It was called the “International Fractal Art Symposium” and was held in San Sebastian, Spain (that’s in Europe) from June 25th to 27th, 2014. I first heard about it back in December 2013 in a thread on Fractalforums.com, but reined in my instant desire to comment about it because something made me think it was more like a private party than an International Symposium and so I thought to myself, “let the poor folks have their privacy”.
But watching the growing list on the “Attendees” page on Mathartistry.com became a daily, maybe hourly, obsession with me and I soon began wondering if this private party might actually end up being something like a symposium after all. If you could check the web logs you’d probably find me in there as the most frequent visitor to the “symposium” site.
If you’re going, to
San Francisco San Sebastian… Be sure to wear, some flowers in your hair…
Don’t these “International Symposium” things immediately excite everyone? Think of the enthusiasm that was whipped up in past years by the Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Exhibitions (07, 09, 11). We’re all hopelessly optimistic or something. Or maybe we see fractal art as held back by something, or held up by something and this year, maybe, fractal art is finally going to break out.
Break out of where it is now. Where it’s been since the 90s: A hotbed of enthusiastic (and talented) practioners, albeit small in number (at this point in time) refining and advancing a real art form (if only others understood it (like we do)) waiting for that critical mass of numbers, and the attention of just one Hollywood scout to alert the whole world to this great breakthrough in art.
The Future of Fractal Art
One hour for a group discussion (starting) with the future of fractal art, and then two hours for lunch.
Fractal “Sharing”; “Show-n-Tell”? They are a parody of themselves.
I am often struck by the wisdom of saying nothing and I have almost knocked myself out this time when I realize how wise I was not to have said anything about Javier’s Barbecue back in December when I first found out about it.
But why criticize or make fun of something like this? (you may be asking?) Isn’t it just mean? And, and… why don’t I try organizing something –constructive– like this and see how hard it is? Or, and this is the perennial thought in fractal art: “Isn’t it too early to say what’s going to come of this?”
The Wreckage of the BMFACs
What if this is all there is to the world’s reaction to fractals? What if the audience for fractal art is primarily just the people who make it? Fractal art is so easy to “do” and is so much fun to play with that anyone who has any interest in the art form is only one free download away from joining the ranks of the “artists”. As a result, what separates the artists from the audience is often nothing at all. In fact, is there really an audience at all for fractal art? Who out there is an avid fan of fractal art and doesn’t have an online gallery somewhere?
The Future we Fear
What took place in San Sebastian is what I think fractal art is and will always be: 20-some people hanging out together: sharing artwork; telling anectdotes; discussing new programs. Like an endless fractal zoom where we feel like we’re moving but it never seems to end at anything. How ironic that the future of fractal art should be a recursive loop.