The aesthetics of turbulence

Ned_kahn_turbulence_1[Image courtesy of Geoff Oliver Bugbee]

What if nature observed you? Followed you? Whispered your name?

Ned Kahn must know what it would say.

Ned Kahn is an environmental artist and sculptor, who is speaking today on the "aesthetics of turbulence." Kahn's works include Tornado, a simulation of the chaotic phenomenon, and Gaussian Melody, whose pin array, related to the Gaussian distribution, produces a random tune.

He currently has a pubic installation just down the street in Louisville at the unique 21c Museum Hotel.

Showing his kinetic sculptures, he says his method is to just plunge ahead. The video of the windstorms, vortexes, blown sand and glass is beautiful, chaotic, mesmerizing. One can easily image avalanches, volcanoes, tsunamis, and emptiness at world-size scales. There are holes that never bottom out. And storms that lead me to imagine what the Great Red Spot on Jupiter must look like from nearby.

Many of his videos feature wind flowing across surfaces like large building facades, which give the impression that the surface ripples and sways in place.

I'm thinking of the Northern Lights.

Every piece of art is powered only by natural forces. Many objects feature reflected light. The results can only be described as moving, sublime.

I wish I could show these things to you. Kahn brings life to wind and wire.


Wikipedia: aesthetics, kinetics, chaos theory