Responses at Fractal Forums.com to the recent announcement of the Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Contest 2011 suggest to me that a lot of things have changed in the fractal art world since the BMFAC was initiated back in… ¡Ay, caramba! –2006!
~ Click on images to go to original site ~
Fractal Ken hit the nail on the head. Will the organizer’s, Damien Jones’s hand picked fractal art “experts” from the old days fully appreciate or even know much about the 3D fractal revolution? Fractalforums.com where these comments were posted is the place all those 3D discoveries and advancements were announced and discussed; it’s natural that folks there need some convincing that the BMFAC has any real relevance to what they see as the mainstream fractal art form today –3D fractals.
Here at Orbit Trap we’ve gained a reputation for criticizing the BMFAC primarily because of their choice of judges and how those judges (used to) give themselves winning positions in the contest by adding their work to the exhibition. But now, the sneaky way the judges have been chosen (and stayed on for years) raises a new question, “Are the judges even competent to judge today’s 3D fractals?”
One of the most stunning developments in the 3D revolution was the sudden appearance of high quality fractal programs devoted to the new 3D fractal artform. Ultra Fractal (whose author is a judge) isn’t the program of choice for the new breed of 3D fractal artists. What relevance do all those veteran UF artists and programmers have when it comes to being experts in judging artwork that wasn’t made with UF and which the judges themselves have no expertise in? What exactly are they “experts” of anymore? Old style (2D) fractal art made by people like themselves?
I suppose Damien could add a few folks like Jesse Dierks (Jesse) or Krzysztof (buddhi) Marczak the authors of Mandelbulb 3D and Mandelbulber. Or how about Christian Kleinhuis the owner and host of Fractalforums.com (3D fractal central)? He’s had his finger on the pulse of 3D fractals as long as anyone. There’s a bunch of others too, like Tom Lowe (recent “Nobel” prizewinner) and others who are all equally qualified to judge the quality and importance of 3D fractals because that’s their chosen area of expertise in fractal art.
Of course, that’s the typical BMFAC way of doing things. What would be even better is to approach some ART people who might be better qualified to judge ARTwork. But as Terry so eloquently said, “Mathematicians are the celebrities of fractal art”. And I guess Math Conferences are the Paris cafes of fractal art. Hey, maybe Jeremie Brunet? Aka “bib”. He’s from Paris, or close to it. One French artist is as good as 10 math Phds. Maybe 1000? He’s had his own public exhibitions (in Paris, too) and been on TV. (I wonder how he did that without any help from Benoit Mandelbrot’s name or any sponsors?) How many of the so-called “expert” judges of the BMFAC have done any of that?
Perhaps good fractal art doesn’t need a contest (or a celebrity name) to promote it?