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Explore an Artist’s Beautiful Dark Twisted Alien Fractal Fantasy

“Foreign Philosophy” is based on nightmares, but it’s really more like a beautiful, dark dream.

by Alyssa Buffenstein
Feb 18 2016, 7:20pm

Screencap and thumbnail via

Despite basing his artistic practice on them, Belgian 3D animator and VFX artist Julius Horsthuis has nightmares of fractals. His newest work, Foreign Philosophy, visualizes nightmares from the artist’s childhood, slowly dragging the viewer through a landscape of reflective black gothic architecture, winged obelisks, and alien planets. The work depicts an abandoned, craggy landscape of gray skies that morphs into globular shapes and watery textures. Some of the renderings seem like ruined versions of earthly monuments, while others are abstract entities that can only be described as alien.

It's set to slow, droning music by Griffin Cohen; the song, “the Lush Planet," was also featured on the soundtrack to the 2014 video game Civilization: Beyond Earth, in which a “great mistake” has forced humans to leave the earth and colonize space.

Horsthuis’ past works include a sparkling journey to the center of the earth and a virtual reality fractal world. The latest video is similar to these past works in its sweeping view of an artificial fractal fantasia, but its mood—which Horsthuis says is the most difficult artistic choice to make—is markedly more dark.  

Foreign Philosophy might be based on nightmares, but its intricate design and elegant surfaces are really more like a beautiful dream. Click here to visit Julius Horsthuis' website. 

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