About this project
Hello, I am Dr. Bob Jansen. As a visual artist I have long been interested in abstract art and various unusual methods to design and produce it. Originally I liked to paint and trowel abstracts in acrylics on canvas and was always interested in methods that could be used in the process. I dribbled paint onto rotating canvases. I rode a bicycle on canvases leaving tracks of color. I dropped paint onto canvases from second story windows. I even tried loading shotshells with paint. By the mid 1980’s I was experimenting with video feedback loops, aiming analog video cameras into their own monitor and varying orientation, focus and color controls, sometimes placing various gratings into the loop by inserting them between the camera and monitor. These video feedback loops were actually (light speed!) iterative function systems, and produced fractal like images, which I discussed with Benoit Mandelbrot at the time. Unfortunately, video recording systems were primitive at the time, low resolution raster analog tape on reels, which did not translate well into the 1080i digital age.
Scott Draves’ flame fractal algorithm provided me with better choices than any previous methods. Most of the image manipulations possible in algorithmic composition are not available in traditional painting at all. Highly detailed changes are immediate. I can populate and distort the image plane with any number of non-linear functions, move them around and watch them interact like colliding galaxies. I can explore these new universes, zoom in on any part, blow it up, turn it to any angle, twist it and flex it, draw it out to impossible thinness, mutate it by varying it slightly or randomly. The entire color pallet can be changed, instantly, any number of times. The complexity and detail possible in a design is just amazing. I just couldn’t do anything remotely like that working with paint and brushes. And you don’t have to know anything about computers or chaos theory to appreciate the effects of these powerful new techniques.
But this Kickstarter project is not directly about creating those fantastic designs. I have been designing and rendering them for years. This project is about making them more visible and enjoyable by printing them in very large sizes. Getting the Big Picture, so to speak.
Why print large? Fractals have generally not been printed any larger than ordinary 8.5 by 11 inch printers can make them. Fractals that small are interesting, but they lack the emotional punch of wall size abstracts. Anyone who has ever visited a modern art gallery knows how much of the impact of an abstract painting is due to sheer size. Imagine how unimpressive Jackson Pollock’s works would be if he had made them 8.5 by 11 inches in size. But abstract paintings in wall size take your breath away; they knock your socks off. So my project aims to print my intricate fractal designs so large that it will seem that you have a wormhole entrance in your living room.
This has not been done yet simply because artists are generally poor and to print very large is expensive. Plus you need to have digital images with ultra high resolution. Luckily, there is no limit to fractal resolution: definition continues to increase with the number of iterations. But the minimum resolution needed for really large prints, say 4 by 6 feet, takes dozens of computer hours to render each image, even at three million pixels per second. But the result is dazzling, and worth the wait.
However, once you have rendered a sufficiently detailed digital image, printing in large format is not so easy either. Printing is really the final part of the artistic process, and requires serious professional attention. Machines and inks vary greatly and color and light sensitive images require skill and hands on adjustments to get them to look like they do on a backlit monitor screen, which is a completely different display system. To create a tough color fast surface that will last for many decades special pigment inks must be used and printed onto canvas or Vinyl. Of course, framing is a matter of taste and pocketbook. You can spend hundreds on a frame alone. But when you are done, you have a wall sized piece of abstract art that can rival anything you might see in an art museum. Visitors will be awe struck, have no idea what they are viewing, and when kids see them and hear how they were made, they will want to major in chaos math.
I would like to print one of these attractors for public gallery or museum display, and I would like to share the experience with all the nerds of the world who would like to have an immense patch of beautiful chaos hanging on their wall. I can’t provide every donor with a wall sized print, but I can provide them with my digital JPEGs that have sufficient resolution so that they can print their own large format versions. Donors might own or have access to a large format printer or they could simply use a professional print shop, like I am doing. The hard part is creating and rendering the ultra high resolution JPEG, and I will already have done that. (Important note: Donors should pre-test and calibrate the colors that are printed. Different printers and different inks will often result in a different look or hue. A good printer will be able to adjust the printing system to better match the appearance of the jpeg on a backlit screen.)
This project budget is limited to the cost of printing one large “painting”. It does not include the cost of creating and rendering the attractors themselves and does not involve buying printing hardware or software. I have obtained firm estimates for color calibration, solvent-based ink printing on a top of the line Mutoh large format printer system. I want to make a canvas print 48 X 72 inch (24 square feet). My budget for printing on canvas plus framing is $650.
My video shows the attractors which will be made available to donors via a password protected web download.
For $10 and $25 donors: For the big prints I have been talking about you need high resolution digital images, called JPEGs. Once you have the super high resolution jpeg, you can print huge images on any large format printer.
$25 donors will receive all (15) of the high definition JPEG attractors in the video, which will allow them to make their own huge prints if they so desire, or to make as many razor sharp smaller prints as they want.
$10 donors will receive 5 JPEGs.
They can also easily make an awesome slide show for any computer or big screen TV. These huge jpegs will be password downloadable on the web (at SendYourFiles.com). These JPEGs are museum quality high definition images. Best of all, each image is utterly unique, and a new art form entirely devoted to bringing chaos into the world.
Timelines for the project. Project goal amount, $650. Time limit for the project 60 days. Donors will receive their password downloadable JPEGs, within a week after funds are released to me. Once the project total amount is reached completion of large format printing and framing will depend only on the printer’s schedule, well within one week. As soon as it is finished I will immediately put photos of the finished large format work on my Facebook page. Gallery owners are encouraged to contact me regarding display of this work.
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- (60 days)