Fractals

lucifer
Lucifer (1947). Artist Jackson Pollock.

It never ceases to amaze me. Academics. Just when you think something is dead and gone, an Academic will resurrect the matter and publish a paper. I think we should commence all graduate-level “Selecting a Research Topic” courses with “And on the third day…” 🙂

There was (is) an ongoing debate about the use of fractal analysis to determine the authenticity of Pollock’s paintings. I’ve been sort of following the exchange over the past two decades. Then in 2007, this article came out confirming that “Physicists recently ‘put the nail in the coffin’ in the debate about using fractal analysis in authenticating art.” Okay, so fractal analysis is a poor method for authenticity purposes but can you use it for something else?! Yes! To study Pollock’s evolution! Check out this recent article:

Fractal analysis of Jackson Pollock’s painting evolution (2016). “The aim of this work is to study the evolution of some fractality indices of Pollock’s paintings for the period from 1930 to 1955 and, in this form, detect changes in this painting technique and relate them to major cultural influences. To this end, about 30 paintings are analyzed by applying a two-dimensional detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA). Results indicate two large shifts in the fractality indices. One transition involves a change in the correlations dimension by 1937, while a second transition implicates a shift in the short-scale Hurst exponent by 1945-1946. Based on descriptions from Pollock’s biographers, it is postulated that the first change may be strongly influenced by Mexican muralist Siqueiros and the second one by the moving of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner for living in the natural landscapes at Springs, Long Island.”

Fascinating to consider how we may be able to detect and measure the influences in our lives and how they alter our perception and interpretation of the world around us.

#JacksonPollock #BenoitMandelbrot #FractalAnalysis

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