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Mysterious abstract art decrypted from chaos that backers can download and print in large format size.
Mysterious abstract art decrypted from chaos that backers can download and print in large format size.
38 backers pledged $2,401 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Faces In Chaos Folio, 2013, R. D. Jansen, Ph.D.

Hello, my name is Bob Jansen, and I am a former research professor who makes abstract art using chaos mathematics instead of brushes and paint.I share my work with backers, who can download my ultra high resolution fractals and print them in large format, e.g. 4 feet by 6 feet, for personal use.

All computer graphics are based on math-like code, programming. In some cases, an analogto digital interface is used, a pen and tablet, for example, so that artists can sketch as though they were using a brush or pen on paper or canvas. My fractal images are not generated like this or like a photograph, but are mathematically extracted from numerical data sets called image planes using a chaotic iterative sampling process that takes many CPU hours.

I use fractals differently than most fractal workers. I am not trying to make a new age zooming kaleidoscopes. I am not even making homage to Benoit Mandelbrot, blessings be upon him, who discovered the dark matter in geometry that Euclid missed. I am basically an experimental artist ruthlessly using the flame fractal algorithm to my own devious aesthetic purposes. Most of my works don’t even look like classic fractals, no obvious self similarities or symmetries. Many look organic, like fantastic animals or even people.

As a former neuroscientist I believe that flame fractals resonate with human perception because our brain, and perhaps consciousness itself, is fractal. 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.

Long before Mandelbrot, ordinary drawing and painting used our eyes and hands to simulate nature, to draw semi random patterns of plants and trees with a brush, rather like television artist Bob Ross makes pine trees and mountain tops. When we realistically draw nature, we are copying fractals.

I have a life long history of investigating how we imagine and perceive images, and how this relates to the fractal shapes in Nature. Early on, as a painter and videographer I used analog methods to generate and record fractal shapes: turbulence, flames, bubbles, flowers, optical feedback loops, etc. I even spent six years as an experimental psychologist at UCSB creating images inside people’s brains by inducing visual hallucinations by means of verbal hypnosis. In a poetic sense, the flame fractal algorithm induces hallucinations inside the mind of a computer using commands it understands.

I give my images “names” because they are grown from a “genome” and are as unique as a person. The titles create a perceptual set in viewers which acts like a strange attractor in consciousness, makes them a pictographic symbol, a hieroglyph. I want people to read my images rather than just regarding them.

Eigenface (Faces folio)
Eigenface (Faces folio)

Faces emerging from Chaos?

Perhaps the most amazing part of rendering flame fractals is the occasional realistic human face that appears to be peeking out at you from behind a lot of chaos.

Medallion (Wildfire folio)
Medallion (Wildfire folio)

It reminds me of the “face” on Mars that UFO enthusiasts say constitutes proof of alien influence.

"Face" on Mars surface
"Face" on Mars surface

To them I say, Phah! I make faces every day simply by crashing non-linear functions into one another. Certainly one Martian face could happen when planetesimals collide for billions of years. Fractals often look like faces, as a matter of fact. Every year some farmer digs up a potato that looks just like George Bush, and for eons people talked about the man in the moon because the fractal surface looked like a smiling face.

Since humans are able to remember about ten thousand faces, it is apparent that we have a special capacity in memory for them. Research on face recognition suggests we use a few dozen prototypes, called eigenfaces, from which we add or subtract details. I have suggested in former projects that the flame fractal algorithm mimics human consciousness itself, both being iterative or reentrant processes that coalesce and converge patterns from apparently random data. The emerging faces from chaos are more evidence of this similarity.

Latent Prints. The algorithm I use to create fractal art repeatedly samples from many non-linear variables which form the confused topography of a 2D image plane. Imagine that each variable is a continent and the artist tectonically pushes them around into and on top of one another.

One of many functions used
One of many functions used

This process forms a dynamical system sensitive to initial conditions so “drawing” in a chaotic environment is unpredictable. Repositioning one non-linear topographic function relative to all the others doesn’t just “paint” a line or blob: It often catastrophically changes everything in the image.

APO grid
APO grid

 Tiny changes can trigger autocatalytic landslides or explosions; conversely, some large movements 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. In addition, colors are added to the attractors in an unusual way, normal for digital graphics actually, but not at all like a conventional painter would do it. Each variable (function) is colorized separately using its gray scale gradient set to the log density of the sampling hits on each pixel. Most image planes have dozens of non-linear functions superimposed, so colors also get mixed up, convoluted inside of each other like flowers, vines and trees in a rain forest. So applying colors via crazy mixed up gradients is quite unusual. It’s like three dimensional parallel process painting using dozens of brushes simultaneously.Like fireworks, the process is controlled, but the fractal devil is always in the details and outcomes are always surprising. That’s what makes it so much fun. Again, very tiny numerical differences can totally change the way an image looks.

Envy (Wildfire folio)
Envy (Wildfire folio)
Envy2
Envy2

This is my sixth Kickstarter project, so many of you are familiar with my work already. Here are links to the previous projects, if you want to read the descriptions or view the images. Links to kickstarter projects:

Wormholehttp://kck.st/Ni4CwV(Scroll down page to view all images)

Warbirdhttp://kck.st/RdpAhE(Scroll down page to view all images)

Darkmanhttp://kck.st/Wx8ag2(Scroll down page to view all images)

Wildfirehttp://kck.st/11HPWLL(Some images on KS page, see Youtube for all images)

Spiderwww.kickstarter.com/projects/1241276222/put-a-silver-spider-on-your-wall

The deal here in this project is the same as usual: you pledge to support my excellent adventures in experimental art and you get reward links to download and print (for personal use only) my latest ultra high resolution flame fractals, usually 10800 x 7200 pixels. As before backers can choose pledge levels with prints as rewards, vinyl or canvas, and I have added transparent plastic PETG as a printing option. This makes suitable fractals into faux stained glass, something new under the sun. Take a look.

PETG transparent print
PETG transparent print

In the past I have offered all my previous folios as rewards on each new Kickstarter project and I am doing so again here. I expect that most backers will choose the new Faces in Chaos folio, but the options are available to choose any other folio or combinations of folios. The reward categories are set up for any one ($25), any two ($50), any three $75, any four $100, any five $125 or all six folios $150. Which folios make up your subset will be taken when surveyed at project’s end.

And backers can still choose any image from any folio for printing on vinyl, canvas or transparent plastic (PETG). When you choose a Kickstarter pledge level that includes a print, you will first receive SkyDrive download links for all of my high resolution digital fractals so that you can make a good choice, which you will name in the follow up survey. In the past I have delivered prints within six weeks of projects end.

Here below are the highly reduced images from the new Faces In Chaos folio. You are viewing about 1% of the pixels that are in the full sized high resolution images.

Eigenface (Faces folio)
Eigenface (Faces folio)
Wedges
Wedges
Quick Brown Fox
Quick Brown Fox
Puff, the Magic Dragon
Puff, the Magic Dragon
Dorothy's Wicked Witch
Dorothy's Wicked Witch
The Incandescent Buddha
The Incandescent Buddha
Entangled
Entangled
Interfaces
Interfaces
A Surprised Ovum
A Surprised Ovum
Owl of Color
Owl of Color
Goldbugs
Goldbugs
A Tisket, a Tasket
A Tisket, a Tasket
Of Paradise
Of Paradise
Detail of Paradise
Detail of Paradise
Mitocondrion
Mitocondrion
Nude
Nude
Point Conception
Point Conception
Axon
Axon
Envy2
Envy2
Blue Shoulders
Blue Shoulders
White Russian
White Russian
Beaks
Beaks
New Collision
New Collision
Brilliance
Brilliance

Risks and challenges

Generating ultra high resolution fractals involves many technical difficulties and printing large format many more, especially in color fidelity. Since this is my sixth Kickstarter project involving this process, these problems have all been addressed, although I am still perplexed with certain aspects of color management and profiles. Lifelong learning, as we used to say.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    One Jansen entire folio, usually 25 images, downloadable from SkyDrive, ultra high resolution fractal art which can be printed any size for personal use only. Choose which folio you want when surveyed at projects end. There are now six folios: 1. Faces in Chaos, 2. Silver Spider, 3. Wildfire, 4. Darkman, 5. Warbirds, 6. Wormhole. See folio images on previous R.D.Jansen Kickstarter projects or on YouTube videos.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Any two Jansen folios, about 50 images, downloadable from Skydrive, ultra high resolution fractal art which can be printed any size for personal use only. Chose which folios you want when surveyed at projects end. See folio images on previous Jansen Kickstarter projects or on You Tube.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Any three Jansen folios, about 75 images, downloadable from Skydrive, ultra high resolution fractal art which can be printed any size for personal use only. Chose which folios you want when surveyed at projects end. See folio images on previous Jansen Kickstarter projects or on You Tube.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Any four Jansen folios, about 100 images, downloadable from Skydrive, ultra high resolution fractal art which can be printed any size for personal use only. Chose which folios you want when surveyed at projects end. See folio images on previous Jansen Kickstarter projects or on You Tube.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Any five Jansen folios, about 125 images, downloadable from Skydrive, ultra high resolution fractal art which can be printed any size for personal use only. Chose which folios you want when surveyed at projects end. See folio images on previous Jansen Kickstarter projects or on You Tube.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    All six Jansen folios, about 150 images, downloadable from Skydrive, ultra high resolution fractal art which can be printed any size for personal use only. See folio images on previous Jansen Kickstarter projects or on You Tube.

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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    18x27 inch museum quality print on adhesive vinyl. Chose any image from any folio. Shipped rolled in tube. Dimensions adjusted to equal print area if not 2/3 proportion. All print pledges include all (150) downloads on SkyDrive.

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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    18x27 inch high definition print on transparent .03 PETG plastic medium, in effect a stained glass fractal suitable for a light box or window placement. Recommended you chose a brighter image from any folio. Shipped rolled in tube. Dimensions adjusted to equal print area if not 2/3 proportion. All print pledges include all (150) downloads on SkyDrive.

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    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    18x27 inch museum quality print on brilliant canvas, with 2 inch mirror borders ready for stretching. Chose any image from any folio. Shipped rolled in tube. Dimensions adjusted to equal print area if not 2/3 proportion. All print pledges include all (150) downloads on SkyDrive.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    36x54 inch museum quality print on adhesive vinyl. Chose any image from any folio. Shipped rolled in tube. Dimensions adjusted to equal print area if not 2/3 proportion. All print pledges include all (150) downloads on SkyDrive.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    36x54 inch museum quality print on brilliant canvas, with 2 inch mirror borders ready for stretching. Chose any image from any folio. Shipped rolled in tube. Dimensions adjusted to equal print area if not 2/3 proportion. All print pledges include all (150) downloads on SkyDrive.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    48x72 inch museum quality print on adhesive vinyl. Chose any image from any folio. Shipped rolled in tube. Dimensions adjusted to equal print area if not 2/3 proportion. All print pledges include all (150) downloads on SkyDrive.

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    48x72 inch museum quality print on brilliant canvas, with 2 inch mirror borders ready for stretching. Chose any image from any folio. Shipped rolled in tube. Dimensions adjusted to equal print area if not 2/3 proportion. All print pledges include all (150) downloads on SkyDrive.

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Funding period

- (45 days)