A fractal is a natural phenomenon or a mathematical set that exhibits a repeating pattern that displays at every scale. If the replication is exactly the same at every scale, it is called a self-similar pattern.
A tree for example; imagine zooming in from a way away. At a distance you see the branches, close up you see the twigs. They all display a similar pattern but on a different scale. That’s self-similar patterning fractals.
Odd, hey but this is where maths and art overlap.
Fr’instance some people say Jackson Pollock is a great American artist; others look at his drip paintings and meah. But they are loved because of fractals
In Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings, as in nature, certain patterns are repeated again and again at various levels of magnification (physicist and art historian Richard Taylor)
Yep, Pollock painted fractals. He captured an aesthetic element that is everywhere in nature, in sponges and succulents, trees and trilobites. That’s why, at an instinctive level we can dig it.
And after Pollock came Loren Carpenter a genius animator and co-founder of Pixar. Here‘s the first fractal film, the basis of much of Pixar’s unique genius.
I mentioned fractals in a post a while back and recently maths has cropped up as a topic leading me to pen a poem on fractals, well kind of..
I found fractals dripping
from a branch;
lines of splods
taking shape from chaos.
That’s the beauty,
nature pulling tricks right under your nose,
blind until see.
Onion skins of secrets,
always there, always been there
you need to know it.
How do you look at a branch?
Is it a twig by any other name?
Or is a tree a twig grown up?
Everywhere you go, how far back you go
it looks like a twig on a bigger twig
on another big twig.
That’s fractals, sprouting from within to without.
Close up it’s just a word, growing to a sentence.
But step back
and it grows to a paragraph,
then a page.
The depth of vision doesn’t change the essential sameness.
A writer is like a tree sticking a twig of a word on another
making a branch of a sentence and a trunk of pages.
Stand well back and
it’s a novel
but only when you know where to look.
Otherwise you just see splods.
Have faith fractal penspeople;
someone will see it and explain.
See, it’s a novel, a proper book only
you didn’t realise it was there all the time.
You were too close.
That’s why I love writing in fractals.