What is art?
What is art? In the most general sense it is anything that stems from a human’s creative side. If we refine this down to visual arts the most general sense is any art that we can see, excluding performance arts. What we do, whether we call it algorithmic art or fractal art, is poorly defined in the public's understanding. If you do a a survey of the internet looking for definitions of algorithmic art or fractal art, what you will find is something along the lines of (a) images generated by a computer, (b) images generated from fractal equations or (c) mathematically generated images. It is no wonder that with kind of (mis)understanding that algorithmic art has difficulty being accepted by serious purveyors of art. The human element in these perceptions is missing. Anyone who views algorithmic art as something in which you can turn on several computers and let them run to "create" art, is at very best, creating accidental art, not art by design. This does algorithmic art, and all the artists who have spent years learning to use to the tools, a great disservice. Learning the skills of any artistic endeavor requires hard work, practice, discipline and time.
The community of algorithmic artists have available literally thousands of fractal formulas, coloring methods, transformation methods and many types of algorithmic methodologies. To name a few they can chose from escape time, convergent, strange attractors, affine and Möbius transforms, 2 dimensional, and multidimensional formulas. Add to that ray tracing and multidimensional surfaces and the toolkit is vast. And it is still growing! We are at a point in time where we can now realistically create algorithmic art by design.
I am on several private lists that have as one of their goals to critique the art of the list members. Critique of accidental art is of little meaning, because the “artist” has little, if any, way to deal with the analysis, other than making better choices from their “accidents” A true algorithmic artist, who creates by design, can take a critique and change their creation to respond to the analysis. It works. I have seen it happen.
We are at the point now that photography was a few decades ago. This is our challenge. It is in our hands to educate by example, by what we create, to move to that next level of acceptance.