Confessions of a Fractal Junkie

For the last year, and a good portion of the previous, I’ve been generating fractal images to use as my blog’s artwork, and I’ve noticed that sometimes, the images have a distinctly disturbing feel to them, possibly the result of my Lovecraftian leanings bleeding over into my work.

Interestingly enough, a couple of readers have mentioned an erotic esthetic to some of them, something I personally never noticed until it was pointed out to me.

Maybe I need to date more often, now that I’m single.


But why do I make them? Why make the images in the first place?

Well, lately I’ve been fooling around with different number sequences in my image templates, looking for ways to make them more distinct and responsive to ad hoc adjustments to a template’s formula numerator, to generate different and even better images than before.

It sounds a little woo-ish, but it could be said that it’s not me who makes the images; they seem to create themselves through me, and every image generated is just an attempt at finding things out, exploring the possibilities of the software.

It’s the software which does the actual making. I just tell it what to do.

Most of the time I spend working on them is taken up with clicking on this button or that, zooming in on that part or this part of the editing window, and in tweaking orbit trap settings and formula terms just so I can see what newness I can come up with.

Even after finding out as much as I have, I still consider making the images more art than science, though it’s unequivocally science that allows me to produce them in the first place.

Hands down.

Thank you, Misters Mandelbrot, Halley, Newton, and Julia…

…The fruits of your collective mathematical labors are being well-used on this blog, and much enjoyed in the making.


I suppose the whole exploratory thing about fractal making could be a sort of mindfulness exercise, giving me something to direct my frenetic energies and tendency for mild insomnia to constructive ends, to get my thoughts in order when I’m not blogging, and in a very gratifying way when I occasionally produce an image or set of them that even I wind up liking.

I’m extremely critical of my own stuff, but maybe that’s a good thing; it makes it easier for me to keep my head out of my posterior.

And the more I work with the software, the more I discover, that isn’t so easily described in the user’s manual, useful though that has been.

There’s a world to be discovered in the field of mathematical artwork, for numbers have a unique tendency to form patterns, and these patterns can be noted when real…or conjured out of nowhere when they’re imaginatively imposed on a set of numbers where they do not truly belong.

Sorry, but I’m a skeptic; I don’t go for pseudo-mathematics like numerology.

But the fact that these groupings of numbers can produce such fantastic images amazes me to no end, so continue making them I will, hopefully for years to come.

You don’t have to believe in the paranormal to appreciate beauty, for science and mathematics have an informed and enlightening beauty all their own.

One thought on “Confessions of a Fractal Junkie

  1. Pingback: Mathematical Cabbage « I . D O U B T . I T/

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