Showing posts from February, 2009

Sterling-Worlds - Interactive Fractal Art

Climb the mountain, explore the caves, or check out the little islands off shore... Just load the parameter file (shellcity02.loo) into Sterling2 and this whole little world is yours.
Fractals are a unique form of artistic imagery.  They are more like sculptures and dioramas than the flat, static paintings they are often presented as because they can be viewed from more than one perspective.

Fractal Art in it's simplest form is more like photography because the image is made up as much by what is left out as what is included.  Fractal Art is an artform of editing and selection -- browsing and choosing -- from what the generator creates.

In a simple, single-layer program like Sterlingware however, there's no reason why an artist has to limit himself to merely presenting still images to his audience.  It's possible -- with fractals -- to present the viewer with the parameter file that will recreate the entire fractal environment and allow the viewer to explore it like it was a …

Sterlingware Reloaded

Made in Sterling2
(parameter file: shell01.loo )

That great fractal classic by Stephen Ferguson, Sterlingware, has been been reconfigured by Tad Boniecki (aka Soler7) with 50 new formulas and released for download as Sterling2.  And it's totally free too.

Now many of you will know me as a sort of Sterlingware sage; the renowned author of Tim's Sterlingware Tutorial, that classic guide to using Sterlingware 1.7.  I've spent thousands of hours experimenting with Sterlingware 1.7, the previous version made in 1997, and learned just about everything there is to know about it.

So you'd think a guy like me would have known that an updated version had been released -- a whole 6 months ago!

No.  I only found out about it because I was surfing around and - I forget exactly how - found myself at Paul N. Lee's list of fractal programs.  My first thought was how old and out of date these listings must be. I could remember visiting this very same web page back in 2002 when I'd f…


I subscribe to the Project Gutenberg (public domain electronic books archive) recent additions RSS feed and it often brings to my attention books that I would never go looking for.  One of these I checked out recently was called Pictorial Photography in America 1921 by Pictorial Photographers of America.  I was just curious...

I found this passage interesting (1921):
Is Photography to Remain a Black and White Art?

[Question] “What forecast, Mr.White, do you make of future developments in photography? Is it to remain a black and white art, or are photographs in natural colors to supersede the familiar photograph of the present day in our exhibitions and in our homes?”

[Answer] “I think that the fundamental expression of photography is in black and white, and as we develop what I would call the definite photographic quality, black and white will maintain its present ascendency.”

Anyhow, at the end of the long gallery of Pictorial photos I found this ad.  Everything is in black and white in t…

Stones in the Abyss

In Star Trek's greatest scenes we seem to see
the face of outer space
exactly at the moment when
it first attained the title of
"caribbean cruise"

They run about the screen in an
interplanetary rage
of curiosity
Heaped up
glowing with crystals and orange sand
under pastel skies
in an abstract landscape of painted trees
sculpted rocks alien make-up and silver toys
slippery mind game computers and
and all the final speculative sub-plots
of the
"imagination of science"



Anyhow, you get the idea.  It was a nice vision of space back then when traveling to the Moon was seen as just the beginning instead of just the end.  But now, sending out space probes, which ought to be the start of a great real-life drama instead of the start of a trickle of data, is less like launching a mechanical Columbus and more like tossing stones into an abyss.

(Image made in Kandid.)