Ongoing: Chaosmosis and Collaborative Ecologies at the National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences exhibit Chaosmosis lives up to its clever name, and more. Chaosmosis offers varied attempts to document and explain the endless mysteries of fluid dynamics. Some of the works are relatively staid, such as a white-toned 3D-printed sculpture that depicts the air patterns made by spoken words; a fabric print showing the wavy surfaces caused by flames; and metallic photographic prints of the fragile process by which a raindrop freezes. But the most engaging pieces harness video or digital simulations. One low-res infrared video of an opera singer’s breath combines the beauty of an aria with the menace of the then-new coronavirus (it was made in 2020). One three-part simulation tracks cross sections and long views of fluid moving through a pipe, while a black-and-white tabletop video shows chemical droplets from a pipette exploding into fantastical shapes, including ones that suggest the sun, fractals, or a human egg. The simplest work may be the most relatable: an utterly realistic video simulation of cumulus clouds unfurling over a watery horizon. In its entirety, the exhibit convincingly argues that nature is united in its chaos. —Louis Jacobson

Post Type

  • In the News

Publish Date

February 1, 2024