What’s in a Name?

Back in the Halcyon group-hug salad days of Orbit Trap, I put up a post about titling.  I used my own images (and several others) to investigate whether titles unfairly nudge viewers to the artist’s interpretation or favorably provide additional meaning-making material.  I’d like to re-visit the question using some images I recently saw on Fractalbook.

Since fractal images overwhelmingly tend to be non-representational, this question of the perceptual influence of titles has more than a passing importance for fractal artists.


Just as kind of context refresher course, here’s what I said three years ago:

Names don’t have to be overly prescriptive. Viewers will still see whatever they prefer. Or, of course, they can categorically resist and deep six any title you’ve labored for hours to concoct.

But names can be like those mannequin torsos found in style shops. They at least provide a working semblance to hang up some preliminary but pricy rags of meanings that viewers might eventually buy.

Names also hint at an image’s "personality" — possibly providing a snapshot of its heuristic psyche.

And that’s where crucial artistic decisions come into play. These critical first impression snapshots often set the ground rules for an image’s tone and mood. Without such delicate pre-viewing preparation, a viewer’s response to your labor of love could be nothing more than a mumbled Huh?

Here we go.  Ten images.  Forty answer options.  Score yourself via the grading grid provided at the end of the post.  You can, of course, find the correct title by clicking on each image to view its source page.  But, as the administrator of this quiz, let me point out that doing so would be cheating.  So.  Do not open your instruction booklets images until instructed to do so.  Begin.


? by gateman45 

? by gateman45.  Seen on Renderosity.

(a)_____The Hand of Orloc
(b)_____Hello, It’s Me
(c)_____Terminator Leftover
(d)_____Rake Roomba

? by Lenord 

? by Lenord.  Seen on Renderosity.

(a)_____Journey to the Center of the Inner Ear
(b)_____Sunrise on Tatooine
(c)_____The Land of the Sandkings
(d)_____Clean-Up on Aisle #9

? by claude19 

? by claude19.  Seen on Renderosity.

(a)_____Death of Blue Beetle
(b)_____Truck with a Hemi Buyer’s Remorse
(c)_____The DRAMA…on the Other Side!!!
(d)_____Postmodern de Kooning Woman

? by Jennyfnf 

? by Jennyfnf.  Seen on Renderosity.

(a)_____Faery Ring
(b)_____Early Morning Poppies
(c)_____Manta Ray Formation
(d)_____Root Rot Begins

? by stereo cyclop 

? by stereo cyclop.  Seen on Renderosity.

(a)_____Go Towards the Light
(b)_____Elf Maid’s Pets
(d)_____Don’t Cry Over Boiled Milk

? by Cov1ous 

? by Cov1ous.  Seen on deviantART.

(a)_____Sea Anemones
(b)_____Silly String Accident
(c)_____Northern Lights in HD
(d)_____Rampant Energy

? by daigian 

? by dagian.  Seen on deviantART.

(b)_____Jack That Meat
(c)_____The Outsider
(d)_____Recursive Doorbell

? by kayandjay100 

? by kayandjay100.  Seen on deviantART.

(a)_____Sunrise on Cassiopeia
(b)_____Cockroach Chorus Line
(c)_____Gone Viral
(d)_____Xtreme Manicure

? by russianlad 

? by russianlad.  Seen on deviantART.


? by eReSaW 

? by eReSaW.  Seen on deviantArt.

(a)_____The Butterfly Effect
(b)_____Mr. Bombastic
(c)_____Bad Dancer
(d)_____Streaming The Fly


This examination is self-graded.  Score yourself according to the following scale:

10 out of 10 — Precog Emeritus
8 out of 10 — Genius Grant Material
6 out of 10 — Lucky Ducky
4 out of 10 — Good Guesser
2 out of 10 — Try Working with the Drugs
0 out of 10 — Stick to Numerical Titles Only



Just want to remind readers again that Orbit Trap does sometimes publish guest posts on fractal art topics.  If you’d like to write something for us, please contact the contributors with a query to orbittrap(AT)ambaka.com.

Although Orbit Trap has no links page, there are some good fractal blogs tucked away on the Internet tubes.  Here are two I enjoy.  Both bloggers are learned about both fractals and art:

Algorithmic Worlds.  Samuel Monnier’s blog.  Technically in the know and on the edge.  Consistently thoughtful and informative.  Great eye for composition and use of design elements.

FractalMix.  Guido Cavalcante’s blog.  Politically savvy — the artist as a witness to history.  Consistently articulate and experimental.  Few in our field know as much about art history and aesthetics.