Page 1

VORTEX

A Visual Study — by Timothy Holloway


Definitions

Vortex |ˇvôr͵teks| noun ( pl. -texes or -tices |-təˇsēz|) a mass of whirling fluid or air, esp. a whirlpool or whirlwind. • figurative something regarded as a whirling unpredictable mass : the vortex of existence. Turbulence |ˇtərbyələns| noun violent or unsteady movement of air or water, or of some other fluid : the plane shuddered as it entered some turbulence. Chaos |ˇkā͵äs| noun complete disorder and confusion : snow caused chaos in the region. • Physics a dynamical system behavior so unpredictable as to appear random, owing to great sensitivity to small changes in conditions.


Controlling Chaos

A vortex is a spinning, often turbulent movement of fluid. Their complex behaviour arises from calm and stable flows — unpredictable and chaotic; their motion is both aesthetically beautiful and terrifying due to their uncontrollable nature. We often try to suppress and control vortices; a corrupting element to our systems that are sought to be eliminated. They create turbulence as they wrap themselves around the body of aeroplanes; create drag on vehicles; they are the maelstrom that forms around the supports of bridges, uprooting their foundations; their winds corrupt the information on spinning hard-drives and they are the power-source behind destructive tornadoes and hurricanes. As a visuals they are stunning, examples of the complexity and rhythm of nature; they are fascinating because we can not control them. By fluid manipulation, I have attempted to create this phenomena and document the result.


Creating the Vortex

Vortices occur throughout our world; we can recreate and document them in dozens of different ways, depending on the medium they are present in. I have studied the images created by computer simulations, scientific experiments, wind tunnel tests and weather charts; using all manner of techniques and apparatus to document this beautifully chaotic phenomena. I have tried to create my own techniques to document the vortices I was creating. To achieve this I have used projection with light. All of the photographs shown within this book have been created by passing light through various mediums—smoke, water, steam, ink, oil, turpentine—and projecting the image onto a screen. This technique magnifies the view of the fluid making visible the subtle nuances and eddies that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye. To appreciate the scale of the images created, the image opposite shows the size of the projected image relative to a standard two meter door frame. All of the photographs you see here are created using this technique and are photographs of the projected image, not of the actual substance—but instead a construct of light.


EXPERIMENTS


The generic set up for all of the liquid experiments : the medium is placed in a glass container on the projector, allowing the light to shine through it and be magnified onto the wall. A camera is set up on a tripod behind the projector to capture the results.


_01 Apparatus: Overhead Projector Glass Dish Water Pipette Method: Use pipette to slowly disturbed the water by releasing a single drop at a time, photograph projected outcome.


Illustration from photograph; pen on paper.


_02 Apparatus: Overhead Projector Glass Dish Water Blue Indian Ink Pipette Method: With the ink held inside the pipette, slowly release a drop at a time into the water filled dish. Allow the ink to move slowly throughout the water, heating if necessary to create convection currents to stimulate system turbulence. Photograph results.


_03 Apparatus: Overhead Projector Glass Dish Water Blue Indian Ink Purple Indian Ink Pipette Method: Continuing from the previous experiment, fill the pipette with the purple ink, slowly release a drop at a time into the water filled dish. Allow the ink to move slowly throughout the water, heating if necessary to create convection currents to stimulate system turbulence. Photograph results.


_04 Apparatus: Overhead Projector Glass Dish Water Vegetable Oil Pipette Method: Fill the glass dish with water & pour in the oil. Shake the dish to separate the oil in the water, and allow ripples and movement of the water to dictate the patterns that are formed. Photograph the results.


Illustration from photograph; pen on paper.


_05 Apparatus: Overhead Projector Matches Candles Smoke Method: Light the candle under the projector and allow the smoke to rise up into the magnifying glass. Photograph the results.


_06 Apparatus: Overhead Projector Water Kettle Method: Boil the kettle under the projector and allow steam to pass through the light and be projected onto the wall. Photograph the results.


_07 Apparatus: Overhead Projector Water Steam Iron Method: Send blasts of steam through the light of the projector, both under and in front of the mirror—causing a double projection to intensify the effect. Photograph the results.


_08 Apparatus: Overhead Projector Tall Glass Vase Water Black Ink Pipette Candescent Light Bulb Supports Method: Turn the projector on its side such that instead of projecting a horizontally angled medium its can project a vertically arranged medium. Position a light bulb under the vase, to act not only as a light source but also a heat source. Fill the glass vase with water, and slow drop the black Ink into the top using the pipette. Allow the light bulb to heat the fluid and create convection currents. Photograph the result.


Illustration from photograph; pen on paper.


ANALYSIS

This photographic study aims to show the beauty of the omnipresent noise and chaos that mundane, everyday objects are capable of producing; by documenting these phenomena that we rarely take the time to appreciate, I hope these photographs act as an inspiration to seek out the divine beauty of infinite complexity and chaos that occurs in any situation we care to study closely enough.


By Timothy Holloway — © 2011

VORTEX  

A visual study into the beauty of turbulence & chaos. By Tim Holloway

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you