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.