"Why Fractals?" by Renata Spiazzi PDF Print E-mail
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 I was listening to Mozart, when this piece was created.

If we look at the history of fractals, we can find that they were discovered centuries ago. Perhaps they were not called fractals yet, but the mathematical principles were there. Several people throughout the centuries investigated the functions in the complex plane but without the aid of a computer they did not have the means to visualize the beauty of the shapes they were discovering.

My computer experience began in 1991 and as soon as I saw fractals on the screen I knew I was on the right track! I am a lover of abstractions and that’s what fractals are to me. It was not the mathematics of the science that was interesting, but the fascination of the shapes, the colors and the illusion of space that was achieved in the images.

I started using fractals in my compositions. I learned that there were several programs based on fractal science and those created by Kai were some of them. Kai with his magic toolbox allowed me to enter the fractal world without the knowledge of mathematics, and a new universe opened up.

The first and most important thing I had not been aware of before was that I had to enter this new world with an open mind. Friends were asking strange questions: “Aren’t you ashamed using someone else formula for creating your art?”

I started thinking: No one in this world has created anything from nothing yet! Only one Being did and He is not living on earth! When I started the creation of sculpture, I had to have a lump of clay, a block of marble, or a piece of wood. So what’s wrong with having a formula instead?

And my career with fractals started.

At first I was timid with them, I combined fractal backgrounds with photo images. I did several of them. Most of them wound up in the undo pile. I started thinking: not every background will fit every situation. I should create an inventory of images and have them ready to try with different photos. And I did. It’s a good thing I have a monster hard drive.

This worked very well. Also, I found that I could overlap two backgrounds in different layers; if the color was not right, the layers modes came to my rescue. And of course I also could use more than one photo or even fragments of one or two to complete a composition. This is how my Fury of Fire was born.  

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 I continued experimenting and created the Image of Music (left) and Shapes of a New Technology (right)

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Then decided to start post work, overlapped two images and embossed the last one in Photoshop for The Web.

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I had just purchased the program Ultrafractal and I was experimenting. Occasionally I liked to try again some work with gradients, but I always came back to the fractals and experimented again.

When 9/11 happened I made two images. Memorial (left) had a simple fractal background and a dried tree over it. It is in the permanent collection of the N.Y.Public Library. I also made Gather up the Fragments that Remain (St.John) (right) and it was shown at the Seybold Art Show in San Francisco during the 2004 Seybold trade show..

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Continuing my experiments with Ultrafractal I found some new formulas and started going deeper into them. I created some underwater scenes. One of them  Submerged Heaven (left) and another Eruption in the depths (right).

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I was working on the program when the radio announced that the Shuttle Colombia had exploded. I thought of the feelings of the crew at that moment. They probably did not have any more than One Moment of Fear. And used that as a title for the image.(left) Continuing on the same feeling I created Ship Wreck (right).

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When creating fractals I like to have the music playing. I think it puts me in a high feeling mood, and it allows me to see things in the fractals I would not see with different sounds surrounding me. I was listening to Mozart, when this piece was created Listening to Mozart (left). I also created Orchestration (center) and Sea Breeze (right).

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Now and then I have friends who want their portrait. I do not like to take their photo when they know they are being shot. I like to be around them and shoot when the moment is right. This is what Happened with Daniela. I thought her gentleness was right for my fractal image, and I overlapped the two. 

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Artists have a sensitive soul. During their life they try to cultivate their sensitivity to be able to express different situations with as much depth as possible. This is probably what makes them an introvert or a misunderstood being. The more they are able to feel joy and beauty the more they feel pain and ugliness. The events they face during the day influence the work they produce. This is what brought about  Friday Evening on the Freeway (left), Pacific Shores (center)and Desert Sands (right).
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One morning after watching the news I felt I had to express the feelings I had acquired during the show. I made a booklet of 7 pages with fractals chosen at that moment and I explained what the news had done to me: We are living in difficult times. Our minds, influenced by the happenings are choosing lines, shapes and compositions they would not choose in other circumstances.

Often unconsciously we make works we would not usually make. This happens when working in any medium, computer too. Even in a fractal environment we would be prone to choose images we usually say we do not care for. I love simplicity, but the following images are not simple. They express confusion, chaos, hassle. But in order to be art, even though they are upsetting, in my opinion, they must have beauty. And beauty, in this case, does not mean prettiness.


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Through Kai Power Tools I was introduced to the FraxFlame program. It does not really give you flames. It gives you doodles and you can transform them into different shapes. The program has the tools to do it. Even the color can be changed and experimenting with it is a real trip! But after I fix one doodle I feel I have only an object, and I am aiming at a composition. So I transport my flames to Photoshop and as mentioned before I make an inventory. When I feel that I have a shape that is worthwhile, I start experimenting overlapping different images with different backgrounds and I create my compositions. This operation takes sometimes several images or even fragments to finally have a message. I think there should be a message in every composition or the work is just a pretty object.

It should communicate a feeling, and in choosing abstractions I feel the viewer could compare my work to a piece of music. Like in music, there are no flower pots or seascapes or pretty dancers. There are lines and shapes that through their meaning transmit feelings and emotions.

If the viewer can feel those feelings and emotions I have done my job. The following set of flame images should communicate what the title says.   Euphoria (far left),  Blush, Encounter and Poise (far right).  And my mission is to continue working towards a fractal that because of its beauty will bring tears to your eyes. Then, you will know  WHY FRACTALS!


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Renata Spiazzi's Art


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