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New category of art
The word "fluidism" can be used to label a particular category of art painting where both the background and the subject are the same. "Substrate" means the actual material from which a painting is constructed (i.e., the color). "Subject" means the intellectual motivation from which a painting grows (ie meaning, representation or purpose).
In the art of fluidism, the substrate (ie what the painting is made of) and the motif (ie what the painting is about) are inseparable. The substrate is the subject, and the subject is the substrate. The visual and verbal speech of liquids extends directly from physical properties, chemical properties and dynamic patterns of liquids in motion. In the art of fluidism, both the perceptual and the conceptual appeal of fluids interact to provide deep enlightenment.
Fluidism staining is thus the activity of mixing and manipulating real fluids to detect, experience and present fluid dynamic patterns as volatile art forms.
Primal source of inspiration and intelligence
Throughout history, various artists have engaged in creative activities that fit the label, "fluidism". More than 2,000 years ago, for example, Shinto priests in ancient China created sacred art by dropping ink in ponds and transferring the resulting concentric patterns to rice paper. Ancient Japanese artists in the twelfth century refined this ink-falling style to what later came to be classified as suminagashi, meaning "liquid ink." Craftsmen in the Ottoman Empire, during the fifteenth century, developed a closely related painting style called "ebru", which roughly means "cloud art."
In modern times, a technique called "marbling" came into the West, then it fell out and into fashion at regular intervals. Closer to the present, as the physics of fluid dynamics evolved, various science students discovered the beauty of this physics, which resulted in some science-minded people turning their primary interests toward the art of fluid dynamics. One such researcher-turned-artist, for example, is Chris Parks, who originally studied engineering at Imperial College, London.
Most of the world's religions always seem to have a close connection to liquids that run parallel to artistic and scientific interests. Indeed, the idea that life and reality arose from fluids seems to be widespread in the world's various beliefs, from ancient Egyptian myths to modern Judeo-Christian accounts of creation.
While selected artists throughout history have found great inspiration in fluids, and although modern science has made extensive use of fluid dynamic ideas, almost all religions have considered fluid as the origin and basis of reality, as we know it.
Modern astronauts have played with liquid water in the weightlessness of outer space. Contemporary painters have played with liquid colors under the minimum gravity conditions for parabolic aircraft. Don Petit is such an astronaut, and Frank Pietronigro is such a painter. Both metaphysics and physics now value the fluid in each field in their own special way.
Accordingly, a special word, "Fluidism" seems motivated to help unify this widespread, human creative interest.
Transcendental Action painting
The American painter Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) can best be regarded as the foremost fluidism artist. Art critics of his time referred to him as an "abstract expressionist" or more specifically as a "drip painter" or "action painter." However, Pollock probably fully understood that he did not intentionally express anything. Rather, he was the expression itself - both the substance of the expression and the act without any formal intentions to be either. Pollock realized that spontaneous actions could lead to pleasant patterns. His dried painted patterns were frozen echoes of his once liquid act. Pollock was thus an extension of the active flow of its chosen substrate (i.e., color). He was able to record residual patterns of his actions in the original color medium, as these patterns were stable while still wet. Pollock's fluid patterns dried in almost the same appearance as their wet counterparts.
The progress and progress of photography has clearly shown that some fluid patterns cannot dry in their original substrates. These fluid patterns are either too transient or they are destroyed by drying. In other words, some visually pleasing moments of wet flow cannot be preserved in the original substrates where they appear. A bubble, for example, pops up. A splash of liquid moves quickly from the air back into the mass from which it sprayed. A special collision or striation of liquid layers is spread before the drying mechanism can even take hold of containing these patterns. Sure, the idea of "painting" extends beyond the substrate of the dry-painted artifact.
Photography has shown that painting is, or can be, an act in which certain patterns cannot be captured unless an artist transcends the medium in which these patterns originate. A photographer can thus capture the impression of a bubble before the bubble appears. A photographer can constantly freeze a flying liquid leaf before the sheet crashes back into its parent pool. A photographer can immobilize a particularly appealing color collision or a special striation of colored liquid bands before spreading them to a homogeneous solution. Patterns that were once invisible due to the speed of particular actions can now be made visible through the stop-action capability of the photographer's camera. Photography enables a class of action paintings that defies the traditional static definition of the word "painting".
Fluidism has then evolved from various traditions involving the manipulation of wet fluids and allowing these fluids to dry. Fluidism has evolved into a modern quest to photograph manipulated fluids while still wet. Traditionally, only dried remains of stable wet patterns were possible artifacts. Now virtual dried remains (ie photographs) of volatile, impossible to dry patterns are possible. These are "transcendental action paintings" - deep extensions of the basic idea of "painting".
Copyright (c) Robert G. Kernodle 2011