‘Fractal geometry far from wrapping paper patterns,’ I insisted to my skeptical fine art personal tutor. Carolyn Wilde had heard this plenty over the previous couple of years as Mandelbrot fever plagued art schools up and down the land. ‘Explain,’ she asked in a quiet voice.
So I began, a debate with Carolyn was a ride on a Bucking Bronco; how long you could stay on before she threw you and your theory into the dust. I like Carolyn, I respect her enormously but the stress of an unprepared explanation left me wondering why on earth I’d tried to posture such a proposal…as if it where a fact! Of course it was a fact…just that I didn’t know that back then.
FN*Z+Z: Fractint in the early days. It gave me new eyes to see the invisible order of chaos.
‘Yes I have a pair of eyes,’ replied Sam, ‘ and that’s just it. If they wos a pair o patent double million magnifyin’ as microscopes of hextra power, p’raps I might be able to see through a flight of stairs and a deal floor; but bein only eyes, you see my wisdom’s limited.’
Charles Dickens (Pickwick Papers)
I wrote reams, and a small journal illustrated with ‘dot matrix’ images, illustrations and iterations. I even made a 16mm film! The infinite repetition and simplicity of something so complex was compelling. Far from some cubist ideal of simple primitive forms, another…organic form was endlessly replicating itself. Stand on any point inside its geometry and you view will be the same wherever you look! There it is something that appears static but is in fact multiplying itself in every axis and identically.
Every element every point is as infinite in any direction. So where exactly are we?
Off I went, following a trail of impossible places made possible by the square root of -1 and such mathematical models. Looking outward with my ‘patent double million magnifying as microscopes of hextra power’ computer screen. Postulating parallel universes, wormholes, space time, a brief history of time and quantum physics.
But never then considered the inner space of my own mind. The replicating DNA. I hadn’t heard of Austin Osman Spare, or chaos magick. I think that was a good thing…at that time.