Recent years have brought us new understandings of images and how the brain decodes them, and new technologies for the generation, processing and reprocessing of images. These understandings and technologies are only now being incorporated into visual image art. Art KOU KOU represents a synthesis of those understandings and technologies.
It is now known that images of complex objects like trees, leaves, beaches, mountains, fields of grass and entire coastlines can be generated by a computer in endless variations starting out with extremely simple mathematical formulas. These formulas are called fractal representations. Slightly changing a fractal formula for a leaf results in the generation of different kinds of leaves, some of which may exist in nature, and an infinity of possible leaves in possible color patterns which do not exist. These are the alternative fractal representation of leaves, portraying leaves in our universe as well as innumerable “fantasy” leaves that grow on plants in alternative universes adjacent to our own. Transforming a photographic image of a plant to a similar plant having such fantasy leaves is a simple example of re-fractalization of reality.
Every image, no matter how complex, can be represented by mathematical formulas which can in turn reproduce the image. The French mathematician Jean Baptiste Fourier showed how this could be done almost 200 years ago, and today Fourier-type image analysis and synthesis via computer is an important part of the digital image-processing armamentarium. The newer fractal representations offer a much more powerful and practical way of image analysis, synthesis and transformation.
Fractal image-processing algorithms are built into many software programs used by computer artists, programs like the Kai's Power Tools plug-ins. It is also used very heavily in the creation of computer art based on 3-dimensional modeling. Use of the computer may be combined with tried-and true approaches such as painting on photographs, collaging. Stages of manual painting can be mixed in. And, of course by various digital output techniques including xerography, video projection and ink jet printing. The output can be in tiny or billboard-sized prints, prints on fabrics or other substances, and can even be used to shrink-wrap objects such as city busses. Selective re-fractalization of reality is the essence of Art KOU KOU.
What KOU KOU stands for
Art and alternative perceptions of reality
KOU KOU in the History of Art
Art KOU KOU Manifesto
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