FractaLS
1989-1990

Blue Spiral, 1989
(chromatic animation 2022)
MacWorld '93 Official T-shirt
(Boston & Toronto)

I created a series of Fractal Art works back in 1989-1990 and founded Fractal Generation in order to publish and distribute my Fractal Art. With these fractals I attempted to go beyond the mere mathematical complexity and into the realm of artistic expression.

Signed Limited Editions of Azank’s fractals were featured in Artforum, Feb. 1991, 

“FRACTAL ART: Computer Art comes of age giving us a glimpse into the intimate world of Nature.

The artist’s manipulation of Mathematical Space and Color convey a sense of beauty of a broad scale…”

Fractal Art, 1991 Artforum. Roberto Azank

In 1989 Computer Art was a novelty. Several books on the subject featured my work and interest in my work grew.

In ARTFORUM edition of September 1991 the exhibition of the world’s first and possibly only Fractal Mural was featured. “Morphogenesis” was a hand painted mural that I created transposing the fractal pixel by pixel. It was exhibited at the “Computer and Art Exhibition”,  in New York in September of 1991, curated by Ludwig Datene, who put together a pioneering and visionary show of computer art.

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Vintage Pioneer Fractal Art - 

Reincarnation as NFTs: 

The iconic collection of fractals from 1989-1990 has been restored from the only original set of prints that survived after 32 years (the original computer files were lost). The pixel by pixel restoration was carried out entirely by me from scans of the well preserved inkjet prints from my personal collection - the purpose was to get the fractals to look like the original computer screen fractals, not the 32 years old inkjet prints. In many cases surviving photocopies of the acetates used for the color-separation process in the printing of fractal T-shirts aided me in the process of restoration.

Particular attention was given to restoring their color brilliance and to preserving the pixelated look of the original fractals, which had a 640x480 resolution. At the time they were generated on my awesome AST personal computer that boasted a 40mg hard drive! It would take 24-48 hours to generate a single fractal image - with very long waits between pixels!

The beautiful results of this restoration will now be made permanent in the NFT format (Carbon Neutral). I will update info on the upcoming drops, which will include the “Dragon Tree”, MacWorld ‘92 Official T-shirt.

Dragon Tree, Azank 1989

Inkjet print, 1989, used in the restoration process.

Dragon Tree, Roberto Azank
Dragon Tree, 1989
MacWorld '92 Official T-shirt (Boston)
Harmonic Molecules cc3cr.png
Harmonic Molecules, 1989
PC Expo '92 (New York) Official T-Shirt & NCTM '92 (Nashville) Official T-Shirt
MacWorld '94 (Washington, D.C.) Official T-shirt

A little Fractal scandal:

Art, or just another Fractal?

In 1992 I made the official NCTM (National Conference of Teachers of Mathematics) T-shirt. As per usual in my T-shirt collection the wording below the image gave me artistic credit and stated that the image was “Fractal Art”, a new term at the time. That created a bit of a scandal:

During the keynote conference on Fractals, which was the hot topic in mathematics circles at that time, Dr. Mandelbrot and Dr. Peitgen spoke on the nature of fractals. At one point Dr. Peitgen went on to say that the fractal used in the official T-shirt could not claim to be "art", as it was not any different than any of the fractals in their beautiful technical book on fractals: it explored a similar sector of the Mandelbrot set as one of their own illustrations, just with a different arrangement of colors and forms, the result of redistribution of areas via iteration control and different color choices. 

I was able to hold my tongue, got up and went to the side of the stage where the lecturers were gathered and asked Dr. Peitgen for a word. He was very kind, listened to my arguments where I equated his statements to those of an anatomical medical researcher not seeing any artistic value in a Michelangelo drawing just because the muscles were just as correctly drawn as those in the medical literature. I pointed that the fractals in their book were like botanical drawings, awesome because they were fractals, never intending to be artistic, but rather to exhibit the complexity of fractals. My whole interest in fractals was the ability to make artistic choices and determine what my fractal would look like, manipulate its design to make it expressive, to make it art.

Dr. Peitgen went back on-stage and retracted his earlier statement saying that he had met me and was now convinced of the validity of Fractal Art as I claimed.

A great win for Fractal Art, straight from the originators of fractals themselves. 

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Ancient Warriors
MacWorld '93 Official T-shirt (Boston & Toronto)
Fractal Generation T-shirt MIT catalog

Museum Stores and College Stores at universities worldwide loved our t-shirts, including the MIT Museum Catalog.

Our signed limited edition posters were advertised in Scientific American, September 1990.

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We produced the Official T-shirts for Macworld '92, '93 and '94 in Boston, Macworld Washington DC '94, Macworld Toronto '93, NCTM 92 in Nashville & PCExpo 92 in New York City.

 

Macworld 94, Harmonic Molecules.png
Macworld 92, Dragon Tree _ black.png

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