For lots of artists, the use of fractals has added a whole new layer of complexity to their work. Often times, this newfound complexity can offer viewers a deeper level of engagement with whatever it is they are viewing. I also imagine that this complexity can be rather polarizing to viewers, as speculating about the technological process of creating fractal imagery is way more mesmerizing than viewing the final products of that process. So for all of you polarized viewers (maybe I’m the only one), here’s a post for you.
Zone Patcher, the artist behind these amazingly intricate fractal collages, is not a mathematician or an expert on algorithms. In fact, his process is probably much more user-friendly than what some might expect. His repertoire basically consists of a few pieces of software, available online for free, that he mastered over time.
He first discovered fractals with his brother in 2005 when the two of them happened upon Fractal Explorer, a 2D fractal generator that plots and transcribes fractal data. Amazed by the idea of creating fractal images, they took full advantage of the program’s capacities. They have since created over 40,000 2D fractal images with the software.
Then in 2009 they discovered Incendia, which is basically the same thing as Fractal Explorer, except that it generates 3D fractals instead of 2D fractals. The use of 3D fractals exponentially advanced Zone Patcher’s interest in fractal imagery. He started doing all kinds of research on the web, which led him to PagePlus, a professional desktop publishing program that enabled him to import fractal images into a single document. From there, he started messing around with image transparency and layering. He kept adding more and more of his fractal images to a single document and suddenly he had created a fractal collage. Now, Zone Patcher has a huge portfolio of fractal collages. Last year he was even able to sell a set of six collages to a chain of hotels in India.