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Sachiko Kodama: Ferrofluid Art

Sachiko Kodama: Ferrofluid Art

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Published by Stephen Nomura
By its self, ferrofluid resembles crude oil - cold, dead, and static. However, in the presence of a magnet, it silently springs to life. This research paper explores Sachiko Kodama's artform and its connections to other artists.
By its self, ferrofluid resembles crude oil - cold, dead, and static. However, in the presence of a magnet, it silently springs to life. This research paper explores Sachiko Kodama's artform and its connections to other artists.

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Published by: Stephen Nomura on Nov 01, 2010
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09/17/2012

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SACHIKO KODAMA:FERROFLUID ART
Stephen NomuraArt History 381 November 18, 2008
 
SACHIKO KODAMA: FERROFLUID ARTIntroduction
Sachiko Kodama is the poster child of ferrofluid art, which uses magnetic liquids as asculptural medium. By its self, ferrofluid resembles crude oil - cold, dead, and static. However,in the presence of a magnet, it silently springs to life. Although computer controlledelectromagnets are used, the ferrofluid’s behavior is anything but cold and digital.
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The fluid actswith emotion - sometimes calm and peaceful, other times aggressive and agitated, sometimeseven violent. When the magnet is deactivated, the liquid silently crumbles back into lifelessness.Kodama’s art is fascinating because it draws ideas and concepts from a wide variety of sources,the most important of which are the Monoha movement, Expressionism, and Digital Art.In brief, Kodama’s associations with the Monoha movement are most explicit concerningher rejection of traditional image and her usage of relationships between everyday objects andsettings. However, Kodama also embraces ideas from the western sphere of art, particularlyExpressionism. This is most evident in her intention to provoke primal emotions and in thedreamlike installations she creates. The third section will explore Kodama’s similarities with twocontemporary Digital Art trends, interactivity and digital image. The interactive art of VictoriaVesna and the digital image art of Yoichiro Kawaguchi will be compared with Kodama’s art. Inconclusion, modern technology and the questions her art poses with regard to the crumblingdichotomy of the living world and the machine world will be explored.
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Sachiko Kodama, “Dynamic ferrofluid sculpture: organic shape-changing art forms,”
Communications of the ACM 
51, 6 (2008): 80, http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1349026.1349042
 
Monoha
The Monoha movement of the late 60s and 70s was all about viewing the everyday worldas it is, directly and unfiltered.
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Their goal was to reduce the role of the artist and emphasize therelationships between materials and environment.
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They accomplished this through the placement of common materials and objects in everyday local settings. Monoha artistsmanipulated the relationship between object and environment, both spatial and conceptual; notthe materiality of the objects themselves.
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They rejected the traditional arts, such as painting,with the argument that only through the simple and mundane could one transcend illusions.
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 Furthermore, they believed “the artist should not make things, but merely show them as theyare.”
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Kodama embraces the Monoha idea that image representation is flawed. She operatesunder the pretense that ferrofluid more accurately represents reality than images; that materialsand r eal forms are inherently more powerful than images. She states that “many artists havecreated surreal illusions in pictures or moving images. But those were imaginary.”
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Thefundamental difference between representation through image and through ferrofluid, or thoughany other physical material, is that ferrof luid can take on three dimensional form and true surfacetextures; images only provide two dimensional representations of forms and textures. In terms of 
Nomura 2
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Thomas R.H. Havens,
Radicals and realists n the Japanese nonverbal arts: the avant-garde rejection of modernism 
(Honolulu:University of Hawai‘i Press, 2006), 190.
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Havens, 189.
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Havens, 190.
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Janet Koplos, "Extensions of the Ordinary,"
Art in America 
88, 4 (2000): 141.
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Havens, 194.
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Sachiko Kodama and Minako Takeno, “Protrude, Flow,”
Ars Electronica Festival Catalog 
,(2003): 422, http://www.aec.at/en/archiv_files/20031/FE_2003_kodama_en.pdf

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