A Fractal A Day Offers 365 Snippet Of Infinity

Mathematics meet abstract art.

Not all of us have the minds to understand the true beauty of mathematics. But with fractals, confounding mathematical equations can become intriguing, self-similar patterns. So as you magnify a fractal, you’ll simply see their details repeated again and again.


Fractals are nature’s data visualizer–or barber shop pole–depending how you think about them.

The 0001 project, by Nick Schlax, features a fractal a day. His obsession with fractals actually stems from background as a landscape photographer. “As I started to experiment with different ways of rendering fractals, I was really blown away by the organic nature of the forms that were created through purely abstract mathematics, and reminiscent they were of the forms and phenomenon that we see in the world around us,” Schlax tells us.

To create each day’s image, Schlax plugs in randomized sets of values into an affine transformation equation. The affine-similar fractal is a bit different than your standard self-similar fractal. While it technically features pattern repetition, you won’t need to zoom in to see it. Rather, the repetition plays out on the X/Y axis, much like a line graph might, along with an extra level of geometric transformation (like contraction or expansion) that makes each repetition vary.

Schlax renders 24 of these random fractals at a time, sometimes several times, before discovering a fractal that he likes. “Once I find a starting point, I’ll tweak and evolve the equation in various ways, and may bring in elements from other equations.”

The end product becomes the image of the day. It’s also an entirely unique piece of art that you can buy for an extremely low price. A high resolution wallpaper will set you back a mere $.50. Small print prices peak at $10. It’s pretty much the cheapest boost to perceived IQ you’ll find outside the world of lensless spectacles.

[Hat tip: CreativeReview]

About the author

Mark Wilson is a senior writer at Fast Company. He started, a simple way to give back every day.