Fractal Universe Calendar 2011 – Spot the duplicates

Cornelia Yoder was true to her words: the Fractal Universe Calendar 2011 is made up exclusively of her images and retains the traditional name although the publisher has skipped like a stone from Avalanche to Lang to Perfect Timing.  She has also kept up the time-worn tradition of adhering to that tested and true style that, in the words of one editor, “just works”.

Cornelia’s had quite an act to follow; over a decade of lush fractal bouquets, turned this way, turned that way, some with ribbons, some with none at all –but all of them radiating that, je ne sais quoi, that has made the Fractal Universe Calendar a cult favorite and engendered today a very cultish following despite more than a decade of progress in fractal art software and artistic style within the fractal art world.

But I sense the worshippers of this Fractal Universe Calendar style are coming to the end of their creative spiral.  I can see a good number of images amongst those published throughout the years that bear a close resemblance to each other.  Is this the coalescence of a new sub-genre? or the inevitable genetic collapse after so many years of inbreeding?

Some of the images to me look to be minor variations of the same parameters.  For instance: compare 2007-4 and 2009-7, counting from the left to the right.  Now there’s a twisted family tree –one too many “Julias” in that one!  Imagine having no in-laws.

Look carefully; can you spot any other slightly modified duplicates?  A little shift of the hue?  Something spun the other way?  Old tire, new tread?

Can you see any?  Or is it just me?

Fractal Universe Calendar 2011 and past years thumbnail gallery. Click to view larger version at publisher's site

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5 thoughts on “Fractal Universe Calendar 2011 – Spot the duplicates

  1. Maybe it’s better to think of the FU calendar as not an art calendar. If one were to peruse the calendar kiosk of their favorite mall around the holiday season, he or she may see calendars of pugs, dandelions, or vintage Mustangs. After a few years, those images are probably repetitive, as well. Heck, even portraits can become “more of the same” after a while. And so it is (or so it seems) with fractal calendars. Publishers publish what they think will sell, which is generally not innovation.

  2. Sure, the FU is the expected product of applying the same wall calendar tastes from other genres in a fractal context, repetitive and cliche, but Jock Cooper, for example, has made some really great, “traditional” type fractal art, spirals and that sort of thing like the FU calendar has, and his stuff is 100x better than anything that ever appeared in the FU calendar.

    The FU is just eyecandy but I don’t think it’s even good fractal eyecandy. I think the calendar could be just as successful with new material in it. Does the quality of the artwork not matter?

    Maybe it doesn’t…

  3. The only thing that matters for them is whether it sells, really, and rightfully so too. And seeing as they keep publishing every year and even managing a mitosis or three in the meanwhile, it sure looks like it sells.

  4. Well, none of us really know how successful the calendar is for it’s publisher. But you’re right, they’ve been able to keep going for 10 years so it’s obviously not dragging their product line down, but with two competitors now in the same league as themselves, all three publishers should start thinking about putting out a *better* fractal eyecandy calendar.

    I don’t think PerfectTiming is going to have a competitive product is they stick with the sort of work Cornelia Yoder does. Like I said previously, if it’s just eyecandy they want, like all the other calendars are filled with, they can do a lot better than this and they can get it just as cheap, too.

    Anyhow, it will be interesting to see what the state of these fractal calendars is next year. Mark your calendar…

  5. I see many images from different years that definitely come from the same formula, or should I say that there is basically only a few main formulas being used. It seems that even the same parameters were used again here and there, but with slight modifications and color palette changes.

    I have an interesting idea…. why not try and have as many people as possible create their own “Fractal Universe Calendar” and sell it on the market (or give them away as presents to relatives and friends). Sure would be interesting to see if anybody even cared whether there was a third, fourth, or whatever publication being done. Apparently there is no problem with more than one, since we now have two. So why not more of them!!!



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