About this project
Put a Silver Spider on your wall!
Mysterious fractal art which backers can download to make huge prints.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (45 days)