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2009-11-21 Hand-made fractals

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A blog about algorithmic art and fractal aesthetic. Click here to subscribe to the RSS feed.

November 4th 2009

Fractal flags

There are people who blogged several times about the strange (to say the least) idea that fractal art will be taken seriously only after it will start making "bold political and sociological statements". They seem to consider that art can be "serious", whatever it means, only by having a sociological content. There are sufficient examples in the history of art that prove this hypothesis wrong. It may be true that contemporary artworks are more prone to claim a sociological content, but this is not a reason why any artist should feel obliged to go with the flow. I can't say that I often found the "statements" claimed by contemporary works to be very subtle or smart. To make intelligent and refined statements, there is unfortunately often no other solution than writing them clearly in an article or a book. (There are of course exceptions, see this blog post for instance.) Finally, even if artists probably like to think about this differently, the actual power of art as a way to awaken the public on sociological issues is tiny, especially if you compare it to mass media. This stems from the mere fact that it is impossible to diffuse massively an artwork over the time during which its commentary is relevant. (In constrast, I do not doubt that art can reveal in hindsight the political and sociological concerns of a society at a given time in history.)

Independently from this fact, a visual artwork making sociological statement usually needs to be figurative to some extent, and fractal art is anything but figurative. There are of course ways of depicting scenes and concrete objects, but the results are always pretty cheesy (see my old space scenes, for instance...).

So just to contradict myself, let's speak about flags. Flags do have a strong political connotation, and their (often) simple design allows to draw them with purely algorithmic methods. I tried my hand at this. Here is how the swiss and american flags may look like in a fractal world. I chose them maybe because I'm swiss and live in America, but mostly because their designs are interesting, and I'm afraid that any political statement you may get from them will be fictionnary.

20091102, swiss fractal flag.

20091103, american fractal flag.

In case someone would like to try it as well, here is some inspiration.

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