificial initial conditions to create never-before-seen structures that still contain familiar, natural elements. My artwork involves the creative misuse of this research.
The computer programs that I write simulate large numbers of independent elements, agents, or particles, each with deceptively simple rules governing their action. These rules 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, a bird flying in a straight line, or a person standing alone in a square. When put together in large numbers, though, these elements interact in often-surprising ways to create massively-complex galaxies of shapes and forms inspired by, and reflecting, the natural origin of their rules. My work aims to open up this world of complex systems to careful observation and draw comparisons between the organization and dynamics of systems as far-ranging as molecules, people, and galaxies.
- Mark Stock