Week 8: Creating Fractals

Fractal final

Fractals are infinitely complex structures that consist of self-similar patterns. They are an extremely simple shape, repeated with certain patterns and colors to become exponentially complicated. Since this week was more of an open ended post, I decided that I wanted to experiment with creating a few fractals of my own. After a few hours of working with photoshop and making patterns of my own, I learned a few things about them. For starters, they take an extremely long time to make, which is why I only ended up creating one for this week. And second, fractals start with just one: one shape and one color. Aside from the frustrations from dealing with photoshop, it was a very interesting and therapeutic process. I started with a single green circle, added texture, embossing, gradients, and then repeated it in different geometric patterns. The process by which fractals are made is an interesting metaphor to mass movements in art and politics. In history, new political movements, art forms, and belief systems start with a single person. Followers then repeat the leader’s ideas to create a mass movement, just as the single circle is repeated to create a fractal pattern. Even in nature, plants follow the patterns of single elements like cells, stems and leaves to expand into entire trees, and animals expand from a single cell. The prevalence of natural fractals in the world makes them, and the world in general, extremely interesting, and the overall shapes they form are captivating to view.

-Sam Ozenbaugh

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