The building block of wavy, turbulent flow is the vortex. The streamlines depicted in this image represent traces through vortex-dominated flow. Though the vortexes in the underlying flow pictured above are not visible (and they are not in real life, either) they definitively affect the character of the motion of any object within them.
Additionally, this image continues the theme dominant in much of my work of the juxtaposition of real and unreal elements. The visible tubes flowing in the foreground are rendered with a physically-validated lighting simulator, making them look as realistic as technology and science today permit. Despite that, the streamlines float in space, and do not crash to the ground or bend under their own weight as real objects would. Their shapes are also formed by a very accurate computational method that is the result of several years of concerted research by the artist---an aerospace engineer. Nevertheless, the vortexes that mold the flow are positioned according to completely impossible conditions for a real physical system.