ferrofluid art
January 20, 2006 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Protrude, Flow uses magnetic fluid, sound, and moving images. Affected by the sounds and spectators' voices in the exhibition place, the three-dimensional patterns of magnetic fluid transform in various ways, and are simultaneously projected on the wide screen. (note: Japanese site with WMV files) Related MeFi post. [via]
posted by dhruva (21 comments total)

posted by Freen at 5:39 PM on January 20, 2006

So thats what the black stuff in Lost is!

(im in the UK and havent watch Season 2 yet so plz no one ruin it for me)
posted by lemonfridge at 5:44 PM on January 20, 2006

Saw it at SIGGRAPH in LA, truly weird.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:52 PM on January 20, 2006


Definitely. Those movies nearly gave me the goosebumps, in a black-oil-comes-alive-and-pulsates-and-spikes-like-a-sci-fi-channel-original-movie-villian kind of way.
posted by Meredith at 6:08 PM on January 20, 2006

That is one of the most fascinating things I've ever seen, in terms of an intersection of art and technology. Absolutely captivating, great FPP.
posted by dbiedny at 6:10 PM on January 20, 2006

Before I saw this, I had never truly been afraid of art.
posted by Freen at 6:15 PM on January 20, 2006

Wesley Crusher should not have have seen this
posted by longsleeves at 6:17 PM on January 20, 2006

this installation was all fun and games, until it erased my credit cards.
posted by arialblack at 9:14 PM on January 20, 2006

It will re-write your hard drive. Not only that, but it will scramble any disks that are even close to your computer. It will recalibrate your refrigerator's coolness setting so all your ice cream melts. It will demagnetize the strips on all your credit cards, screw up the tracking on your VCR and use subspace field harmonics to render any CDs you try to play unreadable. Be very, very careful.
posted by signal at 9:21 PM on January 20, 2006

but it also makes julienne fries!
posted by stenseng at 10:35 PM on January 20, 2006

Neat! Match it some good AI and we'll get a T1000.
posted by fenriq at 11:14 PM on January 20, 2006

Are we sure this isn't CGI?
posted by odinsdream at 11:32 PM on January 20, 2006

odin: yes. more
posted by arialblack at 1:29 AM on January 21, 2006

Signal wins!
posted by Goofyy at 1:47 AM on January 21, 2006

Would be cool if they could start with a desired shape, represented digitally, and then calculate the necessary magnetic field to produce such a shape.

Also, I wonder what the limitations on shapes are. i.e. some shapes may not have a magnetic field solution.
posted by spacediver at 8:11 AM on January 21, 2006

spacediver, all (real) shapes have an electromagnetic field solution, since that's how our world works.

What I'd like to see is a computer system and a magnetic driver small enough to be suspended inside the liquid, which would then form around the computer.
posted by odinsdream at 8:37 AM on January 21, 2006

good point odins. But I wonder at the limitations of solutions, given the constraints of the material properties of the fluid, and more importantly, the location of the electromagnets.

i.e. with electromagnets which are placed above and below (as in here), can you produce any desired field pattern?

I'm guessing that you'd need more electromagnets in order to produce more independent fields, so the more electromagnets you have, the higher the "resolution". But in regular matter, the electromagnetic fields are produced by the material itself, rather than from an externally applied field. As such, the resolution is way higher. More importantly, the fields are generated locally, right?

I don't know much about this sort of thing at all, but something tells me that an externally applied field wouldn't be able to generate any arbitrary shape. For example, surfaces that have overhanging curves, etc.

Or what about a simple cubic shape. Most of the shapes i saw in the exhibition were spiky or curved. I also gather that the elements of gravity and fluid dynamics also contributed a role to the emergent shapes. Could you create cubic shapes in such an environment?

(by cubic i just mean straight edge shapes with right angles)
posted by spacediver at 8:53 AM on January 21, 2006

That was awesome, thanks. Pretty much how I imagined a big glop of nano-goo to behave...
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:08 AM on January 21, 2006

Yes, I also saw this at SIGGRAPH 2001, and cannot emphasize how mind-denyingly cool this is. (What do I mean by Mind Denyingly? Your eyes see, your mind denies that it could be seeing. It's really that awesome.)
posted by effugas at 8:53 PM on January 21, 2006

I'm anemic, so I drink ferrofluids daily. Now, not only am I regular, but I've also fallen in love with Popeye. Oops, gotta go, I think I might've left my iron on.
posted by hypersloth at 2:16 AM on January 22, 2006

It definitely reminded me of Odo on Star Trek. All shape shifty like.
posted by virga at 3:39 PM on January 22, 2006

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