fractals: pictures of human experience?

what you see below is a fractal. fractals are graphically depicted mathematical functions, maybe similar to how statistical graphs depict mathematics.

fractals are colourful geometrical shapes that illustrate repeated, similar mathematical processes. a very simple example would be the equations 1+2=3, 1+2.2=3.2, 1+2.22=3.22, etc. the equations are very similar (referred to as self-similarity among mathematicians) but with every added step, something slightly new or different is introduced.

thus, fractals, like much of human behaviour and experience, are all about patterns. complex, beautiful fractals are the result of large numbers of repeated, very involved mathematical processes. among others, fractals are used to illustrate and understand living systems that at first glance look chaotic, like weather systems, or the stock market.

or the human experience? i’ve never seen that done before – and would love to try it. i don’t quite know how but a start could be to look at an image like this one and wonder – what could it be illustrating?
there are at least two parts to this image. one seems superimposed on the other. the same colours are repeated over and over again: some greens, some reds, some purples and pinks, some blues, and black. what looks like lace or diamonds is actually an almost identical repetition of the much larger structure that looks like it’s flowing from or to the upper left corner. the general mood of the image could be described as dark, passionate, warm and soft.

the richness of this image makes me think that this would definitely be a depiction of the totality of an experience, not only emotions, thoughts or behaviour.

perhaps it is about the love of a parent for a child: the diamond shapes represent all the thoughts, cares and worries about the child – and how out of it a larger, more powerful shape (the child? the parent’s idea of the child?) can grow or be launched. the colours and shapes of these thoughts, cares and worries are manifold and yet there is a clear, homogeneous pattern. the dark shapes could be the shadows that parent and child throw upon each other.

what do you see in this image?

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