The Fractal Art Manifesto

© 1999 Kerry Mitchell

As a genre, Fractal Art (FA) has been around for approximately 15-20 years. Its first major public display may be considered to be an article about the Mandelbrot Set published in "Scientific American" in 1985. Since then, many advances have been made, both in fractal rendering capabilities and in the understanding of fractal geometery. Perhaps now is an opportune time to make a defining statement about what is (and what is not) Fractal Art.

Fractal Art is a genre concerned with fractals—shapes or sets characterized by self affinity (small portions of the image resemble the overall shape) and an infinite amount of detail, at all scales. Fractals are typically created on a digital computer, using an iterative numerical process. Lately, images that are not technically fractals, but that share the same basic generating technique and environment, have been welcomed into the FA world.

Fractal Art is a subclass of two dimensional visual art, and is in many respects similar to photography—another art form which was greeted by skepticism upon its arrival. Fractal images typically are manifested as prints, bringing Fractal Artists into the company of painters, photographers, and printmakers. Fractals exist natively as electronic images. This is a format that traditional visual artists are quickly embracing, bringing them into FA's digital realm.

Generating fractals can be an artistic endeavor, a mathematical pursuit, or just a soothing diversion. However, FA is clearly distinguished from other digital activities by what it is, and by what it is not.

Fractal Art is not:

 Fractal Art is:

 Most of all, Fractal Art is simply that which is created by Fractal Artists: ART.

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