Risto A. Paju

Jyväskylä, Finland

I discovered the art of iterated function systems (IFS) in a course of fractal geometry during Summer 2015. Having no background in visual arts, this opened up a weird new world of expression to complement my endeavours in music and theatre. I soon developed a new plotting technique for colouring IFS graphs, and presented it in a Bridges 2016 paper.

As an occasional maths and science teacher, I could always use fresh reasons why a young person should take up maths. With these pictures, I hope to make a strong case for mathematics as a culture and an art, rather than a mere tool for engineers and economists.

Popcorn Jungle
60 x 60 cm
Digital print

In 2017 I came across the Popcorn algorithm by Clifford Pickover. Instead of repeating what had already been done, I adopted the function into my IFS scheme, complete with my colour overlay method. The initial results shared the general features of typical Popcorn images, but they were too regular to my tastes.

I broke up the square grid using a kind of frequency modulation. The modulation parameters of each picture are chosen randomly to produce a wealth of organic landscapes, leaving the hard task of selecting the best ones for public display.

60 x 42 cm
Digital print

In 2015 I created a series of crescent moon pictures using an IFS of two complex functions. Varying the parameters gave rise to a range of different lunes that all contrast stark edges against veily gradients. This rather surprising variant diverges from the celestial realm into a more restless territory with prominent self-similar details.