Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Classic Fractal Art by Jock Cooper

fractal-81786 by Jock Cooper (click for full-size image)

I've reviewed Jock Cooper before. But for those artists who are multi-talented, I simply have to have multiple reviews. Previously I reviewed Jock Cooper the Innovator; the artist who created surreal machines and leading edge fractal animation in full multimedia. This time it's Jock Cooper the Old Master; the Spiral-angelo of Fractal Art.

If you visit Jock's website fractal-recursions.com, the artwork of his I'm referring to here is what he has labelled his Traditional Gallery. Traditional -- yes, but not cliche or stereotypical. I would simply call it Classical Fractal Art just as music has a Classical category to it.

What I like about these works (and almost all of them exhibit the same appealing characteristics) is simply their fractal-ness. The fractal patterns and structures are enhanced by Jock's extreme skill in coloring and excellent eye for composition. Although there are a whopping 904 images in this section of Jock's gallery, there are very few that aren't of high quality. I had a very hard time finding a few to present as the finest examples because there's simply so many equally good ones there.

fractal-91581 by Jock Cooper (click for full-size image) I would rename this, "Octopus With Monocle"

Although I cringe when entering an Ultra Fractal gallery because it usually means witnessing artwork that has undergone death by a thousand layers, Jock's images rely on the visual power of the fractal algorithms themselves and that's why I think he's been able to produce such great quantity and still maintain such great quality. Jock embellishes and enhances the fractal imagery but lets it keep it's natural form and architecture. It sounds simple, but there's very few fractal artists like Jock who seem to be able to do this or for that matter, even try. Jock's work is a great tribute to what Ultra Fractal can do when used creatively instead of imitatively.

The coloring is often astounding. No doubt due in part to Ultra Fractal's sophisticated coloring methods as well as Jock's expertise in working them. Glowing but subtle; metallic but not cheap and shiny; colorful but never garish; refined but not bland; classy but not pretentious; muted but still energetic; classical yet new and different.

I noticed something else while browsing the entire collection from beginning to end; Jock wasn't always the Spiral-angelo that he is today. If you view the galleries in sequential order you'll see the development of Jock's style over the years and gain some appreciation for the fact that just like every other form of art, fractal art gets better when people practise it longer and get comfortable with experimentation.

fractal-728j3780 by Jock Cooper (click for full-size image)

I think if you wanted to introduce someone to the wonders of fractal art and not just to some flashy eye-candy, you couldn't go wrong by directing them to Jock Cooper's Traditional Gallery. The intensity of detail; the wild, unleashed creativity of fractal math; the broad panoramas; and the delightful shock of stumbing on an alien world -- all these themes that traditionally characterized Fractal Art are vividly represented here. So whether you're new to the whole Fractal Art world or someone who thinks they've seen it all, if you haven't checked out Jock's Traditional Gallery then you're in for a great discovery -- or re-discovery -- of Fractal Art in it's classical style.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Of Calendars and Kings: Avalanche Publishing and the Fractal Universe Calendar

An out of date villain?

And he's not even joking.

[Cover seen at Comic Coverage.]

i can't believe this is still an issue.

--Michael Faber, comment on wedreamincolor

If if [sic] means anything to anybody, the contract between the Publisher and Editor will not be changed.
--Panny Brawley, FUC Editor, comment on Ken Childress' blog, 3-16-08

I feel your pain, Michael. I, too, would enjoy writing on more exciting and expansive subjects than...calendars. But, come the New Year, as anyone can see, the Fractal Universe Calendar (FUC) will be engaging in business as usual. As long as this enterprise continues to hold its annual contest in the manner it currently does, then Orbit Trap will just have to continue pointing out FUC's lack of professionalism and apparent preferential treatment.

And, really, am I the one talking about it? The one paragraph mention of FUC I made in my last post resulted in:
1) a short story length defense from 2009 FUC editor Keith Mackay.
2) a novel length repetitive screed from anti-OT blogger and Avalanche Publishing apparent spokesperson Ken Childress.
3) multiple comments from the individuals above and other FUC-loving parties.

There's really no point in re-addressing recycled objections in detail. The fact that these folks have an agenda and a stake in preserving the status quo should be obvious to any reasonable person. Besides, a review of OT's archive will illustrate that Tim and I have already returned every volley. No need to beat a dead (sea)horse.

Instead, here's a nutshell capsule of how to redo the FUC and run it professionally. Try these iterations, and we'll be happy to move on to other issues.

Stop All the Secrecy

Any contest worth its salt will be completely transparent in its operation. The FUC is shut tight. The editor (Brawley) and the publisher (Avalanche Publishing) have yet to answer a single question to any of the multiple inquiries Orbit Trap has made. Why should any of the following information remain under wraps? Who are the final judges? Don't the contestants even have a right to know who is passing judgment on them? How many additional images can editors submit to the final cut? What are the names of all past editors? What percentage of works selected for all past calendars was art by either a current or past editor? How many selections from past calendars were directly solicited by Avalanche Publishing and were not chosen from the competition -- and what are the names of those solicited? What safeguards are in place to prevent conflicts of interests -- like editors screening in their friends, or current/former students, or even themselves? Why are signatures allowed on submitted images rather than using blind judging protocols? And why are you hiding from such questions?

Pay Your Editors Properly

You know. With money. Not by including their own work. This is bad form from the start. No one is arguing the editors don't work hard or shouldn't be paid. So fork over the cash, Avalanche Publishing -- but keep your initial round judges out of the competition they are screening. Such a process raises inherent risks of conflict of interest. No one should have a free pass if you are running a legitimate contest -- least of all someone doing the judging. The Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Contest also needs to learn this same lesson.

Pick a Format and Stick to It

Are you running a contest or not? You seem to be. You ask for open submissions, screen out applicants, create a pool of finalists, and pick the winning selections from among the finalists using a panel. That sounds like a contest. Oh. But wait. You also reserve the right to ask for submissions directly from artists. That sounds more like an invitational process of direct solicitation. If I was a contestant, I'd be annoyed that all artists are not created equal here. Apparently, there's an elite, royal class than can bypass the competition by being given a key to the back door. Why are you doing this? Is it to make the FUC contest/invitational appear to be completely juried (and thus more prestigious) when it actually isn't? This is a trick the BMFAC picked up and led to its exhibition becoming half comprised of its own judges. Knock it off. Please. Pick one or the other. Either run a professional contest using standard protocols. Or solicit all submissions directly from fractal artists.

The Numbers Add Up to Preferential Treatment

Stop insulting our intelligence. By OT's calculations, just over 40% of the images appearing in the Fractal Universe Calendar from 2004-2008 were the work of just four people -- all former or current editors. That's quite a coincidence for an unbiased selection process. Something's wrong. Fix it. Stop letting the editors in. Or stop soliciting from the same people (like Linda Allison) year after year. Or, preferably, both.

And that's it. No more having your cake and eating it, too. Do these simple, conventional things, and I will stop worrying and gladly move on to other kinder, gentler topics. And, most importantly, Michael's belief system will be fully restored.


Hey, kids. Did you know that Orbit Trap posts are now available in high-definition on Blu-Ray? Order* yours today and see what you've been missing. Deleted scenes. Making of Orbit Trap documentaries. Fuzzy webcam bootlegs of Tim and me planning a fractal apocalypse while laughing maniacally. Blooper reel (gems like "Welcome back to Obituary Trip and -- oh shi -- can we take that again?). All this and so much more with OT HD. In fact, here's an exclusive sneak peek at the deleted scenes from today's post that had to be cut due to time constraints. Roll it:

The Crush That Crushes

Wedreamincolor contributor and phone book image advocate, Dzeni, made the following remarks on both Childress' and Mackay's blog:

As for OT, they are like a bad train smash. Can't look at it, can't look away either. They have flamed me often enough that I suspect Terry has a crush on me and has not yet worked through it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it :)

Happily married. Sorry. Not that my first requirement for a soul mate wouldn't be obsessive-compulsive vote-spamming.

Break Out the OT Black Ops

Somebody finally makes some cogent comments over at Childress' blog like

Maybe it is your obvious hatred for that blog [Orbit Trap] that causes you to argue more emotionally than logically.

and former heckler WelshWench immediately senses a rat and says in her best Secret Agent voice:

I smell a sock puppet.

Yes, of course. It couldn't possibly be that a person would thoughtfully disagree with someone of Childress' rhetorical skills. It has to be a conspiracy theory. For the sake of deflating the espionage, I suggest Childress simply check his stats. I'm sure he knows when either of us at OT drop in. And, besides, why would I bother to bury a comment there when I can put it in a post here (like I'm doing now) and reach twenty times the audience?

I Smell a Guest Post in Our Future

Here's Childress warming up to my style found in a passage I penned last post:

I guess it must take a professional writer to come up with such a nauseating sentence of the magnitude of that last one. My young daughters can write better than that.

I'm going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing I, too, would prefer their writing to his.

Remedial Math for Idiots

Here's Mackay schooling me:

Speaking of idiots, the equation 400+200=600 is too complicated for Terry Wright.


I have two images in the 2009 calendar. One is on the cover. The publisher pays an extra $200 for cover images, so that is $200 for one image plus $200 for the other one plus $200 for one of those images to be on the cover. That's 200+200+200=600, or (200+200)+200=600, or 400+200=600. I'm not sure that Wright has the brain power to comprehend this complex math so if he has access to a first grader he might ask him for help.

Maybe Childress' daughters could tutor me? And, actually, the equation I'd like you, as the 2009 editor, to solve and then explain is why 40% of the FUC images from 2004-2008 were culled from just four past or present editors. Get back to me when you've worked out a satisfactory answer to that particular problem.

Speaking of the Either/Or Fallacy

Hi. Keith Mackay's phone here. Keith can't answer because he has zero bars on this blog. That means he never got the call to think twice about making this statement:

The publisher always has the final say. A conflict of interest cannot and does not happen. By agreement between the editor and publisher, the publisher is required to include one image from the editor in the final cut. That's how the editor is paid. The editors do not decide which of their own images are to be included in the final cut. Terry Wright is full of crap on this one and anyone who buys into his conflict of interest/self jury theory is an idiot.

Being an idiot, let me spell it out slowly for Keith. Paying. An. Editor. In. This. Manner. Creates. A. Conflict. Of. Interest. Screeners or editors here are indeed judges. They are judging the first round and determining what the final judges (whoever they are) will see and choose. A judge's work should not be mixed with contestants' entries that he or she has judged. And, in the case of FUC, judges have a state of affairs where multiple images of theirs (like Mackay in 2009) can somehow be included. The judges are obviously still in the pool even after their compensation has been factored. How does such a double bonus occur unless additional, uncompensated work by the judges is included among the finalists?

Want to avoid such conflicts of interest? Pay your judges but keep them out of the winner's circle.

Run That Sucker Like a Business

Childress, again, apparently acting, again, as spokesperson for Avalanche Publishing:

But, if you are striving to make a living, then you have to appeal to your market. That may be altering what you really want to do. But, that is what any business that wants to succeed must do.

The context here is considering one's audience, but the subtext cuts both ways. Childress has argued before that Avalanche Publishing (or any business) has the right to do whatever they want to succeed. And if what they do looks and smells wrong, then we've argued OT and others have every right to ask questions and expect answers. Childress forgets OT has an audience, too. And it's more interested in fair fractal contests than numbers of calendars shipped.

It seems the publishers have also not considered OT's audience. Here's a little run-it-like-a-business brainstorming for Avalanche Publishing. Google yourself. Go ahead. Try it. We did. Here's what we saw. Let's make a list and check it twice (as of this post):
1. Avalanche Publishing home page.
2. Amazon site featuring Avalanche Publishing products.
3. MSN Shopping site for Avalanche Publishing.
4. Orbit Trap.

Your heuristic results may vary. Or maybe OT will jump up a slot or two once Christmas passes. Here's the point, Avalanche Publishing. Orbit Trap gets multiple hits daily from Google searches of your company. And what's one of the first things those potential artists and customers read as they formulate opinions about your company and all of your products? The answer is: Orbit Trap's accounts of your ongoing handling of the Fractal Universe Calendar. And it looks like OT's writers will have to compose more blog posts and letters and forum comments and the like again in 2009. I don't need an MBA to see how this situation looks on a balance sheet when you run the potential consequences through your bottom line.

*OT in HD not currently available to our Earth-dwelling readers. To extra-terrestrial subscribers: Write us for details using the envelope icon to your right.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another Scammy Contest, Or Just A Little Fun?

Chrimbo-Tree by twinbee posted to Fractalforums.com

"Cash prize has swelled from $10 to $20 now"

"Yes, there's prizes. However, to be eligible, I need at least 2 entries."

"Prizes include...

...Brand new optical illusions I created myself (I usually charge for these from my site)...

...Lifetime subscription to MegaDJ. This will only be useful if you have Mediamonkey, but it is the best music player...

...Access to the full music from my music CD - Eclipse of Mars - a slightly acquired taste...

...Permanent free access to MIDI Transform ... and Stereoptica ... These two are currently almost free, but they possibly won't be with the next versions..."

All quotations from Fractalforums.com announcement

Oh, Be Joyful

At first glance (that's a legal term...) it appears to be nothing more than just a friendly social event for the members of Fractalforums initiated by one of it's cheerful members. The Christmassy theme (and the inability of contestants to stick to it) and the small, token prizes -- it's the sort of holiday get-together that's being repeated in, no doubt, hundreds of other places on the Internet or in local art groups and schools offline.

I can't quite figure out the prizes. But I guess that just adds to the homespun feeling of this little holiday "compo". The winner (chosen by twinbee, I guess) gets all of the stuff on the list? Or just gets to choose one item?

The $20 is pretty simple to figure out. All you need is a Paypal account to receive it and that's fairly simply to get. If you've ever bought anything on Ebay, you've probably got one already.

The website for the company that sells the media player and it's "lifetime" membership says it's worth about $50 which is substantially more than the cash award (assuming you have to chose one or the other). I'm assuming that you aren't just going to get someone else's lifetime registration code by email which is already bouncing around the Net. I'm sure the media player people have set things up to prevent that anyhow.


It's no big deal if twinbee wants to advertise his website Skytopia.com. If that's the case (and my sneaking suspicion is that's what this holly, jolly contest is all about) it's only costing him $50 at the most (the media player). Most likely the winner will opt for the $20 cash once they figure out how to receive money with Paypal instead of just paying someone with it.

I visited Skytopia.com (another plug for the hard working twinbee) and it's certainly a rather colorful place. And the man knows how to program stuff -- programmers never get enough respect.

And he likes the old fashioned computer music... (I never realized how advanced the Commodore 64 was at it's time).

The Moral of the Story

"Moral" as in lesson or message of the story. (In case you think I'm suggesting anyone's done something dirty or sleazy here.) Many contests are deliberately set up to be self-serving publicity stunts to directly benefit the contest organizers themselves and only pretend to promote the art form that they claim to represent.

I'm not talking about mere sponsorship; sponsors pay the expenses and advertise their logo or products in association with the contest. It's just another form of advertising for the sponsors and one which isn't always the best deal for them either (because the main event isn't about them).

Many contests only pretend to promote the interests of their associated art form. The Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Contest and the Fractal Universe Calendar being prime examples of this. Watch out for those and don't be a sucker. As for twinbee's Chimbo Tree event; it's just some light hearted fun by a guy (and his favorite online forum) who just wants to share his varied computer arts hobbies with a few more people than he did last year at... Skytopia.com.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Holiday Road Trip

Road Trip

How much further or at least self-similar?

[Image seen on a-line skirt.]

Hi kids. Time to pile into the OT station wagon and take that holiday trip out on the fractal art information highway. Let's see who's in mood for giving or receiving this year.

Forget that blurred Autobahn scenery. We taking our time lounging on the sleepy two-lanes and checking out Fractalbooker small towns.


Just two contributors on the face page. Dzeni is definitely in the mood to receive -- especially eager for your votes to push her up the snowy slopes. Your call-to-action clicking will place her higher in phone book cover contests. And, in return, presumably, she re-gifts you with her vote the next time you enter a contest sponsored by a utility company.

Keith, though, has been having a blue Christmas for going on a month. A fractal apocalypse is upon us, and there's no rapture bail-out forthcoming. He says his interest in fractal art "is all but gone" and observes that most web haunts are "quiet," "falling apart," and "it seems like everyone has stopped talking about fractal art." He then says:

I wonder if we are in a fractal art recession -- that maybe the fractal bubble has burst. Maybe fractal art is fading out. Or maybe it's just me.

I know. You want snark. You expect me to say something like: Right. Don't delete your Fractal 401K galleries from Fractalbooking sites just yet. Sorry, Keith, it's just you. But...

...but, well, maybe it isn't. I admit feeling glum sometimes when driving through most Fractalbook truck stops. There's a certain sameness of expression and artistic interior design. It's pervasive -- like a chain restaurant. Is it because the most popular programs produce stepped-on variations of a set number of programmed patterns? Has the old superstition of clinging to fractal program containment for tool-testing purity ended up in a cul-de-sac? How much fractal art is produced with the wall in mind rather than the monitor (or, worse, for a "friend's" compliment hug)?

Like Keith, I sometimes wonder whether we are now living in an empire in decline. The excitement that once seemed electric, and that (illusion of?) joy of sharing new discoveries with others -- no, with artists who could peel back and understand our steps of individual craft -- seems lost in a white out. If we'd only tied a rope from our house to the Usenet barn, maybe we could find our way back. If we had a time machine. If there was no Fractabook where everyone's a double genius halving their brains into left and right pieces of cantaloupe: half artist, half critic.

But, in spite of no sunrises for months in many of the colder regions of Fractalbook, go far enough south and the ice melts to reveal treasure. I still see fractal art I like -- but it's getting diffused and blurring into the boundaries of digital expression. I understand the challenge of limiting one's tools, but the reverse option is just as enticing. Why not have a boatload of tools at your disposal? That boat is a graphics program like Photoshop. Is the result of post-processing really a polluted fractal art -- especially when UF can now mask and layer and import photos? No, in truth, most contemporary fractal art is now polluted, but in a good way. It's undergoing hybridization. It's breaking free of its self-limiting craft corner. It's blending into the overall strip mall of digital art. Perhaps, finally, it can now be just another school -- instead of being put out in the snow banks and being forced to watch the real art madrigal feast from outside a frosted window.

But you have to look hard to find true artists who have more on their minds than stroking their egos and socializing in a mega-corporate safe house. And, as recent posts have tried to show, sometimes processing outside the generator box helps.

Ken Childress' blog:

Holidays, notwithstanding, Ken is generally always in a grumpy mood -- ready at any moment to snap at invisible commenters to get off his virtual lawn. Lately, he's been on a fractal calendar kick. Why whine about THAT calendar when you can make your own using Ken's do-it-yourself schema? Ken, handier than a Home Depot employee, provides a list of vehicles (his term) for making your own calendars and thus "liberating" yourself from the tyranny of public complaining. Ken says:

So, the choice is yours. Be proactive and do something creative, or continue to whine and complain about something over which you have absolutely no control and won't change because you decide to complain about it. Chose to do something for yourself, or chose to try to tear down others because you aren't happy about some aspect of the venture.

I guess Ken forgot that OT beat him to the punch by nearly a year. We put out our official Fractal Alternate Universe Calendar last December. We were proactive. We were creative.

Strange though. We still felt like pointing out that THAT calendar results from an ethically shaky contest. Maybe we need more date-making therapy sessions. Or put up a few more posts that tear stuff down. Or develop a new Herculean undertaking -- like The OT exclusive and free 2009 Fractal Alternate Universe Calendar!!! Or, most likely, Dr. Ken needs to heal himself.

But can he? The critic who rails against critics is still whining about us in both of his supposedly Zen-inducing, throw-your-complaining-down posts championing his self-help snake oil of calendar liberation.

Fractal Universe Calendar:

And speaking of calendars...

Ring them bells. The images for the 2009 FUC are once again back online. Now that this year's model has hit the mini-malls, Avalanche Publishing and the FUC editors must have once more let the dogs out. How have you been able to go on living without seeing this

January by Keith Mackay from the 2009 Fuc.

January by Keith Mackay

[Image seen on the Fractal Universe Calendar Image Galleries.]

image by FUC 2009 editor Keith Mackay or perhaps this

February by Keith Mackay from FUC 2009.

February by Keith Mackay

[Image seen on the Fractal Universe Calendar Image Galleries.]

image and cover selection also by FUC 2009 editor Keith Mackay? And do you truly feel such winning samples represent the finest existing work our genre has to offer comfortably slotted into one of only a handful of current mass-marketed products showcasing contemporary fractal art? Oh, by the way, there's work by some other artists in the 2009 edition of the FUC, too. You may be surprised to learn that some of them did not even also serve as screeners assigned to help jury the competition.

The Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Contest:

And speaking of competitions...

Santa's Workshop at this site is dark and nailed up. That way no further blizzards can get in. The place hasn't changed since announcing the winners and legions of also-rans last year. Not a peep about the 2007 exhibition held in Spain nearly a year ago. Not even a Polaroid of the judges hanging next to the winners. Not one photo or word at all about the 2007 physical installation and exhibit, although there were plenty of power shots of the co-directors smoozing from the year before. It seems you can only read about the last BMFAC exhibition on Orbit Trap. And as far as a 2009 BMFAC? Nothing so far. Nothing -- but the silence and emptiness of blank, pixel-less space.

Hopefully, that last sentence doesn't encapsulate your holiday mood, gentle readers. Bwaaa Ho Ho Ho. Pile out of the car, kids. And be sure to take off your boots. Tim and I don't want you tracking those messy gradients all over OT's virtual carpet.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Deep Deep Smashing

High-speed photography by Michele M. Ferrario

Milk Spill. High-speed photography by Michele M. Ferrario.

It's as though the creative process is no longer contained within an individual skull, if indeed it ever was. Everything, today, is to some extent the reflection of something else.

--William Gibson, Pattern Recognition

Everyone knows you can't cry over spilled milk. But, apparently, you can observe its recursive patterns.

I suspect it's no surprise if regular OT readers, at least those with a more highly developed sense of pattern recognition, see fractal patterns when things are smashed or blown up.

Other people have sure noticed. Some have been exploring computing methodologies that use fractal analysis to explore seismological patterns of underground nuclear explosions. Others claim our sun sends us fractal twitters about its storm seasons and note that

Every 11 years, the Sun experiences its own "storm season," with violent explosions in its atmosphere, with an energy equivalent to a billion megatons and travelling towards Earth at about 1 million km per hour (about 0.05% the speed of light), though sometimes much faster.

Predicting such events is not easy, but now, plasma astrophysicists at the University of Warwick have found that key information about the Sun's "storm season" is being broadcast across the solar system in a fractal snapshot imprinted in the solar wind.

And still others work overtime to decode the universe and insist the Big Bang, the mother of all deep smashing, expanded into fractal space grids:

Even more interesting is [Charles] Seife's illustration that mathematical formulas for the expansion of gases (following fractal patterns, actually) are exactly like equations for the transmission of information. Fractals, fractals, everywhere and every bit is real. Let's consider the Big Bang. When the Bang occurred (or God lit a giant match), it threw out information bits that spread via explosive expansion in fractal pattern(s). When it is finished expanding and all of the bits of info are evenly distributed throughout forever-ness, the universe will be dark and empty and the light of Genesis will no longer "be". This is entropy -- until the next match strikes.

This post looks at what happens in the instant after a match is struck. Such a glimpse is only possible due to the window on nature provided by high-speed photography. Does this process call up an image of a slo-mo bullet lazily imploding a watermelon? Well, high-speed photography is now as many iterations beyond such grainy super slow blow-outs as today's laptops are removed from those wall-sized, blinking light computers seen in early episodes of The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

The best place I know to sift through the next wave of high-speed photography is a Flickr group dedicated to the art. Most of the photos below had their origins in this open community, although a few were found on other web sites.

And, before we start the tour, let's ask: what's the point? Well, I want your eyes to back up mine. After looking at fractals for over ten years, these everyday objects, captured and frozen in the moment of impact, reveal familiar patterns of self-similarity and characteristics of recursion I've seen again and again in generators. After all, if the Big Bang can be visualized out of algorithms, then why not a detonated egg?

We know fractals can be deep zoomed. But can fractal forms also appear when the things of this world are deep smashed?

And who are you going to believe? Me? Or your lying eyes?

High-speed photography by Stefan (photofrog)

Egg. High-speed photography by Stefan (photofrog).

Exploded objects, naturally it seems, burst into self-similar bits. High-speed photography captures a tableau revealing such fractal properties before debris is too far-flung. Here, the eggshell breaks into self-similar sections as the yolk is pulled into a triangle and the "egg white" becomes dendrites.

High-speed photography by Johnny Chung Lee

Beer Bottle. High-speed photography by Johnny Chung Lee.

Beer bottles have always blown up real good making them a staple of Western saloon brawls. Again, the glass shards here quickly become self-similar projectiles, and the liquid splays out in a recognizable fractal pattern. Don't take my word for it. Compare the pattern to the central form in this fractal image by Janet Parke.

High-speed photography by Jasper Nance

Antibacterial Soap Bar. High-speed photography by Jasper Nance.

You don't need to squint to see the self-similarity here in bashed forward (head) and backward (tail) patterns not unlike splatters from entrance and exit "wounds."

High-speed photography by spyzter

Crayons. High-speed photography by spyzter. Image credit by Khuong.

This time the self-similar chunks nova outward in a semi-spiral from the calm eye. Coloring gradients got nothing on this one.

High-speed photography by Pulse Phototronics

Computer Chip. High-speed photography by Pulse Phototronics.

The mound erupting from the corner of the chip reminds me of some of the 3D quats I've seen in QuaSZ (like this). Or is this photograph a wish fulfillment Rorschach after enduring another day of Vista?

What do you think? Do you see what I see? I certainly hope the patterns I recognize are not contained to my skull only.

UPDATE: Tim notes in an email: "I found the egg photo to look very similar in appearance to the common Phoenix formula in mandelbrot mode." See for yourself. I wonder if that is what I was thinking subconsciously when I made this image ten years ago.

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