Day Dreams

A Brain, A Brain and A Kookie person. It used to mean something. Now its out of controle +) Our only hope is Blue

Sunday, December 11, 2005

The Same Only Smaller

I was reading one of Olivia's posts, The Interview. She wrote about how she was copmaring an abstractionist scene and a sclaed down version of it during her Christie's interview. I said that she didn't need to compare them. The small one is the same only smaller. Wrong.

Things are not at all the same when they are sclaed bigger or smaller, this has inspires some interesting thoughts in art and science.

On the program, fractals/pointilliste painting/pointilliste music...with plenty of pictures

One of the first people to note this was Galelio. In a typically renaissance kind of argument, he proved that if a dog were 8 times bigger it wouldn't support its own weight. It couldn't exist.

You're hoping I am not going to speak about this, I am not.

Let's think the same way about figures (paintings) and then music...


What is a figure that remains the same when it is scaled up or down?

Such figures are known as fractals. They were discovered by BenoƮt Mandelbrojt, a french-polish mathematician working for IBM. His work was not at all appreciated in France at first, but IBM loved the cool computer graphics it made.

Fractals are all over nature. They can be seen in trees, animals, clouds, coast-lines... They are also common in urban life, for instance in the way cities grow with no planning....

Here is a fractal

Fractal Leaves

Fractal Animal Shell


As we scale down a painting we will get to a size where it is impossible to paint. The painting can't be smaller than the tip of a brush. A French neo-impressionist painter named Georges Seurat came up with the idea of paintings made up os small points.

In fact these paintings are much closer to the way the eye works:

When our eyes take in a scene they can see only one color at a given point. A point can be red/green/blue. Other colors are not created by micing these three colors at a given point -like in painting- but by having diffenret combinations of the three basic colors at nearby points.


orange is red and yellow and yellow is - maybe I am wrong- green and red. So to paint something orange you use two red points for every green point in a small region.

Here are some examples of Seurat's works

Sunday Afternoon On The Island of La Grande Jatte

Detail from La Parade


And another painting not by him


Much less known than pointilliste painting is pointilliste music. It was invented by a Viennese composer Anton Webern and he thought in the same way of making up his compositions from small units that are different but that when juxtaposed will sound right. In fact he was looking for a systematic way to creat music. Using his ideas a computer can -I think- compose music.... this is one of my dearest projects.

Webern's work couldn't be known during his lifetime because the nazi government in austria condemned it and he had to stop composing. But he is really famous among musicians and even has a fancy website. I will probably make a special post explaining his music.


At 11:30 AM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

two links are wrong I am fixing them

At 3:01 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

hello olive

At 3:12 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Wow, Steli, it is when you write posts like this that I remember why I missed you so much!!!

I love fractals. When my Dad taught me about them, he used the example of the tree, saying that you could zoom into the molecular level and it would retain the same pattern. SOmething like that, hey, I was only about 10 and no one has mentioned it in such detail since then! Yep, we used to own a floppy disk full of fractal images, this was back in 1988.

For you to tie in pointillism and pointillist music is a stroke of genius. Small parts making a whole. I did make a bit of music with the coloured squares on the site.

Although, fractals are the same at any level, and pointillism is not.

P.S. Yellow is a primary colour so you should put it up with the red/blue. Green = yellow + blue.

As always, an excellent post from the mind of Steliano +)

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

yes yes and yes. I am so happy you liked it.

Now Olivia you guys were pioneers to speak about fractals back then and you were only 10..

Thank you for the stroke of genius thing..although I wouldn't call it that

I knew I would make a mistake with primary colors. I HATE DETAILS. Thank you for correcting

finalement, +)

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

and isn't the site so cool, with the dots

At 3:24 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

yes of course pointilliste paintings are not fractals but I was speaking of scaling that's all.

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Oh yes, sorry I had forgotten about the scaling part.

Yes, I love my dad for that, he taught me so much all the time.

You hate details and I don't, so as long as you don't mind letting me correct you sometimes +)

Yes I liked the fact that the site used dots of colour. I saw it as a reference to pointillist painting.

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

Olive au contraire I like that you correct me.

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

yes I thought the same way about the dots.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

And another thing, Steli - *wagging my finger* - You can get your English back into shape again. You forgot a little bit while you were away, do you agree?

At 1:00 AM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

I forgot a LITTLE BIT. I agree.

At 5:43 AM, Blogger Olivia said...

Did you see the link I gave you under the Firebird story?

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Jia Li said...

I am looking forward to ur Aton Weburn Post! It is an interesting idea.

I alway thought people who oainted in Point. were a wee bit mad. All those dotts...eeek.

At 12:25 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

Good evening ladies. Olive, I hadn't noticed the link. I will go see it now.

At 12:26 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

Jia Li, that is an excellent point you made. (no pun intended)

At 12:27 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

oh thanks olive the picture is just lovely. I will post it tomorrow...

At 2:50 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

I am blogging on 20Six right now.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

me too

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Indeed, you have turned up at my site in double force.

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

sorry about that. I am a bit out of control today.

At 3:38 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Steliano, have you had too much coffee today???
Or are you just high on blogging?

At 3:45 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...

I am high on blogging/tea/teeth wihtener/ name it. I hope its not bothering you. It will only last for a few houres.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Olivia said...

Not bothering me at all - I am enjoying it :P

At 4:13 PM, Blogger Steliano Ponticos said...



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