What are Fractals?
Fractal images, as demonstrated so beautifully above, from the amazing artist and musician Marc Fraser, are both fascinating and mesmerizing to the human mind and consciousness.
A fractal is simply a complex structure or image based on a mathematical equation that starts with a simple geometric shape such as a star or triangle. The original shape is regenereated, or repeated, on either side of itself and gradually forms a more and more complex pattern. This process can be carried on into infinity of repeating similar shapes. By zooming in on any one section of the image we can see the totality of the overall image.
Fractal art is believed to resonate so deeply with humans because these patterns can be seen all around us as the very building blocks of nature. A lot of our physical world, right down to our DNA, is made up of fractals.
Fractal patterns can be found in all sorts of natural phenomenon such as mountains, trees, leaves, the structure of a snowflake, even our body’s blood and lymphatic systems. Once you have got to grips with what fractals actually are you will start recognizing them all around you.
The Power of Fractal Images
Fractal images, especially when combined with fractal music can be a very powerful meditation tool. There are all sorts of reasons why consciousness is said to be expanded when concentrating with focus on these repetitive, geometrical patterns. Indeed for me, some of the fractal images and music can induce a hypnotic state. It may be the patterning or the fact that the conscious mind is totally distracted by the contradiction of the complexity of the pattern combined with the simplicity (that each of the parts is an image of the whole). Computer generated fractals, although relatively new, are simply an update of the Sacred Geometry and ancient wisdom found in most religions. It may be that such images and sounds tap into the universal laws of the world, nature and spirit and something within us instantly recognises that patterning on a ‘higher’ or more subconscious level.
For me it is the concept of the parts reflecting and imaging the whole (and vice-versa) that resonates so deeply in many ways. It may well be that my own fractal structures, physical, emotional and subconscious recognise the fractal patterning in an image and come into harmony with it. Indeed, when I meditate or gaze with intent on a fractal image I often experience feelings of peace and harmony. Research carried out by Richard Taylor, a physicist from Oregon University claims that exposure to certain fractal images can actually reduce stress by up to 60 %. This may well be why some religious movements focus on the natural world for spiritual healing.
Note: All images are copyright of the amazing artist, Marc Fraser. Here’s what we knew of him:-
Marc started his career as a musician involved in both playing and composing music. Later on in life he became interested in the phenomenon of fractals. He explains his love of fractals in music and art below:
“I DO know that the images can be fascinating and really beautiful. Dabbling in the world of fractal images has also led me to the parallel world of fractal music. It’s as if life is turning full circle. As a young composer, I was interested in the Taoist principle of ‘movement within stillness’, and can see parallels in fractal zooms. Maybe that is why I am so interested. Although I am probably too old now to re-enter the world of professional musical performance (it is after all a young persons game), I am returning to composition. There is much inspiration in the principles underlying fractal imaging.”
Here is a video made by Marc in 2007, fractal music combined with fractal graphic animation. Very impressive from a technical achievement point of view.