Self Portraits with Mandelbrot Genetics
Jeffrey Ventrella
Photographic print of digital image

These self-portraits are generated using a digital paintbrush called the Mandelbrot equation. This paintbrush, if left un-tweaked, reveals classic views of the Mandelbrot Set in its true Platonic form. But beneath the Platonic mathematical realm lies an underworld, inhabited by an infinity of chaotic cousins of the Mandelbrot Set. With inspiration from painters such as Francis Bacon and Robert Motherwell, I designed a genetic algorithm to stir the underworld and evoke images that assume a rough approximation of my head. An Abstract Expressionist dribble or a gestural pseudopod may arise spontaneously in the process. Unlike painting, which involves physics, at no point in this process have I ever manipulated the visual surface: these forms are grown procedurally from the genetic process of evolving variations the mathematical function.

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Presented by the Banff New Media Institute
and the 10th International Symposium on Smart Graphics.