Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Still More 6 Reviews Using 6 Words

Jonah by Catenary

Jonah by Catenary

Nicely named. Shows guts. Suitably claustrophobic.

a006 by Alice Kelley

a006 by Alice Kelley

With this ring I thee iterate.

Communing with the Spirits by Philip Northover

Communing with the Spirits by Philip Northover

So much for your dingy afterlife!

The Boyfriend by Dennis Halbin

The Boyfriend by Dennis Halbin

"Have my daughter home by 10:00."

ka39 by Yasuo Kamei
ka39 by Yasuo Kamei

Could your tank be too acidic?

The Trumpet Player by Elizabeth Mansco

The Trumpet Player by Elizabeth Mansco

Yeah, play that crazy horn, man.

and, because OT cares or needs to fill more space, a bonus review:

Furnace by Aexion

Furnace by Aexion

Is it getting hot in here?


Fractal Universe Calendar Update:

Keith Mackay, former editor for the Fractal Universe Calendar, posted on another blog that the 2010 edition will be the final one published by Avalanche Publishing and noted that "the calendar and 'contest' are dead." To our knowledge, though, there has been no official word from either the most recent editor or from anyone at the publishing house.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beyond the Valley of the Fractal Dolls

And will it make my breasts more self-similar?

Does this fractal make me look infinitely fat?

Detail of Fractal Nude Study by clifftoppler. Link contains nudity: here.

I am doll eyes, doll mouth, doll legs...
--Hole, "Doll Parts"

I want a doll! I want a doll!
--Neely O'Hara, Valley of the Dolls

I know this blog usually wrestles with weightier subjects like contests and calendars and kings, but I'd like to move on to a more pressing topic. It's a question, really, and one I've asked myself now and then ever since I rendered my first render.

Why do some people like to kidnap naked women and entrap them in fractals?

Oh, I know what you're thinking. Artists, analog and digital, have been doing something similar for a very long time. Pull up that footstool as you remember both your history and your semantics:

The nude has become an enduring genre of representational art, especially painting, sculpture and photography. It depicts people without clothes, usually with stylistic and staging conventions that distinguish the artistic elements (such as innocence, or similar theatrical/artistic elements) of being nude with the more provocative state of being naked. A nude figure is one, such as a goddess or a man in ancient Greece, for whom the lack of clothing is its usual condition, so that there is no sexual suggestiveness presumed. A naked figure is one, such as a contemporary prostitute or a businessman, who usually wears clothing, such that their lack of it in this scene implies sexual activity or suggestiveness (See also: nudity and sexuality). The latter were rare in European art from the Medieval period until the latter half of the 1800s; in the interim, a work featuring an unclothed woman would routinely identify her as "Venus" or another Greco-Roman goddess, to justify her nudity.
--Wikipedia (which understands leaving things uncovered), "Depictions of Nudity." Link contains nudity (duh): here.

The unusual businessmen found in the wild by Wikipedia aside, I remember most of the above staging and parsing from art history. But what's the special attraction of imprisoning using naked nude women in fractal and digital art? Next slide please:

The human body contains variations of all geometric shapes such as the cylinder, the sphere, the cone, the cube, etc., making it an ideal subject for exercises in rendering and demonstrating artistic ability and creativity. The body is viewed as a design form of shapes, highlights, and shadows.
--Museum of Art and Archeology, "Addressing Nudity in Art." Link that does not contain nudity but just a bunch of words instead: here.

Right. Math. Art. And that other technical stuff. Sounds good. Just be very precise about highlights and shadows as you increase the size of your Poser model's conical breasts. You're covered then and only see design forms and nude pixels. Surely there's nothing else for discriminating art appreciators to see. Right?

Wrong. Some people see naked people and are offended because your artistic creation:
1) has naked people in it,
2) is impure and indecent and immoral,
3) is sexist,
4) is stupid,
5) is non-representational (no one but a Poser replicant looks that good),
6) is embarrassing to all concerned,
7) is NSFW and I'm at work right now,
8) has way too much image compression, dude

but none of the above is what I think when I see a naked woman nude figure trapped within the confined deep space of a rectangle -- fractal spirals twinkling like galaxies beside her flesh highlighted features -- Sierpenski triangles sleeting like cosmic rays through her flesh exposed skin surfaces. Instead, I think


We interrupt your pleasant blogging experience to bring you this important message from SOMA.

Hi there. I'm David X. Machina. I'm not really a blogger. I just play one on this blog. I'm the titular head director of SOMA: The Society of Museum Ambiance.

SOMA has one monomaniacal goal: To keep ads out of art museums. Physical museums have been operating under our guidelines for some time. True, physical museums have lobbies, curio shops, and city busses packed with gratuitous, self-promoting ads. But, so far anyway, I've never been in the MOMA, about to enjoy viewing Starry Night, only to have a television screen suddenly appear in my peripheral vision and display a certain and inexplicably popular ad for Axe deodorant. Can we all agree that seeing that guy with fire hoses for armpits would probably ruin the mood for experiencing Van Gogh?

And yet something similar happens nearly every time I enter online community galleries that showcase digital art. I am aggressively bombarded around the borders of my vision with saturation advertising. How can I focus on viewing art when flash ads featuring the mortgage rate in every state and country are blinking around the edges of my perception? Or if I'm trying to view a piece called "Still Life with Fruit," why must I have vertical Google ads on either side? The right side is trying sell me organic strawberries, and the left side is pitching unauthorized whiskey-making equipment. In contrast, physical museums never barbarically intrude into my senses and pollute my aesthetic experience in such a manner (unless you count tour guides).

Even movies and DVDs are not so brazen. In these mediums, commercials fill the screen before the feature starts or is played. Concerts and stage plays are not rudely interrupted when the "art parts" are occurring. So why do so many online community art galleries use the very model clinically tested to always undercut the sublime for the sell -- television?

Renderosity is the worst. Are you as tired as I am of all of those sultry, Poser-derived, replicant-skinned, Xena wannabes slinking around the edges of every screen? What a sorry collection of seductive sorceresses, pallid vampiri, curvaceous buccaneers, gypsy cheerleaders, armored harpies, gothic sunbathers, bikinied demon-destroying hellcats, and Cleopatra impersonators.

And how come so few Poser artists spent time in medical school and yet so many are more skilled at breast augmentation than the finest plastic surgeons?

And I'm cold.  Would you be a good boy and turn down the fan speed on your computer?

Hi there. I'm Venus. I hope everyone with testosterone out there can see through yet another spurious claim by Orbit Trap. Now, please excuse me as gravity pulls me right over on my face.

Detail of Coffee Break by Alyah. Link contains nudity: here.

Banish them all from your visual field. Join SOMA today*. We will gladly waive the membership fee**. All you have to do is tighten your resolve or perhaps pay annually for a premium membership. So the next time your will weakens, and digital gallery art begins to dissolve under the peripheral influence of the chief's shapely daughter and her bison-hide lingerie, just go all Zen and begin chanting SOMA's motto like a mantra:

Succubi Today?
I'm Gone Tomorrow!

Together, we can hold the line for a better cyberspace filled with chain web sites of our own ads-free, digital Louvres. And, no, I don't want fries or a buxom mermaid stripper in a pirate outfit with that art.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.

* Side effects of joining SOMA include peaceful contemplation, ruminating on life's mysteries, cathartic epiphanies, and erectile dysfunction which is caused by everything.
**Although you can still send donations to the Tim and Terry Slush Fund/Ponzi Scheme for Wayward Poser Replicants. No amount will be considered too small.


these poor women look so cold. I feel sorry for them -- adrift, clothingless, caught in the framed confines of a fractalized void. I want to just surf into one of Renderosity's countless Poser merchant shops and purchase a parka -- maybe some L.L.Bean-tinged boots -- at least a space helmet and some oxygen tanks!!

I mean if these Poser merchants can so completely objectify women by literally selling their digital hair, skin, breasts, and other shank-to-flank body parts, then how about rendering up and draping some of these goosebumped models with a warm Snuggie made out of fiberglass, steel, insulation, neoprene rubber, and Kevlar.

And I don't mean to single out or pick on clifftoppler. I actually like some of his work (like this richly textured scan). His was just the most recent example of the naked-woman-ensnared-in-a-fractal pic that came across the transom of the UF List. It's the particular sub-genre that baffles me -- not the individual practitioner.

In the end, we can and probably should debate the multi-faceted moral, cultural, sexual, and digital underpinnings of this stylistic phenomenon of fractal nudism. But, first, we must have empathy for the tragic souls condemned to drift infinitely, insensate, iteration after iteration, through self-similar space -- and maybe send them some battery-operated heated ski gloves and tube socks once the world economy recovers.

Because we always knew that in space no one can hear you scream -- but who knew -- that in fractal space -- no one can see your clothes.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

How is it that...

...the image that was chosen for the cover of Avalanche Publishing's 2009 Fractal Universe Calendar can also become the cover image of the May 2009 Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy?

May 2009 Cover of the Journal of Managed Care Pharmacy at amcp.org

2009 Fractal Universe Calendar Image Gallery at Fractalforum.com

It's not a big deal or anything and the artist, Keith MacKay, as author of the work, and I would naturally assume also the holder of the copyright for it, is free to do whatever he likes with the image but to me it raises even yet still one more question about the mysterious Fractal Universe Calendar: What exactly is Avalanche Publishing paying for if artists are free to re-publish their selected calendar images elsewhere? Could the artists publish their own calendars and include their winning images in them?

It sure looks like a pretty strange set up to me, although, fortunately, one in which the artists are getting the upper hand for a change. Normally I would expect any commercial publisher to require some degree of exclusivity when they pay for the use of an image, especially when those images are such specialized creative artwork like that of the Fractal Universe Calendar. I mean, if those images can be sold to other publishers then that would reduce the value of them, I would think.

...and especially when that artwork is the front cover of the calendar!

But then the whole Fractal Universe Calendar has been one long series of secrets anyhow. Why don't they just put this sort of information on their website so everyone knows how the whole thing works? That's what makes this double published image so intriguing to me: obviously there's a lot more (that is, a lot less) to the deal between Avalanche Publishing and the contest winners and their selected images than one would expect if the image chosen for the front cover of the calendar can appear on the front cover of a magazine --in the same year. What rights does Avalanche Publishing get for the four hundred or so dollars that they pay for their images?  Evidently, all they get is the right to publish the images once in their calendar (and the mini version of the calendar if they decide to print one).  Artists reserve the right to do whatever they want with their images even submit them as cover art for magazines in the same year.

Hey, that's a nice deal!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Reinventing the Real

"You'll only find dirt, digging where other's have dug"
--Long John Silver, Treasure Island

Pebbles by Jonathan Hunt, 2008. Made entirely in POV-Ray

There is a definite use and function for digital photorealism, but it is almost exclusively the domain of the craftsman and not the artist. Artists don't get a thrill out of copying the world around them like dedicated craftsmen do. Artists get a thrill out of the mental excitement that comes from the portrayal of new thoughts and feelings. Photorealism can be used for that; the surrealist paintings of Salvador Dali are what I would consider the best examples of artistic realism. As a painter Dali was average. As a surrealist painter Dali was one of the best.

What fractal art has going for it as an art and not as a craft is that it's different. Trying to imitate other things might attact an audience for a time, but in the long run there's little to come back and look at and chances are very good that your work will soon be overshadowed by an even greater imitator. Or equally likely -- obscured by a cloud of imitations.

Graphical computer algorithms like fractal formulas and other image generators are powerfully creative because they are original. They can generate imagery that a human would never even think of. If you want to discover buried treasure then pursue the algorithmic nature of fractal art. If, however, you just want to dig a better hole than the last person, then keep digging -- the competition is intense.

The Wet Bird by Gilles Tran, 2000. Also made in POV-Ray.

Things have changed very quickly in the computing/digital world and now graphics often have a near (close, but not perfect) photographic appearance making one uncertain at times whether they are viewing a computer-made image or a photograph of something real. It's strange then, that the old style -- primitive -- computer graphics of 256-color, or even 8-color, indexed pngs and gifs of the "old" days (1990's) would have any sort of appeal to someone like me or anyone with any knowledge of computer graphics who one would expect to admire only that which is current and represents the latest technology.

I think however, that it reveals something about art that is very relevant to the digital art world but is something that has yet to be grasped by many who enjoy digital art: Photorealism can be boring!

Imitating reality is pointless in a world of easy realism (i.e. photography) and in a world which, as stupid as this may sound, realism is common and hardly eye-catching because we see it everywhere, everyday.

The Office by Jaime Vives Piqueres, 2004. Yes, this too was made in POV-Ray.

I mention this particularly because I've gotten the impression from browsing online digital art galleries, that many people seem to feel that the apex of digital imagery is the imitation of real things -- photorealism -- and that anything that looks "rough" or "primitive" or "poorly anti-aliased" is shrugged off as unprofessional, unskilled or ugly.

I think digital art is stuck in a very limited (and boring) role of trying to "beat photography" and come up with images that provoke the response, "Wow! I can't believe that's not a photograph!". Although occasionally this may be a rewarding pursuit, it's a creative dead end. What that means for the future I believe, is that the more interesting and more creative digital work will be produced by people who pursue the types of imagery that have never been seen before and don't currently have categories or convenient labels. Faking photographs won't make that happen.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Blog that Drove the Universe out of Town

"I love the smell of blog posts in the morning"

It's been almost three years since Orbit Trap appeared in August of 2006. Initially, I had expected it to have an enormous influence on fractal art simply by virtue of being a collective venue ready to showcase and demonstrate new ideas and fresh directions in fractal art. The hostility that erupted when concepts like politics and art criticism --concepts which are commonplace in the larger world of art-- were introduced in the context of fractal art, made me realize that the fractal art world, despite being a high-tech art form, was in fact a primitive, medieval oligarchy and a free and open 21st century venue like Orbit Trap was not welcome by the reigning Dukes and Duchesses.

Criticizing Ultra Fractal... a big no-no! I posted my reasons for not using it and war broke out. Over the years (yes, years!) I reviewed and praised a number of fractal artists who use Ultra Fractal exclusively and yet Orbit Trap is still seen, in brute simple terms, as being anti-Ultra Fractal. Why? Because in fractal art's medieval environment you're either a vassal of the king or a vassal of his enemies. I chose to just speak my mind about Ultra Fractal, to just post my personal opinion, but that itself was an idea way ahead of it's time in fractal land, although it's a common activity, and a well-respected one, in the rest of the art world today.

Then came the contests.

Frankly, in my opinion, anyone who couldn't see that the Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Contest or the Fractal Universe Calendar was run in a blatantly unfair way was either stupid or lying. What shocked me the most about the response to Orbit Trap's exposés of these contests was how many people who seemed to have nothing to gain spoke up to support the very entities that had been ripping them off every year by crowding them out of the winners circle. So many of the poor peasants came out to defend their beloved ruling elite. How could there be so many suckers? Is there no one out there with half a brain?

Well, that's the current fractal art scene: a small ruling group and a huge peasantry composed of boot-lickers and flatterers. But no! That was the old fractal art scene. Something has changed.

The Witch is Dead!

The Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Contest is in hiding, possibly MIA or KIA. At least for the time being it's been neutered, but who knows? Those people don't talk to anyone except themselves. Orbit Trap is the only place you'll get an unbiased perspective on fractal art and what's going on, even if we have to guess sometimes. And now, the big event, if you haven't noticed, is that the Fractal Universe Calendar's annual contest, as announced by Tina Oloyede in a belated response to Orbit Trap's enquiries, will no longer operate as a contest as it has for all these years but will instead just contact a few artists directly to ask them for artwork. Of course, that was what they really doing all along, but the big deal is that the medieval pagentry and pomp is gone and the fractal art world's longest running contest has now left the Middle Ages and entered the social equivalent of the 16th century Renaissance. And that, in my opinion, is the biggest news of the last three years in the fractal art world. They didn't even make that announcement that on their own website! It was made in the comments section (yes, the comments section) of an Orbit Trap posting.

Although, I suppose, the fact that all this came about in response to the persistence of what is really nothing more than just another freely hosted blog on Blogger run by what is commonly seen as "two whiners" in the fractal world, is perhaps something of equal merit. How is it that Orbit Trap could run that venerable and established contest out of town? Maybe telling the truth about them month after month made them feel so uncomfortable they just had to do something?

If so, that would be a very modern and encouraging response. Maybe this Orbit Trap thing has helped advance fractal art more than I've realized.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Odds and Ends #3

It's a secret.  Don't ask.

Don't ask (because they) don't tell.

[Image seen here.]

Where secrecy or mystery begins, vice or roguery is not far off.
--Samuel Johnson

What's up in fractaldom lately? Who knows? It's a secret.

Let's do a run through of a few of my ongoing bugaboos.

The Fractal Universe Calendar

Uh-oh. Something has changed. But what exactly? And why will neither the editor nor the publisher make plain what's transpired?

The main Fractal Universe Calendar (FUC) site has definitely been revised. How? Any mention of a 2011 calendar has been excised. And I didn't imagine that such notations were still recently there because a Google search of "fractal universe calendar 2011" turns up the following cached strings:

A fractal calendar for the year 2011 is now planned, and [editor] Panny Brawley will...


...these pages in anticipation of a calendar being published next year for 2011.


The submission process for the Fractal Universe Calendars is currently CLOSED. We anticipate that it will reopen in early 2009 for the 2011 calendar.

These are all gone now. In fact, both the entire FAQ page and the Submit page have been scrubbed.

The text on the home page now reads:

The annual Fractal Universe ® wall calendar has been published by Avalanche Publishing, based in California, for the last few years as one of its best-selling lines. The calendar has been professionally printed and distributed, and on sale each year to the public via the Avalanche Publishing official webpages and in retail outlets across the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

A calendar for the year 2010 is currently being published, and the images have now been selected. Thank you to all those who took the time to submit their images, and congratulations to the successful artists!

The submission process for 2010 is therefore now CLOSED.

Later in the year a gallery of images to be included in the 2010 gallery will also be displayed on this website.

See? No mention of a 2011 calendar at all. Is Avalanche Publishing really going to deep-six "one of its best-selling lines"? Or has the selection process now gone underground -- to word of mouth, as it were? Is another contest forthcoming for 2011 -- or will art be directly solicited by the publisher?

Ssssh. Apparently, it's a secret.

So, in the interest of OT's readers, I sent the following "enquiry" via the FUC's Contact page:

Dear Editor and/or Publisher:

I have a few general inquiries:

1) Will there be a 2011 Fractal Universe Calendar?

2) Will submissions for it be handled as they were in the past using an open call under a competitive framework?

3) Or will submissions be only solicited directly from artists?

4) Will the editor/editors' work be included in the 2011 calendar?

5) If a competitive format is used, will the names of the "judges" (publishers who make the final selections) be made public?

6) Of the artists included in the 2010 calendar, how many were selected from open submissions and how many were directly solicited?

7) Why have I never received a reply from anyone at either the Fractal Universe Calendar web site or Avalanche Publishing for questions I have submitted previously over several years?

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.


Terry Wright

Orbit Trap

Since I've never received a reply for any of my previous queries, I won't hold my breath expecting a response this time.

After all, such matters deserve to be a secret. Don't they?

The Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Contest

Good news. The two sites (2006 and 2007) for the Benoit Mandelbrot Fractal Art Contest (BMFAC) have been restored. I guess Damien M. Jones, co-director of the competitions, has uncorrupted his server, an odd technical malady described in a previous OT post. Jones even gave a long, somewhat arcane, rather woe-is-me-flavored explanation of his server meltdown on the Ultra Fractal Mailing List -- including this enigmatic tidbit:

My role as a web site host is no longer required, and I cannot fulfill that role adequately in any case (especially not for those sites that have moved on).

Nothing stays the same forever. Nor should it.

Jones notes that moves for some sites he was hosting on Fractalus, like the Ultra Fractal site, were "on the horizon." But what this observation means for the UF List or the restored BMFAC repositories is anyone's guess. And I might consider shopping around for a new virtual home if I was a fractal artist currently squatting on Fractalus.

Since the BMFAC sites are back open, and since Jones seems in a talkative mood, it never hurts to once more ask: Does the site restoration mean that a 2009 contest will be held? Will judges again be UF heavies and given pass keys to the back door of the exhibition? Will anything about the 2007 exhibition ever be mentioned on the 2007 BMFAC site? Because, as we know...

Nothing stays secret forever. Nor should it.

Troll Update

OT's trolls appear to be giving up or just giving in to apathy lately. They're just no fun anymore in their semi-retirement.

WelshWench seems content to talk about her blog makeover(s) and world travels. The last time she got irked enough to blast us, nearly a year ago now, all she could muster was a name-calling list. What should we say in return? I know you are but what am I?

And there's no sport left in Keith Mackay's idreamincolor forum, where I was banned after one post, and which has given up the ghost. And his wedreamincolor group blog hasn't seen any action for over two months -- all the while keeping Dzeni's crowing post about her successful vote-spamming phone book cover campaign at the top.

Fortunately, when the chips are down, we can usually rely on our el supremo troll, Ken Childress, to bail us out and lower himself to the occasion. But even he's been in suspended animation lately after turning his OT sucks blog into a personal photoblog to parade nature shots of his backyard and such. But, shaking off his recent torpor, he's finally roused himself for a few new across-the-bow shots. And, sure enough, some of his like-minded locals, who'd been keeping mum about all the snow and flower pics, drifted back for some latent grousing. Responding to my previous post, Keith Mackay observes that

Picking a fight with a journal entry that is over a year old would be bizarre for most people, but not for them. It's good for ratings and they know it. That blog is built on meanness and that's what people like to see. That's why the trash on reality TV is so popular. The bigger the fight and the more anger that you see, the more viewers that you get.

I am not just speculating about this. The number of views on my web site has gone up in the last 2 days and I haven't done anything there to cause that.

Then Mackay comes back unapologetic three days later to add:

Actually, I have to take that back. I figured out why there were more views on my site and it wasn't because of OT.

To which Toby Marshall helpfully adds:

Still doesn't change the fact that muckraking sells...

Wait, guys. I'm confused. After all, Rick Spix said in the initial journal entry referenced last post that:

I reckon I can relate with all the Orbit Crap bs. Ya gotta understand that they are a VERY MINOR thing and almost nobody has even heard of them.

See why I'm perplexed? If no one has ever heard of us, then can we really be said to be successfully muckraking? But if we are effectively pandering in reality-TV sleaze for ratings, then aren't some people actually bothering to read this blog? What a quandary.

And wasn't I talking about transference last time -- that is, the tendency of our adversaries to act out the very behavior they are projecting on us? Weren't Spix's remarks fraught with more than a little meanness? And what do Childress & Co. mean by muckraking? Would an example be like when one's photoblog of nature pics stalls, so you (once more) hit OT up side the head, and, sure enough, the regulars drift back for another round robin of snarky personal comments? Would that be muckraking?

Childress needs new material, too. He returns, again, to his tired complaint that we are authoritarian and delete comments, although the only example he cites is himself. He claims we cut him off because "they could not handle my questions and refutations of their posts." Close -- but no cigar. Actually, we just got tired of refuting his remarks -- the same ones -- at length -- over and over again. That brick wall was getting slick with the blood from our heads. Even so, we've left up many of Childress' novelette-length rehashes. They're still available for browsing in the archives. And we certainly gave Childress a longer rope than his compatriot Keith Mackay gave to me -- a fact Childress consistently chooses to ignore -- making Childress' righteous anger over censorship to be situational.

But wait. Hold the (cell) phone. It seems Childress has revamped the comments policy on his blog to read:

Comments may be deleted if I think they cross the line as to what I find acceptable.

Meaning, I guess, "if I don't like them." But that's okay because Childress can still claim the moral high ground over us since:

I will indicate that a comment has been deleted if I have the need to delete a comment.

Such a disclaimer, of course, absolves Childress of any ethical fuzziness. Why just delete a comment when you can also publicly embarrass the person who made it?

Childress also has political problems with OT:

Oh, and the political comments give you an insight into just how the OT mind works. I know OT is dying to tie fractals with political commentary. But, it just doesn't work very well. Certainly, OT has never been able to successfully manage it.

Childress neglects to point out that politics only came up because Spix said in his entry that OT put forth "overly spun ala K Rove 'opinions' and allegations." I was only playing off Spix's allusion to Bush's former advisor. In truth, I have previously written on OT about fractal art and politics -- and anyone can view a (very non-censored) comment by Childress on this issue and my reply to him. I'll let readers decide which of us argues the topic more convincingly.

Besides, there are more than a few examples of fractal political art. I suggest Childress wander over to Guido Cavalcante's Fractalmix blog and look at these two powerful images about global warming. In fact, I believe both were even made with Ultra Fractal -- the very program Childress serves as an apologist for promotes.

You can check the blurb for yourself to see that last point is no secret.



I have received a reply to my inquiries about the status of the Fractal Universe Calendar from Tina Oloyede, who has not been an editor for the venture for several years but currently manages the calendar's website. Her answers shed considerable light on matters pertaining to the questions I asked above. I have replicated her answers below as a service to OT's readers because I believe this is a significant development in an issue this blog has been discussing for years. Oloyede's complete remarks can be found in the comments to this post.

1) Will there be a 2011 Fractal Universe Calendar?


2) Will submissions for it be handled as they were in the past using an open call under a competitive framework?


3) Or will submissions be only solicited directly from artists?


4) Will the editor/editors' work be included in the 2011 calendar?

Probably not.

5) If a competitive format is used, will the names of the "judges" (publishers who make the final selections) be made public?


6) Of the artists included in the 2010 calendar, how many were selected from open submissions and how many were directly solicited?

N/A - the publisher has always made the final decisions in the past as to which images will be included in the calendars.

7) Why have I never received a reply from anyone at either the Fractal Universe Calendar web site or Avalanche Publishing for questions I have submitted previously over several years?

I can't give you a specific answer, but apologise on behalf of the editing team that this has occurred to you.

This may possibly have been due to technical problems with the website, or perhaps web server spam filtering.


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