The World According to Fractalbook

Let's go parking, baby, and I'll show you my page views...

****V**** is for Victory

[Image initially seen at the Sun Gallery.]

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
are filled with passionate intensity.

William Butler Yeats, “The Second Coming”

Fractalbook is Facebook on fractals.

Fractalbook has little to do with fractals, and even less to do with fine art. Fractals may be a common hobby that links Fractalbookers together, but neither fractals nor art are the raison d’etre for Fractalbook.

Fractalbook is about networking — about socializing — about schmoozing.

There is only one art to be found on Fractalbook. The fine art of sucking up.


Fractalbook does not care about your technique or your aesthetics or your software. The fact that you market a line of virtual lingerie for Poser Babes lounging around in animated gifs bores Fractalbookers.

Only one question holds the interest of Fractalbookers: Will you be my friend?

Or possibly: How many page views-full screens-comments-fave saves-toplist votes do I I I have?

Or maybe: If you’ll scratch my back post, I’ll…

Fractalbook is not lizard-based. It’s canine-driven. It’s all scratch and sniff.


Every Fractalbooker is a genius. And every post is a masterpiece. Or this is what everyone will tell you. If, and only if, that is what you tell everyone else. Often. Always.

Everyone is nice on Fractalbook. Even when everyone initially shuns you. Because you are not yet in with the in crowd. Just do more open toadying, and you will be fine.

Fractalbookers often say they want constructive criticism. But they don’t. They much prefer fawning sycophants.

If you actually give constructive criticism in Fractalbook, you will be seen as not nice. In fact, Fractalbookers will then assume you are an asshole. And we all know assholes don’t have many friends. Or get many hits. Or rack up many faves.

That’s because assholes in Fractalbook place their dignity over their social status.

Silly assholes. They actually think Fractalbook is about art.


Fractalbookers think Fractalbook has noble, even highbrow origins. Something like a quilting bee or a debating society. But even more cultured. Like maybe their own personal Louvre where each Fractalbooker can be both artist and patron. Master craftsman and astute critic. Philosopher-king and mountain mystic. Pablo Picasso and Robert Hughes.

But an Art Pantheon is not the blueprint for Fractalbook. It has roots in a much more familiar model.

High School.

Fractalbook is not about art appreciation and criticism.

Fractalbook is instead driven by twin engines: Popularity. Gossip.

It’s not what you make in Fractalbook that counts. It’s what you say to who you know.


Which brings me to the point of this post. We had a really good look at Fractalbook in action this week. For a background, look at this comment Dzeni left on Orbit Trap a few days ago. And then look at the response she got on a Fractalbook conclave here. This one incident is a microcosm of Fractalbook.

So, what happened? Well, it’s hard to tell. But Fractalbookers don’t care much for ferreting out facts or understanding background details. They act only on knee-jerk emotion.

Dzeni was among three finalists in a competition. The winning image would appear on the phone book for a major metropolitan area in New Zealand. Judging would be based on an online popular vote. A local paper ran an article about the competition. However, for some reason, the article featured two of the finalists but said nothing about Dzeni or her entry.

Dzeni wrote Orbit Trap to solicit support to rectify this situation. Of course, since Orbit Trap is not a Fractalbook site, Dzeni did not have to be nice. As everyone knows, we at OT believe in constructive criticism and are therefore assholes who, in turn, must be insulted. And, who knows, slams aside, Dzeni might succeed in appealing to our sense of fair play since we sometimes write on the “perceived injustice” of corrupt contests like the BMFAC and the FUC. Here, says Dzeni, is a bona fide case of fractal contest injustice. Do we have the guts to pursue it?

Well, do we, punks?

The Fractalbookers definitely had the guts. They flocked, in an ironic post entitled “Democracy Sucks,” to Dzeni’s defense and began swamping the contest site wielding their mighty ***V***’s to rescue both their “friend” and the good name of Fractal Art (capitalized like Good Deeds in an old morality play). These Fractalbooking warriors, armed only with keyboards, were most valiant. Listen to their battle cries:

I voted for you…twice actually, because I have two e-mail accounts (hopefully that’ll help offset the newspaper’s impact).


voted again from another email account. Good luck!!!!!


I agree, contests where anyone can vote don’t say much for talent but more about how many people you know, or how much work you put into rounding up voters.

Hey. Wait. That last guy is no Fractalbooker. What an asshole. He’s actually making sense by stopping to reflect on the issue at hand.

In the end, I’m not sure how much of a mass appeal Dzeni made or how many sites she went imploring. She certainly pandered heavily for votes (for two contests) on this blog where she is a contributor.

Here comes the guts part. Should the Fractalbookers rushing blindly to vote to correct such egregious fractal injustice have first paused to ask a few questions?

It does seem unfair that Dzeni was left out of the paper. She certainly has every right to point out the omission. But is she also justified to plead indignantly for votes? Should those voting not be professional — whatever the circumstances — and cast their ballots for the image they feel is best?

And who is at fault here: the competition or the paper? Dzeni assumed those running the competition were to blame, so she asked her “friends” to act quickly to offset the situation by punishing the contest sponsors’ obvious fractal bias with a tidal wave of mass votes. But maybe the paper is the party at fault. Maybe they just ran out of space. Maybe since her image was the only one that didn’t have “Auckland” in the title, they decided not to publicize it. Maybe they found Dzeni’s piece too political or something. Or maybe they were going to do a follow-up article later.

Maybe, indeed. It turns out the paper was the culprit. And they say they are going to do another article featuring Dzeni. But, even after this resolution, Dzeni is still openly campaigning for votes and needs them “now more than ever.”

I wonder. Do those votes now leave a somewhat bitter aftertaste? Or are they merely chits to be called in when the next Fractalbooking “crisis” pops up?

And was this really a case of fractal injustice? After all, although Dzeni’s entry has a fractal background, it looks like more of a mixed-media Photoshop piece. Could this whole kafuffle not be about fractal art but all about netting the most votes? And who benefits here? Our genre and our community? Or Dzeni — who’s admits she’s competitive, did her networking homework, and stroked the right shock troops?

The odd-asshole-out above is right. This is not about talent. This is about how many friends you troll for to vote for you you you and push up your stats.

And that’s Fractalbook in a nutshell. Art, like democracy, sucks. It’s all about me me me and my primary place in the clique.

Welcome to the world according to Fractalbook. It’s the rule of the worst, and the triumph of the most passionate and determined suck-ups.

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2 thoughts on “The World According to Fractalbook

  1. This topic reminds of the days on the old UseNet Newsgroups when people would share images and comments on a regular basis. Back then, there were a few different fractal related newsgroups, each of which was established for a basic purpose (like most Newsgroups).

    One particular incident stands out, back around April 2001 on the A.B.P.F…..

    Barbara Leibert (aka BubblyBabs) was fairly new to both fractals and Newsgroups, and she thought she had the right to disregard the FAQ and basic rules of etiquette. On numerous occasions she would post one-liner replies that usually said nothing more than “Great Image”. When politely (and off-list) was told about such rules, her replies were:

    • “I feel compelled to remark about everyone’s work to keep from hurting their feelings!”

    • “I just worried that by replying to only one persons pictures but not another persons pictures I’d hurt their feelings…”

    • “I won’t get feed back unless I give feedback.”

    That latter one is a prime example of what your topic is addressing. So everybody ended up getting comments from her. And since everybody got a reply, it was like somebody walking through a parking lot sticking fliers on wind-shields saying she liked their vehicle.

    And the trend continues on today with so many others following suit.

  2. Oh, “Nahee”, aka Paul… I still don’t like you and this post of yours is one reason why…


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