Art thermodynamics

Irreversibility tattoo
Tattoo (or inking) of the Clausius inequality; photo by Marco Fantoni (March, 2008). In the photo, showing a hand holding both a new and burnt match, according to Fantoni “the hand represents the capacity of the human mind to analyze and understand natural phenomena [such as] the power and imperative of irreversibility.” [5]
In human thermodynamics, art thermodynamics or thermodynamic art is the use of thermodynamic metaphor, logic, and or theory in art, in either interpretation or inspiration. A common example is the use of various interpretations of entropy, e.g. order and disorder, in the construction or study of art. An example of thermodynamic art, of sorts, is the "drinking bird", invented in the 1940s by American chemist Miles Sullivan. Other examples are found as thermodynamics tattoos, in which people tattoo equations of energy or entropy (or another equation) of on their body.

Belgian surrealist artist René Magritte's 1933 oil on canvas painting Elective Affinities, of an unhatched egg in a bird cage, on the model of German polymath Johann Goethe’s 1809, pre human chemical thermodynamics, novella Elective Affinities (book), visualizing the logic that each person is born in to a world caged by the reactionary forces of chemical affinities, is an excellent example of the use of the combined law of thermodynamics in art.

Principle of the equivalence of transformations (tattoo)
Clausius' 1854 principle of the equivalence of transformations (formulation of the second law) tattoo on forearm, May 2010, another example of a thermodynamics tattoo. [6]
A notable artist in this field was American Robert Smithson, who, between 1959 and 1973, wrote several articles about his interpretation of entropy and its connection to art and landscape design. [1] Smithson describes his use of entropy in art and landscape in his 1966 essay "Entropy and the New Monuments" and his 1973 interview "Entropy made Visible". [2]

American psychologist Rudolf Arnheim is noted in this field for his 1970s theories on the interpretation of entropy in the psychology of art. [3]

1. (a) Schmitz, John E.J. (2007). The Second Law of Life: Energy, Technology, and the Future of Earth as We Know It, (section: “The Concept of Entropy and Art”, pgs. 158-60). William Andrew Publishing.
(b) Boettger, Suzaan. (2002). Earthwords: Art and the Landscapes of the Sixties, (pgs. 50-51). University of California Press.
2. (a) Smithson, Robert. (1966). "Entropy and the New Monuments", Robert Smithson Collections.
(b) Smithson, Robert. (1966). "Entropy Made Visible: interview with Alison Sky", Robert Smithson Collections.
3. (a) Arnheim, Rudolf. (1971). Entropy and Art: an Essay on Disorder and Order. University of California Press.
(b) Arnheim, Rudolf. (1973). “On Entropy and Art”, Leonardo, Vol. 6, No. 2. Spring. pgs. 188-89.
(c) Land, Richard I. (1973). “Comments on Discussions of Entropy and Art in Leonardo in 1973.” Leonardo, Vol. 6, pgs. 331-33. Pergamon Press.
5. (a) Irreversibility (photo) - Flickr.
(b) Irreversibility – Flickr (Italian → English).
6. Zimmer, Carl. (2010). “Graduating into Entropy”, Discover Magazine Blog, May 02.

Further reading
● Staiti, Paul. (2001). “Winslow Homer and the Drama of Thermodynamics” (Abs), American Art, Vol. 15, No. 1, Spring, pgs. 11-13.
● Author. (2005). “Art Turns to Thermodynamics”,, May 13.

External links
Schrodinger equation and Heisenberg uncertainty tattoos –

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