by software artist Scott Draves. You may also follow me on google+ or twitter, buy art, or join me on facebook.

October 06, 2009

Final Paper: Aesthetics of the Electric Sheep

I just realized I never posted the final version of this paper I wrote with Ralph Abraham and friends. The Aesthetics and Fractal Dimension of Electric Sheep, 2006
with Scott Draves, Pablo Viotti, Fred Abraham, and Clint Sprott Int'l. J. Bifurcations and Chaos, v.18, n.4, April 2008
Subjects: Art, Fractal geometry
Written: June 2, 2006

Abstract: Physicist Julien Clinton Sprott demonstrated a correlation between aesthetic judgments of fractal images and their fractal dimensions. Scott 'Spot' Draves, a computer scientist and artist, has created a multidimensional space of colored fractal images (called flames), generated from two-dimensional iterated function systems, and an algorithm that expands them into brief animations (called electric sheep). His website,, serves electric sheep as screen-savers to a large community of regular users, via the sheepserver, which is highly interactive. Both server and users generate new sheep. The users vote electronically for the sheep they like while the screen-saver is running. In this report we proceed from Sprott to Spot. Data from Spot's website show significant correlations between aesthetic judgments for sheep and their fractal dimension, similar to reports by colleagues of Sprott who use Sprott's chaotic attractors as images. Presently, we are studying the variation of this correlation over time, to determine if there are similarities or differences in the evolution of aesthetic preferences with respect to fractal dimension as Taylor has found in the evolution of Pollock's art.

[PDF] 20 pages with 6 figures, 6.7 MB Posted by spot at October 6, 2009 07:44 AM

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