Fluidism Art And Bohmian Mechanics – Different Expressions Of Same Reality
A clear sense of reality depends on art and science that make sense.
“Everything is relative, so no structure has any privileged place in relation to any other structure.”
“Human beings cannot apply objective perceptions directly to the subatomic world, so we must accept mathematical, probabilistic conceptions as the only valid expressions of our world.”
These two statements could sum up the respective paths of art and science over the last hundred or so years. The first statement applies to academic art. The second statement applies to quantum mechanics – the highly successful branch of physics responsible for the latest advances in electronic communications and entertainment.
Neither statement fosters a clear understanding of the universe. Both statements together encourage a free-for-all cultural collage of fragmented behaviors, where mechanical calculations enable precise, abundant satiation of ungrounded appetites. Advanced civilizations today, thus, lack a certain depth, continuity, and sense of proportion, as is evident from gluttonous consumption – bulging waste lines, maxed out credit cards, and inflated health care costs that wreak havoc on countless lives. Modern world-views, in general, sometimes seem blurry and devoid of shared guiding principles that shape rich, stable societies.
Developments in art and in science are partly to blame, having stripped away classical rationality without providing suitable replacements. Ideas such as “truth”, “beauty”, “good”, even “reality” have fallen out of favor in formal circles, where orthodox thinking now rules with a new logic of pure chance.
Bohm Bucks The Trend
Conventional quantum physicists believe that “reality” has no definition at the subatomic scale. Rather, the only realities we can define are clicks of measuring instruments that we set up in very specific situations. These clicks eventually enable us to build better machines, but they tell us nothing of reality, because, by definition, “reality” is an unsubstantiated fiction, like Santa Clause or The Tooth Fairy. Mature intellectuals must abandon such fictions.
Theoretical physicist, David Bohm objected to this orthodox interpretation of the subatomic realm. He believed in a sensible model of reality. He, in fact, proposed and proved such a model mathematically – a model that added deeper meaning without threatening the practical success of the conventional view.
Bohm treated the mathematics of quantum physics as descriptions of real physical fields, where objective waves guide crests as particles with definite positions and momenta at all times. The usual interpretation, by comparison, treats quantum math as a mere statistical description – indicating probabilities of observing defined measurements. Bohmian mechanics, thus, was a break from the new lawless tradition of both science and art in the twentieth century.
For an appraisal of this unique interpretation of quantum theory, see:
Cushing, James T., Arthur Fine, and Sheldon Goldstein (eds.) (1996) BOHMIAN MECHANICS AND QUANTUM THEORY: AN APPRAISAL , Dordrecht ; Boston : Kluwer Academic Publishers, ©1996
Fluidism Also Favors A Sensible Solution
As Bohm found resonance in the idea of a fluid-like quantum universe, I have found resonance in the idea of a fluid-like reality. Using images, rather, than equations, I have suggested this fluid view as a proper world-view for the current era. Where scientists such as Bohm have helped with the math, I have attempted to help with the visualization, via art photographs that feature active liquid mixtures at peaks of performance.
FLUIDISM recasts the classical idea of “beauty” in the light of unceasing motion. Accordingly, unceasing motion, rather than static form, is the true source of greatest aesthetic appeal. What is most real, in other words, is motion. Bohm seems to have felt this way also, so he lends significant conceptual support to my perceptual posturing.