What? You didn’t know even know there was a Phase One? Well, let me begin there, then. At the dawn of fractal art.Phase One, the first stage of fractal art, has been oriented around software. The big developments in fractal art came from developments in the software that made it. True color fractals were a big development in fractal art over the more primitive, 256 color fractals.
More primitive? See, I’m talking like a phase one fractal artist. Good art, or even great art, can be made with 256 color fractal programs. In the same way, bad art or even awful art, can be made with true color fractal programs. Who cares how many colors your program uses? Or more to the point: who cares how many colors your artwork has in it?
That’s the essence of Phase Two thinking. And it’s all about thinking /perspective /approach. Phase Two fractal art focuses on the image and not how it was made. Perhaps in Phase Two fractal art the word “fractal” is no longer relevant because the word fractal only has meaning if the artwork exhibits a fractal appearance. Images made from details of fractals or images processed with filters are really derivative works and whether one wants to call them fractal art is really a pointless matter and unresolvable argument. And Phase Two artists don’t care anyway how an image was made. Whether it has that parameter file pedigree or not isn’t as important as whether or not it’s…
Art. Yes, that’s where I see fractal art going. Taking an artistic approach and evaluating the image rather than the software that makes it, is an instinctive next step. It’s instinctive I think because that’s how art has always been viewed and evaluated. No serious critic ever categorized oil paintings by what kind of paint brushes they were made with or whether they were painted by men or women. Or by nationality? Is it American Art?
Art is studied, viewed, collected, practised, and criticized according to the style of artwork — what it looks like. That’s how things will be, and even already have started to be, in phase two of fractal art. I’ve groused about Ultra Fractal, but really what I was criticizing was the excessive layering and masking of fractals. That’s what most people do with Ultra Fractal and that’s why most of what is made with it is so boring. But there are others who use Ultra Fractal for very, very different things and they use layering as an algorithmic tool rather than a way to apply make-up to fractals. The program is as advanced or as primitive as the images one makes with it. In fact, the program is irrelevant; it’s the artwork that’s important.
Phase Two thinking says, “If this image was a painting, what style of art would you say it most closely resembles?” Phase Two thinking calls fractal art that looks nice but lacks expression to be Decorative Art. It calls fractal art that evokes feeling, emotion or vivid thoughts to be Abstract Expressionism. Phase Two thinking enters fractal art through the art door and not the math door. Phase Two speaks respectfully to the Rocket Scientists but explains that beauty, while taking many forms, is the only parameter in art.
Jackson Pollock is the true father of fractal art (even if his drip paintings aren’t fractal). Benoit Mandelbrot is the father of fractal software. This is the Phase Two perspective. Pollock said, “It doesn’t make much difference how the paint is put on as long as something has been said.” Phase Two listens to the art, not the artist.
In Phase Two we don’t call it art until we hear it speak.