Fractal Creature…

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It does not smile or purr…

It moves slowly but…

Nothing gets in its way… fear moves everything…

The tendrils have no bone, but they…

Its color attracts the eye, but the eye…

Toxic and terrible, its scream is silent… a pitch unnatural and beyond the range…

The barking of dogs; the footmen of the creature…

What does it say? What would such a thing say…

Fear. An echo. It echoes our fear…

That which we fear… has come upon us…

It looked pretty freaky to me…

It’s actually…

…the curly tails…

a Nova variation…

But who knows?…

…A little water… some food… Maybe some nuclear radiation… I could see it sliding across the country… ploughing under cities… to the stereophonic accompaniment… of screams and sirens…

Fractals are the real…

…sixth dimension.

Or fourth, or something…

You know which one I’m talking about…

…the sci-fi one.

June 28, 2006

Fractal Mangrove

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I read somewhere that the circle was one of the most common design elements worldwide, and often used symbolically.

It’s interesting really, because there are so few naturally occurring circular things, except for the Moon and the Sun, of course.

Maybe that’s the reason: They symbolize perfect and non-earthly things.

Man, I can be really stupid sometimes.

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Reminds me of the time I took a non-calculus physics course. I got involved in asking some question and in the process of answering it, the professor asked me what was the size of the area UNDER the line on the graph.

I kept giving the wrong answer because in my super intelligent view of things, I considered the up and down axis to be just as much underneath as the side to side one.

I’m sure Einstein has moments like that too.

Anyhow, I like the way so many fractal formulas end up rendered as circular images. It makes for a very nice frame and a type of instant art that doesn’t even require zooming.

They look a bit like an image through a telescope or microscope or maybe the port hole of a ship. Or the periscope of a submarine.

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A curved line is complicated. But a circle is an extremely curved line and yet it’s simple.

Would you rather be an astronaut or an astronomer? It’s not that easy to answer. Which one is the artist?

June 26, 2006

Lost Worlds

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I find it fascinating that an underground cave filled with the remains of an ancient sea, and the ancient creatures that inhabited it, could remain separate and undisturbed in one of the busiest places on Earth.

That’s what was discovered in Israel recently.

It was sealed off from ground water seeping in from above by an impervious layer above it. It used to be part of a larger Mediterannean Sea that shrunk and left this underground puddle behind.

It wouldn’t have been so surprising if it was found in Siberia or Antartica or on some Indonesian island, but in Israel of all places: the ancient, well-walked-over world.

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Well, I guess there are still astounding discoveries to made, even under the feet of Abraham. Makes you wonder if we’re really living in the beginning of history instead of the end.

Of course, if you’re sealed off in a cave, I guess human history is irrelevant.

June 23, 2006

The World Becomes

June 21, 2006

Fractal Basketweaving

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Who would ever have expected rattan furniture in a place like this?

Actually, I shouldn’t say furniture, it’s more like your usual fractal fungal growth with the appearance of something familiar.

bbLean. It’s a shell replacement for Windows, modelled on the black box shell made for Linux, or Unix or *nix or something like that. It allows you to customize your Start, Quick Launch, Taskbar, Clock and other things that you use on the Windows desktop or use to access and run programs on your computer.

If you don’t care what your desktop looks like or aren’t really interested in tweaking the interface then you probably won’t want to bother with this…

But it’s almost a new artform. Or the extension of Decorative Art (it’s a respected category) into the digital world.

You can change the style of your taskbar (thing at the bottom with the Start button and the window labels) and all the other basic things that frame stuff. It’s similar to customizing paper stationery or a design of a webpage.

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Anyhow, it’s quite interesting seeing all the different desktop styles that people have come up with; some of them are very creative and show a real flair for decorative design.

Functional is a key word here. What you eventually end up using for your desktop look or whether you even bother to change your shell from the standard Windows one (explorer.exe) depends on whether you are able to find something useful in all of this.

I think having an appealing look to one’s work environment adds something to what is produced there. A new shell like bbLean can also make it easier to use your computer by allowing you to bring your tools to within shorter reach and at the same time move the less commonly used stuff out of the way.

One thing that I see in all this is that the Windows operating system would benefit greatly from the creative input that comes along with making sourcecode open and available to anyone who wants to add or improve it.

bbLean is just a crumb off Linux’s table, which I think must show how much more advanced and enhanced the Linux environment must be. The only reason I use Windows anymore is because that’s the only way to access the many programs like InkBlot Kaos which were written for the Windows platform. That’s the only thing that keeps Windows in business today.

June 19, 2006

Fractal Dirt

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To see a world in a grain of sand…

…and art in a pail of dirt.

That’s what you do on the beanstalk: dig.

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Dirt has all the requirements needed for good design: shapes; patterns; variety; eraseable; inexpensive.

Once arriving in the big city and attracting the attention of rich benefactors, dirt changes its name to art and pretends to dislike dust and the dirty hands which made it.

But in the gallery, when art is alone, it answers to the name of dirt and talks casually with its department store frame.

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What is glass? Melted sand: dirt post-processed. Indexed, polished, transparent. Dirt’s alpha layer.

Inside the diamond in the rough, is the diamond in the jewelry store. But inside the diamond in the jewelry store is nothing.

June 16, 2006

Phoenix Light Bulbs

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They’re all Julias from this humble Phoenix fractal:

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Yeah. Not much else to say about it.

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I like cheap, sloppy printing, like the kind you see on cardboard boxes. Bad printing was the beginning of Algorithmic Art. Set it up; watch it wander.

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I like that deep, saturated orange color. It looks so wonderfully artificial and synthetic like a cheap hard candy from a plastic wrapper.

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Don’t feel too bad if you think all this stuff is junk. I like a lot of oddball things that probably (I’m guessing) don’t have much appeal to most other people.

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Dried papaya. It could look like this. But the color is too orangey. Of course the color has been “enhanced” to make it more appealing to shoppers. Most dried things look brown. When life leaves something, color is not far behind.

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They’re indexed pngs; only 16 colors, which makes for small file sizes of about 15 – 20k each. I’ve got dial-up, so I notice these things. I’ve got Windows 98 too. I used to have a 14″ monitor until just a couple of weeks ago. Joy is finding your crack in the wall and living in it.

June 14, 2006

Solar Cinema

1) Through a special telescope,
2) Through layers of darkened glass,
3) I saw the dark side of the Sun,
4) The other side of the Sun.

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The dark side of the Sun is the solar cinema. It starts like this:

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I sat and watched the Sun be drawn.

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It changed shape and became many things.

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It wound its light back in, like a measuring tape, then slowly let it out, replaying the beginning of things.

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Was this the childhood of the Sun, now vanished and empty?.

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Strange roads were woven to the rhythm of red.

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Civilized and settled, it never lasted long.

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Could the substance of worlds be poured out with such precision?

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Wings were granted, to things which never saw the air.

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They wove the planets, one by one; as if they were a vine.

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They said some things with physics, and the straight lines were made to bend.

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Never staying the same, it would sometimes try to fly.

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Never a word from the silent golden glow.

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For a while we walked everywhere, but now these places are gone.

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June 12, 2006

Spider Kings of the Fractal Caverns

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In the beginning, the spiders were kings.

They claimed all of the caverns and no one would go there except for them. Then one day the termite plants appeared.

They were just small, probing roots at first, but once they discovered the caverns, and how rich they were, they invaded.

The spiders were shocked at the boldness of the termite plants and were confused about what to do. Soon the termite plants had forced the spiders into the edges of the caverns while they occupied the largest parts.

Not sure how to attack these strange creatures, the spiders cautiously inspected the termite plants to find out what they were.

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Pretending to be unaware that anything besides themselves was living in the caverns, the termite plants acted pleasantly surprised to have some new friends. They called the spiders “kings” and told them how wonderful the spiders’ caverns were.

The spiders could see that the termite plants were powerful creatures, but since they called the spiders kings and spoke as if the caverns belong to the spiders, they gave no thought to fighting them.

To this day the spiders are treated like kings by the termite plants and the spiders, in turn, treat the plants like royal guests.

June 9, 2006

Brown Paper Fractals

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Doesn’t it make them even more incredible, that they were painted on such cheap material; built on such humble foundations, as brown paper?

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I’ve often wondered what fractal art would be like today if it had been introduced differently.

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What if the first fractal program was kept secret, known only to the programmer? And the programmer presented the images it produced, not as some new artform, but merely as his own personal artwork?

He’d be a household name by now, like Mr. Clean or Aunt Jemima. The ensuing scandal that would have erupted when it was discovered that all his artwork was made with a computer program, would only have enhanced his reputation by adding a dimension of intrigue and notoriety.

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Actually, come to think of it, that’s what Jackson Pollock did. Sort of, in a way.

I won’t get into all the details because I don’t know what they are, but I think he created a fractal or chaos machine with rope, cans and ink. He didn’t make the paintings, he made the apparatus and operated it.

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And look how famous he is. Lots of people have heard his name and don’t really know what he did. That’s the mark of being truly famous; people know your name and they don’t know why.

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So there you have it. It really did happen. Only the programmer didn’t even know he was a programmer.

Stranger than fiction.

June 8, 2006