Quantum of solace – The Fractal Odyssey
In 2003, I made “The Odyssey Series“ – one of my large fractal art series, probably inspired, as the title already suggests, by Stanley Kubrick’s seminal and marvelous Sci-Fi film “2001: A Space Odyssey“. The series was conceived as an exploration into different fractal computer generated techniques.
My fascination with the film started decades ago, seeing it in my early 20s. As a movie addict, artist and composer, I was left awestruck.
The micro-polyphony of composer György Ligeti’s “Atmosphèrs” soundtrack, played during the “StarGate” sequence was thrilling. The words of “Daisy Bell“, disappearing into the deepest of profoundness created a ‘spiritual sense of wonder’. The amazing depictions of extraterrestrial life were awesome. All of this beauty was overwhelming and left a powerful impact on me as an artist and as a person.
Years later, while experiencing one of the biggest crisis in my life – my wife battling a disease in her left breast tissue, I found a quantum of solace in the courageous encounter with infinity Kubrick’s movie offers. First it came to me in a series of dreams
One night, I was having my usual dream of riding a surfboard on Topanga Beach, while the rhythmic guitar sounds of Beach Boys hits were harmonizing with the sound of splashing waves. Suddenly, from a distance, a big black monolith floating in air horizontally started to approach. A few moments later, it was right next to me in an upright position. It was staring at me without eyes. I felt no fear, just a slight chill. It got closer and closer, until I found myself inside of it.
First there was only darkness – a strange kind of impenetrable darkness. Then we started to move together. Colorful fractal arrays were zipping by, strongly reminiscent of the “Stargate” scene from “2001: A Space Odyssey“. It felt as if we were ascending into a kind of unfathomable epicenter or focal point. Slowly the fractal wind and dark expanse started to disperse.
The sky-tunnel leading to some uncharted point in deep space vanished. We found ourselves in a small, bright room fashioned in Neo-classical style. I felt comfort and was at peace with myself. I felt a powerful sense of serenity.
It was as if some good, peaceful and powerful Being was sending me a message that everything is part of a bigger plan and that everything was going to be all right. Then I woke up.
During the coming months, I had amazing moments with my wife. When the time came, I calmly accepted her death. It was also then that my fractal series came to life.
Most of the fractal pictures in the first group of the series were inspired by the transcendence of Kubrick’s “Stargate” scene: dark diffusions, vortexes, sky tunnels, fractal winds and alien-like deep space fish.
A diverse cross-section of futuristic images, all again influenced by the movie – sky tunnels, ascensions, epicenters and focal points, spurred the second group of pictures in the series.
For instance, “Skeletal Satellite“ references “Space Station V“ – the rotating orbital hotel and transfer point from Earth to other planets, and the Moon. “Fun in the Sun“ hints at the scene when Jupiter and its moons are viewed at a symmetrical 90-degree angle. The viewer’s gaze moves upwards to a place where the Sun should be. Instead, they only see expansive darkness, then enter the Stargate tunnel.
“Conception“ culminated the series. The work was made in a Mandelbrot set technique. It signified my personal rebirth after the terrifying experience my family endured. It was also inspired by the final shots of the film – a fetus drifting in space, casting a new look at the Earth. Was it love? Was it hope? Was it life again?