Boston Art Commission

Waves on Sea and Land

Artist: Mark J. Stock

Neighborhood: Downtown/ North End



United States
42° 21' 34.3692" N, 71° 3' 7.7832" W

Medium: Digital art installation

Time Frame: Thursday, March 5, 2015 - Monday, August 31, 2015


Waves on Sea and Land is a new generative art installation by Mark J. Stock, created for the Boston Harbor Islands Welcome Center located on Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway. The Welcome Center functions as the information source for the Boston Harbor Islands national park area. Waves on Sea and Land is a simplified representation of two essential natural patterns prevalent on and around the Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area. In one mode, water waves ripple and move across the screens, their size and motion determined by current data polled from Harbor Island weather stations. In the other mode, tufts of beach grass sway in the wind, their motion dictated by simple physics calculations and driven by the same wind data. Both representations are purely monochromatic, directing focus on the motions themselves instead of their intermediaries.

The Harbor Islands are always in flux: wind and tides scour and deposit sand and sediment, shorelines move, while grasses and wildlife adapt to their dynamic environment. Waves on Sea and Land reflects these timeless yet ephemeral forces with a never-ending, never-repeating simulation of two patterns of motion etched into the memories of the islands' visitors. Waves on Sea and Land will play on the two screens of the Welcome Center 24/7 until Saturday, May 9, 2015 when the Welcome Center opens for the season. After May 9, the piece will play from dusk untilmidnight through August 2015.

ABOUT THE ARTIST- Mark J. Stock is an artist, scientist, and programmer who creates still and moving images combining elements of nature, physics, chaos, computation, and algorithm. His works explore the tension between the natural world and its simulated counterpart, and are generated with his own custom scientifically-accurate research software. He has been showing work since 2000 and has been in over 80 curated and juried exhibitions since 2001, including Ars Electronica, ASPECT Magazine, and seven SIGGRAPH Art Galleries. He has spoken at numerous scientific, graphics, and art conferences and workshops, and has published papers in a variety of fields. Mark completed his PhD in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan in 2006 and works out of his studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. He is represented in California by SENSE Fine Art.

ABOUT THE ART AT THE BOSTON HARBOR ISLAND WELCOME CENTER- Boston Cyberarts, the National Park Service and Boston Harbor Island Alliance have collaborated on an ongoing project to commission public algorithmic art for display on the LED screens at the Boston Harbor Island Pavilion on Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway. Boston Cyberarts commissions algorithmic artists, asking them to write computer programs that will create real time generative art that will be constantly changing. This program ties into the innovative strengths of the Boston area, using digital art algorithms to heighten the interest in Boston Harbor's history and natural complex ecosystems.

ABOUT BOSTON CYBERARTS-Boston Cyberarts supports and encourages experimentation in the arts through exhibitions, events, educational programs and collaboration with like-minded groups in an effort to foster the development of new practices in contemporary art making. The Boston Cyberarts Gallery is located in the Green Street station on the MBTA's Orange line in Jamaica Plain. The gallery is the only art space located in a train station in the country, and also the only independent art organization in Massachusetts focusing on new and experimental media. Boston Cyberarts is grateful for the support of many generous individuals and institutions, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council, the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, and the Boston Cultural Council.

Further information on Boston Cyberarts is available by visiting, calling 617.524.2109 or emailing

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