31 October 2009


just as math and music are inextricably intertwined, so too are math and art. case in point: the mandelbrot set, a set of points on the complex plane, the boundary of which forms a fractal, a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is a reduced-size copy of the whole, an instance of self-similarity or feedback based on recursion.

for my purposes, the math behind the musings of benoit mandelbrot and others is interesting, but not nearly as much as the jaw-dropping visual representations of the formulae. these visuals have entered the popular consciousness, as presented in books, calendars and other collections of art.

can a visual depiction of a mathematical formula really be considered as art? absolutely. if art is the deliberate arrangement of visual elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions, then fractals are art every bit as much as are the works of michaelangelo, picasso, or pollack, each of whom created controversy by stretching the boundaries of our understanding of aesthetics and visual expression.

behold, and see for yourself (click to enlarge). please be sure to click on the links above for "mandelbrot set" and "fractal", and check out the animated illustrations !!



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