2010 Pulitzer Prize for Fractal Art Blogging

I’m sorry, but I can’t give out too many details about the actual recipient because the prize winning  journalist has been keeping  a very low profile in order to avoid “the haters” of the fractal art world which he’s observed over the years to have plagued and besieged Orbit Trap, the blog that inspires him.  I think he’d prefer we not link to him or use his name.  We’d sure like to so he could reach a bigger audience and inspire others out in the same way he says he’s been inspired by Orbit Trap.   Naturally, if he’d like formal recognition, we’d be happy to give it to him.

The award was an easy decision to make because there’s really only two fractal art blogs on the internet and we couldn’t give ourselves an award;  it’s not like we’re a fractal art calendar or contest.

Here’s a few choice excerpts from the prize winning journalist’s recent work in the area of fractal art criticism and editorial commentary that caught Orbit Trap’s eye and earned him the very first Pulitzer Prize for Fractal Art Blogging.

On the Fractal Universe Calendar

I hope this post doesn’t bring any negativity or haters. I’ve seen this happen when the subject was so delicate (to some people) like this. But here we go.

I had read in another blog – which I won’t mention here which one  it is just because of these fights and haters, but it has been mentioned here a couple times and I do share many of their thoughts about how and where the fractal art is going – about how the Fractal Calendar was becoming sort of a… how to put it lightly… commercial product supposedly open to the fractal artists community to participate, but a project where just a few people had the chance to participate.

Today, when I was going to the Fractal Forums website to get the latest Mandelbulb version for my other computer, I typed a wrong address that took me apparently to the official site for the Fractal Calendar. And they had 3 galleries for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions with the images. And now I could see with my own eyes that this was very much true, the images are indeed boring and repetitive. They aren’t ugly, though. But 12 images of common spirals and Doodads? I can do that too. Sometimes better. Many others can do that as well.

I think that the last time I had checked for the images in that calendar was around 2003, when I even submitted some images (silly me…). The same group of people seemed to dominate the choices of approved images back then, but the images were much more better and diverse. Now, they’re just as I’ve said, common spirals and Doodads. Sad, really.

…the images are far from being fresh, creative and daunting or even “updated”, they are just something that seem to have been done to fit a certain commitment, “we must do the calendar, you are the chosen artists, just send me anything in time and that’s fine”.

…it’s sad to see that they have chosen just common spirals done in Ultra Fractal. No Apophysis, no old-school Fractint images, no new styles like the Mandelbulbs. And just spirals. While the time in the calendar goes on for all of us, the quality of its images seem to be going back in time. Or the clock seems to have stopped in 2002 for the people that are responsible to choose the images.

…and this wasn’t a personal attack on anyone (before any of these haters that like to keep starting flame wars in the aforementioned blog find an excuse in this post to start some more of these wars), this was just my personal opinion on the Fractal Calendar (to which you are entitled to disagree) and my comments are mostly made about the way it’s made and conceived and how its images are chosen, not about the talent or the quality of any of these fractal artists involved.

On Orbit Trap’s Influence

Many thanks to the guys at Orbit Trap to have quoted my opinions, to slightly discuss them and more, to understood them perfectly. I’m more than anything learning to be honest with my own feelings (artistically and in everything else) so whatever I’ve said here about my disappointments with fractal stuff in general that was repercuted by Orbit Trap is absolutely true. Whenever I say I am hating Apophysis for example, I really do. But I’m hating the Deviant kind of Apophysis – the mass-produced, randomized thing.

And I think I could only understand what was going on when I read these posts at Orbit trap pointing me to some obvious things that most people (comfortably) refuse to see, better still have your comment box filled with friends pats on the back than making something you’re enjoying.

On the Random Batch Apophysis Gallery

Pretty isn’t it? But guess what was my involvement in all this? A few clicks. To be precise, just 3. One to open Apophysis, other in the menu to select “Scripts”, and the last one to select a script. (OK,  there was another one, to run the script, it’s 4 clicks actually, sorry!). There were a few more clicks required to render the images, but these aren’t related to the actual creation of the images. And these images look quite similar not only to each other but to most of these so-popular “amazing-whatever” batches of fractal “art” spread all over the internet. So sad.

I decided to do this after reading so many of these “this is my fractal wallpaper for today” posts (and all these links to “amazing” galleries with 100 images as well) and being disappointed with most of the images I see there…


When you say “for today” I think it implies you’re doing one of these images every day. After some time, even if you used to have any involvement and care while publishing one single image a day (you always did, didn’t you?), it gets lost eventually, because even if you don’t have any motivation to make a good image that day for whatever reason, you must publish one, to keep the commitment to have the “fractal of the day” posted in time. Then or you’ll make something sub-par to keep it going…

[…]…My problem is with these other, sub-par, common images, that are still labeled as “amazing” and that are being delivered daily like rabbits or mice. Images that have a lot of self-similarity – within themselves and with every other low-quality fractal art available, the 3-click batches. A very good example of self-similarity (a basic characteristic of a fractal), but in an opposite way.

[…]…Instead it’s mostly people just running some batch script just to not be forgotten, if they don’t post their “fractal of the day” at that specific hour they will be ignored and people will start paying attention to other “artists”.

I could have kept my site going and with daily updates like that forever, and probably by now I would have around 10,000 images… If you don’t have anything meaningful to say, shut up, it’s simple as that. If it’s not working and you can’t make images that YOU think are worth showing to anyone, don’t do it. For today.

PS. I hope nobody thinks that this “special” gallery was really meant to be called “amazing”. It was done just to illustrate the content of this post. The only amazing thing there was the amount of time spent to render them. If you can’t understand irony and/or sarcasm, I’m really sorry.

Irony, social commentary and inspirational sources; that’s Pulitzer Prize winning material.  And now we’ve got our own Pulitzer Prize winner in the area of Fractal Art Blogging.  Well, maybe not your Pulitzer Prize winner, but, to quote the recent 2011 Pulitzer Prize winner for Fractal Art Blogging, “If you can’t understand irony and/or sarcasm, I’m really sorry.”