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Images Created by Man & Chaos

Some Personal Observations on Fractal Art & Artists

Images and text by Alan Beck

History is a circle. Those who can penetrate the yawning abyss between incident and destiny read the future from the shape of the past. Thought-forms of the Gothic forged Western civilization out of the Dark Ages. Again and again those forms recur, shuttling from invisibility to plain sight and back, perpetually reminding us of our roots. Fractals mark their latest emergence, and we have only begun to feel their influence.

Reveries (54 k / jpeg)

Today, fractal art is still a curiosity, enjoyed only by a recondite few. This will change. For these strangely haunting images are not merely another fad or school or movement. They are the very mold into which our Western consciousness has been poured, and now, after a thousand years, the whole planet quivers in that same awesome matrix.

Maze (49 k / jpeg)

Fractal art is a graphic vanguard of the irresistible and inexorable current that created our culture ten short centuries ago. Now it is only a shoot, but tomorrow it will be a sapling unfolding its infinite self-similar branches into every nook and cranny of civilized life.

Science and technology testify that Western culture embodies an explorer's heart. Oceanic horizons have become intergalactic and interdimensional. Nothing stops our manifest destiny of consciousness, forever driving outward from the individual to the infinite.

Angelus (50 k / jpeg)

So the fractal artist does not create but explores, does not manufacture but discovers. Instead of being repelled by computers, such adventurers revel in them, as European mariners of old rejoiced in the compass. So thoroughly immersed in their machinery they become an integral part of it, fractal artists are first to know the synthesis of man and machine Western philosophers have long dreamed of but never understood. For the fractal image is the face of chaos, determined at every point yet wholly unpredictable, first-born of reason yet utterly irrational.