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Mysterious Fractal Art in ultra high resolution: backers can download and make huge wall sized prints.
Mysterious Fractal Art in ultra high resolution: backers can download and make huge wall sized prints.
113 backers pledged $7,457 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$7,457

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Put a Silver Spider on your wall!

Mysterious fractal art which backers can download to make huge prints. 

Robert D. Jansen, Ph.D.
Robert D. Jansen, Ph.D.

Hello, my name is Bob Jansen. I am an ex-professor and experimental artist who uses iterative chaos math to create awesome ultra high resolution flame fractals, which my backers can download as rewards. They have stunning detail, and are designed to be printed very large, wall sized.

There is something about the half-randomness and the exquisite detail of fractal art that is inherently pleasing to the mind’s eye. Far better than the straight lines and perfect circles of Euclid, fractal geometry captures the underlying structure of Nature, (see Benoit Mandelbrot’s seminal book, The Fractal Geometry of Nature).Indeed, as a professional neuroscientist, it seems to me that iterative algorithmic fractals are crude computer simulations of the reentrant neural mapping process that is the essence of human consciousness itself. Dreams in silico, perhaps.

The algorithmic image synthesizer I use to create fractal art is a difficult instrument to play. Repeatedly sampling from the interacting non-linear variables which form the topography of a 2D image plane forms a chaotic system sensitive to initial conditions.

One non-linear iterative function
One non-linear iterative function
Interacting functions image plane
Interacting functions image plane

Repositioning one non-linear transform relative to all the others doesn’t just “paint” a line or blob: It often catastrophically changes everything in the image: tiny changes can trigger autocatalytic landslides or explosions; conversely, some large changes do almost nothing. The artist can’t rely on pure randomness to do the compositional work either: the state space is just too large and full of ugly. A meat brain seems necessary for selecting beauty peaks in silico.

High resolution strange attractors often look like surreal landscapes filled with beautiful monsters. A large floating mask, a strange bird, or busy little mutants look perfectly natural in the context of their own synthetic environment. Viewers get the feeling that things could not be any other way.

Mask2 Detail Spider folio
Mask2 Detail Spider folio

No matter how weird or fantastic they are, fractal creatures and landscapes have a fascinating believable quality, a coherent internal validity.

Deeply fascinating, flame fractals resonate with human perception and appeal to almost everyone. Fractal images, especially asymmetric flame fractals, make excellent projective tests, better, even, than the mirror-symmetric ink blots that made Hermann Rorschach famous. But more importantly, fractals represent one of the few unequivocal bright spots in a world where math and science are increasingly depicted as dangerous, boring, or silly.Scientists understand and appreciate the mathematical elegance that lies within their disciplines. But fractals can show that inherent elegance to those with no math or scientific training at all. Fractals make mathematics not only visible but awesomely beautiful.

VooDoo, Spider Folio
VooDoo, Spider Folio

The classical landscape artists like Turner, Monet or Renoir did their best to evoke the “awesome wonder of nature”, the Sublime, a spiritual or animistic essence they thought emanated from Nature. Fractal works seem to evoke the same “awesome wonder” even though they are purely mathematical in origin.

Under My Skin, from Spider Folio
Under My Skin, from Spider Folio

For more technical descriptions of the flame fractal process look up flame fractal in Wikipedia or see my earlier projects on Kickstarter. You can also use these links to see the images in these folios, (just scroll down to the bottom of the kickstarter page) which are being offered as additional rewards for pledges for the present Spider folio.

Kickstarter Wildfire http://kck.st/11HPWLL 

Wildfire on YouTube :  http://youtu.be/S0HM3hR03f8

Kickstarter Warbird http://kck.st/RdpAhE

Warbird on YouTube: http://youtu.be/jmEkDseMoc0W

Kickstarter Wormhole http://kck.st/Ni4CwV

Kickstarter Darkmanhttp://kck.st/Wx8ag2

With so many highly detailed elements spread out over a large area, fractal “landscapes”, reminiscent of Hieronymus Bosch, are particularly well suited to large format printing. They also lend themselves well to cropping and making smaller prints of details, and I have included some of the cropped smaller images in the download folder.

My Kickstarter projects use donations to sustain my experimental art, which involves research, labor and computer resources as well as eventual printing. I run a new Kickstarter project when I have generated a new folio of images which need to be professionally printed in large format for gallery display. I have found that a 45 day campaign is best with a modest $600 goal. That gallery printing cost is convenient to use as my goal amount but most of my project costs occur before printing, during the creative process itself.Backers are supporting that entire creative process.

I share the digital images in my latest folio (in this case, called the Spider folio) with backers, who can print their own personal use copies in large or small format. Rewards can also include museum quality vinyl prints in various sizes. See the rewards section for details. Backers can choose to receive previous folios or images, using the links above to view them.

Here below are “thumbnail” versions of the Silver Spider folio. HD computer screens (1080x720) can display only 1% of the source pixels (usually 10800x7200), similar to viewing a high resolution print from about 30 feet.

Silver Spider, from Spider Folio
Silver Spider, from Spider Folio
Mask2, Spider folio
Mask2, Spider folio
Court of the Sun King, Spider Folio
Court of the Sun King, Spider Folio
Tapestry, from Spider folio
Tapestry, from Spider folio
Blue Ducks, Spider Folio
Blue Ducks, Spider Folio
Sailing Pink Eternity, from Spider Folio
Sailing Pink Eternity, from Spider Folio
Green Friends from Spider Folio
Green Friends from Spider Folio
Many Fine Suns, from Spider Folio
Many Fine Suns, from Spider Folio
Outgassing, from Spider Folio
Outgassing, from Spider Folio
Chance Caught on the Wing, from Spider Folio
Chance Caught on the Wing, from Spider Folio
Approaching a Fitness Peak, from Spider Folio
Approaching a Fitness Peak, from Spider Folio
Many Fine Red Suns, from Spider folio
Many Fine Red Suns, from Spider folio
Synapse, from Spider Folio
Synapse, from Spider Folio
Bruised Dawn, from Spider Folio
Bruised Dawn, from Spider Folio
Under My Skin, from Spider Folio
Under My Skin, from Spider Folio
Confused Accretion, from Spider Folio
Confused Accretion, from Spider Folio
Confused Detail 1, from Spider Folio
Confused Detail 1, from Spider Folio
Confused Detail 2, from Spider Folio
Confused Detail 2, from Spider Folio
The Plumed Hornet, from Spider Folio
The Plumed Hornet, from Spider Folio
VooDoo, from Spider Folio
VooDoo, from Spider Folio
Merely Players, from the Spider Folio
Merely Players, from the Spider Folio
Mask Detail 2, from Spider Folio
Mask Detail 2, from Spider Folio
Mask2 Detail, Spider Folio
Mask2 Detail, Spider Folio
Blue Encounter
Blue Encounter
Iridescence
Iridescence

Risks and challenges

Rendering very large fractal art involves many difficulties, some technical, some artistic. Image file sizes are unusually large, which makes for some handling difficulties. For example, the cloud site I use for rewards, SkyDrive, cannot display images larger than 100 mb, although it downloads them fine. Fractal software is open source, and has many problems. Rendering times are often many hours long. Printing large format is an entire universe of difficulties, from color balance to media limitations. Shipping prints to backers in tough tubes results in damaged goods on rare occasion. I ask that backers photograph the damage, since I insure the prints. However, since this is my fifth Kickstarter project, I have learned to deal with all these problems effectively.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Download all the ultra high resolution digital PNG image files in one Jansen folio. Choose the new Spider folio, or any one of the previous folios, Wormhole, Warbird, Darkman, or Wildfire. Print any size for personal use only. (Commercial uses must be licensed with the artist.) I will survey backers for their folio choice at the campaign’s end, and will then email the matching Skydrive link to them.

    In order to choose folios or images, backers can view the previous Jansen Kickstarter projects:

    Wildfire http://kck.st/11HPWLL,

    Warbird http://kck.st/RdpAhE,

    Wormhole http://kck.st/Ni4CwV

    Darkman http://kck.st/Wx8ag2

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Download any two Jansen folios, choices will be surveyed at project’s end.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Download any three Jansen folios, choices will be surveyed at project’s end.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Download any four Jansen folios, choices will be surveyed at project’s end.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Download all five Jansen folios, (131 images) Skydrive links will be emailed immediately upon project completion.

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    4 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Museum quality vinyl print, 18”x 27” size (or equivalent print area if not exactly 2/3 proportion). Non-solvent ink on matte vinyl with removable (“post-it”) adhesive (medium is called “Jarhead”). Choose any image from any folio. This pledge level includes all 131 digital downloads from all folios extant.

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    8 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Museum quality vinyl print 36” x 54” size (or equivalent print area if not 2/3 proportioned). Non-solvent ink on matte vinyl , Jarhead vinyl medium with removable adhesive, Choose any image from any folio. This pledge level includes all 131 of the digital downloads from all folios.

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    7 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Museum quality Canvas print 36” x 54” size (or equivalent print area if not 2/3 proportioned). Non-solvent ink on brilliant canvas with a 2 inch mirror border ready for stretching. Shipped rolled in a tough tube. Choose any image from any folio. This pledge level includes all 131 of the digital downloads from all folios.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Gallery quality vinyl print, 48” x 72” size (or equivalent print area if not 2/3 proportioned). Non-solvent ink on matte vinyl , Jarhead vinyl medium with removable adhesive, Shipped rolled in a tough tube. Choose any image from any folio. This pledge level includes all 131 of the digital downloads from all folios.

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    2 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    Gallery quality canvas print, 48” x 72” size (or equivalent print area if not 2/3 proportioned). Non-solvent ink on brilliant canvas, with 2 inch mirror border, ready for stretching, shipped rolled in a tough tube. Choose any image from any folio. This pledge level includes all 131 of the digital downloads from all folios.

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Funding period

- (45 days)