ideal flow

art & science: the early computational models

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Simulating is a way of learning and deeply understanding natural phenomena. In the mid-1960s, scientists started to use computers to visualize complex mathematical models to further understand the behavior of large bodies of water. At Purdue University, Aldo Giorgini created algorithms to simulate turbulence and other water perturbations beginning in 1967 as part of his research at the School of Civil Engineering. The resulting visual outputs awoke Giorgini's inner artist and motivated him to incorporate the computer-based water simulations as the base for his compositions.

In 2015, Esteban Garcia Bravo and Tim McGraw, also from Purdue University, researched and analyzed primary sources (manuscripts, software documentation and artifacts) found at Giorgini's estate and revisited his contribution developing this WebGL interactive application.

Ideal Flow(2015)

This application require a browser that supports WebGL, and a screen with a minimun resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.

Aldo Giorgini's career as a civil engineer led him to become a pioneer of computer art, as he repurposed the frameworks for turbulence visualization into works of art.

Esteban Garcia and Tim McGraw studied Giorgini's original materials to gain insight into the mathematical methods that he used in his visualizations of fluid dynamics. They wanted to further understand his use of technology and make it more accessible by creating this interactive web tool.

This application was created using WebGL technology and allows users to see fluid dynamics variations in real time and familiarize themselves with Giorgini's unique approach to art and science, as well as computer art history in general.

Esteban García Bravo

Esteban García Bravo explores computational arts as a researcher, a practitioner and as an educator. He earned his MFA from Purdue University in 2008, and a Ph.D. in Technology, also from Purdue, in 2013. His research has been featured in the annual meetings of international organizations such as SIGGRAPH and ISEA, as well as in the publication Leonardo Journal of Art, Sciences and Technology. His artwork has been displayed internationally in media art festivals, exhibits and artist-in-residence programs.

Tim McGraw

Tim McGraw is an Assistant Professor of Computer Graphics Technology. His areas of interest are biologically-inspired graphics, medical image processing and visualization. Specific projects include diffusion tensor MRI (DT-MRI) denoising and visualization, and mesh processing. He was awarded 4 patents related to DT-MRI visualization projects performed with Siemens Corporate Research. He has previous industry experience as a Mechanical Engineer and as a game developer (Electronic Arts, Schell Games, Rainbow Studios). He received his Ph.D. in Computer and Information Science and Engineering from the University of Florida.