The ‘strange attractor’ is referenced frequently in chaos magic circles, infinite but bounded, they form the basis of our understanding of deterministic chaos (in the case of the Lorentz attractor). The complex nature of strange attractors results in a fractal structure. Fractals are self-similar infinitely repeating patterns with an innate beauty that has been represented in art long before Mandelbrot’s seminal publication in 1975. An example of fractal music is the first Bourree in Bach’s cello suite no.3, below is a recording of the piece played by Rostropovich, arguably one of the greatest cellists of the last century.
With an understanding of the mathematical form of fractals, far more complex visual art has been produced since the early 80’s. I was recently introduced to the work of Subblue, who performs experiments with spherical coordinates to produce ‘mandelbulbs’ whose appearance is strangely biological, resembling highly symmetrical virus capsids. Just as artistic thought is inherent in scientific discovery, scientific thought is implicit in his artistic creations and in this way the feedback mechanism between the two seemingly distinct disciplines is exposed.