Aeroglyphs: Temporary Traces, Permanent Marks

Under Construction:  Here are some preliminary example

Artistic Statement

Aeroglyphs: Temporary Traces, Permanent Marks

David Horan and Daniel Foti

Contrails are the line-shaped ice clouds that form behind aircraft as water vapor in the hot jet exhaust from the engines mixes with the cold atmospheric air many kilometers above the earth.  Contrail are the traces of interaction produced through the improbable act of human flight.  They undergo time and space changes, transform into different regimes, and dissipate into wispy cirrus clouds or translucent air.  They are enigmatic, ephemeral and transient relics of human existence and engineering.  The traces may last seconds or hours until they fade from existence.

Our work is one of collaboration between engineering, a fluid dynamist, and fine art, a photographer, on the human desire to communicate, learn, and interact.   We see contrails—aeroglyphs—as evidence of the universal desire for mark-making.  We all seek to leave our mark either to validate our existence or communicate to others.   They hold agency in scientific inquiry into the workings of our atmosphere and the dynamics of global change.   While contrail, in themselves, are temporary traces in the sky, they produce lasting effects on atmosphere and climate.  The abstraction of the aeroglyphs refers to the permanent marks left by the multi-faceted interactions of the photographer observing, the teacher explaining, the person creating the abstraction and the viewers of the work.

From a scientific and pedagogical perspective, we want to promote STEM and art education through the integration of our respective disciplines.  From an artistic perspective, we want to construct images that engage the viewers’ desire to leave their own mark in their lives, and in the lives of others.

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