This Week in CFD

Special New Year’s Day Edition

Example of a multi-level uniform mesh around an aircraft from FloEFD. Image from Engineering.com. See link above.

Example of a multi-level uniform mesh around an aircraft from FloEFD. Image from Engineering.com. See link above.

Woven Water

A friend and reader told me that his co-workers often qualify their enjoyment of This Week in CFD with “But what’s with all the art?” Let’s stipulate the fact that as author  I am being a bit self-indulgent. Having said that, the divide between art and science is at best exaggerated and at worst completely false. While thinking of what to write, I came across this quote which nails down the duality of each and really hits home when it comes to CFD:

“Art has a double face, of expression and illusion, just like science has a double face: the reality of error and the phantom of truth.” -Rene Daumal

Also, it’s fascinating [facet-nating?] to me how often grid and fluid motifs appear in contemporary art and design. One can argue that our digital culture is being reflected in the former.

Finally, I suppose a source of the question I began with has something to do with my preference for abstract versus representational art. I’ll remind you that if representation was the goal of art, photography would’ve killed painting long ago and sculpture would’ve killed photography. I’ve also made the point before that abstraction is nothing new to engineers; we deal with abstractions every day at work. After all, CFD is just an abstraction of real fluid motion.

Enough blathering.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is currently hosting an exhibition on contemporary Latin American art.  One of the works on display is a mesh-like installation by Maria Fernanda Cardoso called Woven Water: Submarine Landscape. It’s name alone evokes an image of CFD – the mesh being the construct that weaves together our hydrodynamic simulation. And the work itself is a mesh constructed from starfish. [Don’t tell PeTA.]

Maria Fernanda Carodoso, Woven Water: Submarine Landscape, 1994. Image from MFAH.org.

Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Woven Water: Submarine Landscape, 1994. Image from MFAH.org.

 

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