Confetti #8

Confetti abstract art 55

At this point, any description seems like stating the obvious. Bigger squares, less chopping, 50% of the canvas is left untouched.

I use the same program, a program I wrote, for both the fractal and the algorithmic art displayed here.

You cannot just sit down and write a program to create an image. Well, you could but it would quickly become a chore and much less fun. There is a lot of mundane overhead beyond the art-algorithm itself. The program needs to know how to color pixels on the screen. My program provides a work area with I create and explore with smaller images. Then when something is ready, it creates a larger, anti-aliased image to publish. It categorizes the image, and saves it to disk. It also saves all the formulas I write for later reuse. I can quickly change parameters for a formula and generate a new image without recompiling. When the code/program part of a formula changes, it compiles the new code without leaving the program.

It is like having a studio with paints, brushes, drop cloth, and with a blank canvas set up and waiting. I tried to design my program like that.

Confetti #6

Confetti abstract art 47

Here is another fractal / confetti hybrid. This works better because the fractal part is deemphasized. You probably recognized the dark potion as a tendril in a typical fractal with smaller branches off to the sides.

Although, in this case, while an improvement over the previous, I think it just adds unnecessary complexity. Layering the confetti mixing algorithm over a simple collection of circles, squares and lines works equally as well, if not better.

Confetti #5

Confetti abstract art 50

I tried to mix the confetti algorithm with the fractal algorithm. I am not pleased with the result. But I am posting it anyway if anyone else was wondering what a (failed) mashup might look like.

The main problem is the confetti algorithm and fractal algorithm have equal influence. The image cannot make up its mind what it is. Often that type of ambiguity is desirable, but it does not work here.

Confetti #4

Confetti abstract art 49

Here I am playing some more with varying the amount of confetti mixing across the image. The function that controls the mixing has become more complex.

A few days ago I called this abstract art and algorithmic art, and implied that it is not fractal art. What is the difference? Why do we need definitions? It is what it is. Feel free to appreciate it (or despise it) without defining it. Classifying it does not change it. Still, classification is an interesting exercise, so let’s go there, gently, with that understanding that it does not actually matter.

Fractal art is algorithmic art since it is generated by an algorithm. Fractal art however is limited to a very specific algorithm. For many fractal artists, that algorithm is written by someone else. Even though I write the program(s) for my fractal art, I follow a recipe that is shared by thousands of fellow fractal artists.

Algorithmic art puts no restrictions on the algorithm. Everything is fair game. And generally every image is generated by a different algorithm. The algorithm itself sits on equal footing with all the other artistic stuff. So I like to reserve algorithmic art for the cases where creating the algorithm itself is a key part process.

I am paranoid that someone will vehemently disagree, and that paranoia drives me to deal with the minutia. First, I in no way intend to diminish the work of fractal artists that use someone else’s program. Discovery and selection an interesting fractal region, then framing it and coloring it is the artistic input. That takes a lot of skill and practice and creativity.

I should say something similar for using a computer rather than a brush and acrylics. Maybe I will save that for another day.

Second, there are no clear boundaries. Many fractal artists soon get bored with z^2+c and start experimenting with other, and increasing exotic, formulas. Most fractal software allow users to write formulas, so there is no limit, it crosses over into general algorithmic art.

Some may consider this image a fractal. I don’t but someone else might. Fractals are sometimes defined as having fractional dimension. I doubt that anyone could compute a Hausdorff dimension for today’s image from the underlying formula/algorithm. But by appearance, it certainly seems to fit the definition. Also the process of repeatedly chopping and shuffling pixels seems fractal in nature.