Friday Inspiration – Sachiko Kodama

Sometimes, there is art that makes sense. It is what it is what it is. You look at it and understand what you’re seeing. It can be beautiful or alarming. It can cause you to think or dream. And then, sometimes, there is art that not only captures your attention, but challenges your mind to wrap itself around exactly what it is seeing. 
For me, Sachiko Kodama’s artwork does just this. Her series that uses ferrofluids as the artform does just this. It challenges my mind. Sachiko states that her projects goal is “to create organic shape-changing art forms and figures whose three-dimensional form, surface structure, and color, change dynamiclaly and lively as if to reflect echoes of environmental music, light, and human communication.” 
To give an explanation of the art form, I think I just need to quote the source from where I found the information and copy and paste. It’s kind of over my head and I want to make sure I communicate it correctly. 
So, here it goes. From Organic User Interfaces
Ferrofluids, the shape-changing material used in my works, were invented in the late 1960s in the Apollo Program of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and are known to be used for forming liquid seals and in electronic devices for computers, AV equipments, and other industrial applications. Recently they have been employed in medicine research.
Basically, ferrofluids appear as a black fluid. They are prepared by dissolving nanoscale ferromagnetic particles in a solvent such as water or oil and remain strongly magnetic even in a fluid condition. Therefore, they are more flexibly transformable as compared to iron sand. It is well known that ferrofluids form spikes along magnetic field lines when the magnetic surface force exceeds the stabilizing effects of the fluid weight and surface tension [1]. In my work, organic shapes are produced by these spikes under a magnetic field that is controlled by electromagnets. Sensing technology and computers are used to make the fluid change its shape according to environmental information. The transformation of the shape and rhythm of the movement is an important aspect of the work.
If you want to read more, you can go to the site I referenced above, Organic User Interfaces. There’s a whole artist statement that goes into detail about the project and problems she faced and how she overcame them. It’s truly fascinating and I can definitely say that I would LOVE to see her work in person. I can only imagine that I would find myself lost in deep gaze at the fluid yet structural artwork. 
The video below shows the work with interviews of the artist as well as other people involved in the project. I hope you enjoy and Happy Friday!



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