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Friday, May 21, 2004 - 02:20 PM

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Emerging SystemsIn 'Fractal Expressionism' associate professor, Richard Taylor (Materials Science Institute at the University of Oregon) combines science and art stating that American painter Jackson Pollack's paintings were fractal. But it doesn't stop there... a relationship between the our visual field's complexity and our levels of stress can be reduced, if we take into account our environment and work surroundings... At their basic level, fractals are repeating patterns that reveal greater complexity the more they are enlarged. Some are geometric and easy to spot, like a snowflake or the popular example known as the Sierpinski Triangle, a triangle made of so many smaller triangles that the closer you look the more triangles you find...
Greg Bolt's Register-Guard article 'Patterns made Perfect' [old link] notes Taylor's comments, "If we can just subtly imbed fractal patterns in our environment, these could have an enormous impact on stress levels," Taylor said...

Taylor has been studying these patterns for more than a half-dozen years, and most recently he found that people actually have a physical reaction to fractals that is strongest when the patterns have a certain "D value." The D value is a measure of fractal complexity; the least complex patterns have a value of 1.0 and the most complex 2.0.

People, it turns out, like fractals with a D value between 1.3 and 1.5. Taylor learned this by measuring skin conductivity during stress tests in which subjects were asked difficult questions, given a minute to relax, and then asked another question.

The questions produced a measurable level of stress. But when put through the same test while certain fractals were shown in the background, the stress level nose-dived, Taylor said.

"If you put the picture in the background while they're doing this - we didn't even tell them to look at it or draw attention to it - we find that a 1.3 D value actually reduces stress levels by 60 percent," he said."

Another article in The Daily Emerald and The Oregonian [need link update].

Taylor also co-authored a paper on 'Universal Aesthetic of Fractals,' Chaos and Graphics, vol. 27, p. 813 (2003). [PDF]

Further Information/Publications:

• 'Jack The Dripper' Physics World, November edition, p76 (1997) [PDF]
• 'Splashdown' New Scientist, no 2144, p30 (1998) [PDF]
• 'Fractal Analysis Of Pollock's Drip Paintings' Nature, vol 399, p422 (1999) [PDF]
• 'Fractal Expressionism' Physics World, vol 12, no 10, p25 (1999) [PDF]
• 'From Science to Art and Back Again' Science - Nextwave, 25th April 2001
• 'Architect Reaches for the Clouds', Nature, vol 410, p18 (2001) [PDF]
• 'Fractals: A Resonance Between Art and Nature', Symmetry: Art and Science, ISIS Journal (ISBN0865-4824) vol 1-2 p194 (2001).
• 'Pollock's Fractals ' (by Jennifer Oullette) Discover, p68 November 2001 [PDF]
• 'Spotlight on Visual Language' Nature, vol 415 p961 (2002). [PDF]
• 'Fractal Expressionism - Where Art Meets Science' Art And Complexity, Ed. J. Casti, Elsevier Press (2002). [PDF]
• 'The Construction of Fractal Drip Paintings', Leonardo vol. 35 p. 203 (2002). [PDF]
• 'Order in Pollock's Chaos' Scientific American p116, December (2002). [PDF]
• 'The Visual Complexity of Pollock's Dripped Fractals', Proceedings of the International Conference of Complex Systems (2002). [PDF]
Mandelbrot awarded Procter Prize
• 'A Brief History of Art and Science', (by C. Muldoon and P. Rodgers), Physics World p40, November 2002. [PDF]
• 'Perceptual and Physiological Responses to the Visual Complexity of Pollock's Fractal Dripped Patterns' to be published in the Journal of Non-linear Dynamics, Psychology and Life Sciences. [PDF]
• 'Pollock, Mondrian and Nature: Recent Scientific Investigation' to be published in a special edition of Chaos and Complexity Letters. [PDF]
• 'The Search for Stress-Reducing Art: Fractal Geometry from Jackson Pollock to Frank Gehry'
Invited chapter of Mathematics and Culture, to be published by Springer.
• 'Fractal Dimension of Landscape Silhouette Outlines as a Predictor of Landscape Preference', Journal of Environmental Psychology, vol. 24, p. 237 (2004). [PDF]
• "Evidence for mechanical (not optical) copying and enlarging in Jan van Eyck's Portrait of Niccolo Albergati" accepted for publication in the Proceedings of the Optical Society of America,2004
• "Feel the Fascination of Fractals" Invited Review, Physics World, December 2004
• "Evidence for mechanical copying and enlarging in Jan van Eyck's Portrait of Niccolo Albergati", D.G. Stork, Scientific America, December 2004.
• "Perceptual and Physiological Responses to the Visual Complexity of Pollock's Fractal Dripped Patterns" Journal of Non-linerar Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, vol. 9, 115 (2005)
• "The Search for Stress-Reducing Art: Fractal Geometry from Jackson Pollock to Frank Gehry", Mathematics and Culture, 247-255, Springer-Verlag, Milano (2005)
• "Fractals: A Resonance between Art and Nature", Mathematics and Culture II: Visual Perfection: Mathematics and Creativity (Springer-Verlag, Berlin 2005)
• "Fractal Aesthetics", The Journal of Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, vol. 9 115 (2005).
• "Jackson Pollock's Fractal Patterns: Authenticating Art with Nature's Geometry" To be published in the proceedings of International Conference on Art and Mathematics (2005).
• 'Levy Flights', Encyclopedia of Non-linear Science, Ed. Alwyn Scott, Fitzroy-Dearborn (London) (2005) [PDF]
• "Fractal Aesthetics II, The Journal of Nonlinear Dynamics, Psyhchology and Life Sciences, 9 cover image (2005)
• "Personal Reflections on Pollock's Fractal Paintings", Invited essay, special edition of the journal History, Science and Health
• "Authenticating Pollock Paintings Using Fractal Geometry" accepted for Publication in Pattern Recognition Letters. [PDF]
• "Jackson Pollock: Nature, Chaos and Fractals", book to be published (2006)
• "Semantic Evaluations of Silhouettes with Different Fractal Dimension", accepted for publication in the proceedings of The 2nd International Non-linear Science Conference (Alexandria, Sept. 11th, 2006)
• "Self-similar Patterns and Attention Restoration - Semantic Evaluations Real and Artificial Landscape Silhouettes", To be published in proceedings of the 19th International Conference for the International Association For People- Environment Studies (Greece, March 10th, 2006)
• 'Reduction of Physiological Stress Using Fractal Art and Architecture' "Artscience: The Essential Connection", Leonardo Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 245-251 (June 2006) [PDF]

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