Mark J. Stock

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

I design and create still, video, real-time, and interactive work with seamless interfaces featuring highly dynamic, detail-rich imagery. I eschew an over-reliance on hyper-realistic rendering in favor of detailed and convincing movements and inter-relationships. I am intrigued by the ability of decentralized collections of subjects to, when set in motion, self-organize into complex structures whose ensemble motion is greater than the sum of their original parts and which belie the simplicity of their algorithms. Themes present in my work include: emergence, fluid as both material and motion, self-organized criticality, tension between humanity and the natural world, and computation as a mediator between natural and virtual realities.

Triple Fluid Collision
11 x 30 x 10 cm
3D printed SLS Nylon

Triple Fluid Collision 1/50 originated as a simulation of interfaces in fluids. It is one in a series of Selective-Laser-Sintered 3D printed sculptures, each representing the turbulent collision of three spheres of fluid. In crashing together, the smooth shapes stretch, fold, and entangle themselves in one another, leaving an inseparable mass. The rigidity of the print and the planar nature of its construction stand in clear opposition to the ephemerality of the of the phenomenon and its virtual origins.

Immaculate Collision #11
76 x 50 x 5 cm
Digital chromogenic transparency, laminated glass

The works in this series are x-ray images of the perfect collisions of large fluid droplets, but generated by complex algorithms and emerging only after trillions of mathematical operations. The forms and structures obvious in these works are ubiquitous to fluid turbulence. But despite surrounding and enveloping us at all times, these forms remain frustratingly unobservable. Carefully-constructed computer simulations can make these ephemeral phenomena static, turn fluid into solid, and reveal matter as information.

Sunset on Squares
30 x 30 x 2 cm
Digital chromogenic print, matte, frame

Fractals are easy to render. But a fractal is a purely mathematical concept. To bring a fractal into a physical reality requires interfacing with other physical forces and phenomena. This is a wide-angle rendering of a three-dimensional version of the Vicsek fractal - like a 3D anticross-stitch curve. But it is rendered with a pseudo-radiosity raytracer, which accurately simulates light transport among complex geometry and participating media. This extra effort required an entire week of computational time, even using methods with a low order of computational complexity.

Smoke Water Fire (2019)
66 x 114 x 8 cm
Digital video

This video shows a dynamic fluid-like structure contorting and tearing under the impacts of other fluid structures. The goal was to illustrate the essence of fluid motion---that which is most innately fluid---what is apparent when all other context is removed. The geometry was made with custom software and was rendered with Radiance.

This is a recently re-generated version of the original video with double the resolution and frame rate, requiring several months of computer time and 13 trillion rays.