In order to make up for my recent shortage of Friday Fractals, I’ve assembled a few at once, with a Halloween-ish theme. I browsed over the Mandelbrot set, seeking the spookiest angles. What seems freakiest is the unending depths of the set… I could have been wandering through forever. It is sort of like a dream of falling, but never hitting the bottom.
I began using the same set of colors displayed in my Halloween banner, and soon found images reminiscent of monsters and insects:
Freaky Fractal I-Monsters
That was slightly unsettling, so I brightened things up with shades of orange. Soon, I found a place where pumpkins seemed to repeat endlessly off into the horizon. It wasn’t my local pumpkin farm–we never made it, with Colorado’s uncertain October weather–but a small patch of the Mandelbrot set:
I picked one pumpkin-like shape, which I later carved up in Photoshop:
Freaky Fractal II-Jack o’ Lantern
I kept searching. Eventually, my restless wanderings through the set were making me weak and weary. Then, I thought the set grew denser, thickened by some unknown integer, left by Mandelbrot, scattered like Cantor’s Dust across the floor. From a feather I pulled the colors, those black as midnight, but no others…
And from within that fractal feast, I saw the shadows of an ancient beast. That beguiling raven that Poe adored, perched above his chamber door, fascinating me since childhood… and more.
Freaky Fractal III-The Raven
I knew I couldn’t let Halloween pass without making some sort of tribute to one of my favorite poems, The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe. I memorized the whole thing, once upon a time, and still remember practically every verse. (The drawing on the right was inspired by an illustrated copy of “The Raven” that became dog-eared as I worked on my memorization. At some point, I got bored with recitation, and sat down and doodled it out.) I’ve found hidden meanings within the poem which Poe may never have intended. Without a doubt, it highlights our darkest doubts–our inabilities to either change or forget the past. Still, like these fractals, the repeating patterns, however haunting, delight our senses.
I haven’t included any photographs with these fractals. Instead of mimicking a picture from the camera’s eye, I’ve chosen images from the imagination. But I can’t leave without passing out some kind of treat. So, for a wicked delight, I invite you to listen to “The Raven”, read by the most haunting voice of our generation, Christopher Walken:
Notes: Audio borrowed from a course in Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario… I have no idea where the original came from. All fractals made by the author using ChaosPro. Pencil drawing by the author in 1992.