Vincent J. Matsko

Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Mathematics Department, University of San Francisco
San Francisco, California, USA

Computer-generated art involves ideas not conceivable before the advent of modern technology. My recent work involves randomness on a large scale, experimentation with color, and integrating thousands, sometime millions, of individual elements in a single composition.

Work in this exhibition explores varying the angles in the well-known recursive algorithm for generating the Koch snowflake. An amazing variety of mathematical and artistic effects can be produced merely by changing the usual angles of 60 and 120 degrees. Varying color and line width creates interesting textures – the challenge is to create a diverse sequence of images from a simple recursive idea.

Fractal Curve +11 +191
20 x 20 cm
Digital print

The Koch snowflake is a well-known fractal represented by the string "F +60 F -120 F +60 F," where "F" means move forward by a specified length, "+60" means turn counterclockwise 60 degrees, and "-120" means turn clockwise 120 degrees. Each occurrence of "F" is then recursively replaced with a copy of the string, which is repeated as many levels as desired. When these instructions are carried out graphically, the Koch snowflake is produced. In this piece, the same algorithm is used, but with different angles. The title is taken from the particular choice of angles used to create it. The fractal nature of such curves varies, but as the original algorithm derives from creating a fractal, a liberty is taken in calling this a "fractal image."

Fractal Curve +0 +12
20 x 28 cm
Digital print