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Title: Order in chaos
Author: Daniels, Anne Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 1472
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2011
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I have always been fascinated by the marks in nature which arise from growth, fracture and decay, in fact by the overwhelming abundance of nature's complexity as described by Gleich (1990): Untamed, undomesticated, unregulated wildness. Nature paints its scenes without regard for conventional order, for straight lines or Euclidean shapes. Luckily so the human mind seems to take as little pleasure in a straight line as in pure formlessness. The essence of the Earth's beauty lies in disorder, a peculiarly patterned disorder, from the fierce tumult of rushing water to the tangled filigrees of unbridled vegetation. My early academic training was in mathematics. So later in life, when I began to study art, I compared the models for nature constructed by both mathematicians and artists, and became interested in the connections between geometry and art. Section 2 of this report describes my autobiographical context. On my BA and MA studies, I discovered that for most of the twentieth century phenomenological forms of nature were not a topic of artistic investigation, and geometry was being used in art as an abstract symbol of man's triumph over nature, via technology. But I also found that with the development of the electronic computer, scientists had advanced new models, such as chaos theory, to better describe nature's complex, dynamical, nonlinear systems. A new geometry, named fractal geometry, was formalised in the 1980s, which approached nature by finding patterns in its disorder. Traditional Euclidean geometry provides a poor approximation to natural disorder, but fractal geometry produces much more successful approximations. These fractal models of nature are likely to be chaotic but at the edges of the chaos an order can be found. I began to make abstract art using these new mathematical ideas, but not using digital computation or computer graphics. Section 3, on creative practice, follows my development through the five years I spent on the doctorate programme. I entered the course feeling that I had only scratched the surface of my visual enquiry into nature's structures based upon fractal geometry. I spent a year researching fractals in geometry and art in the context of the artists that influenced me, and put forward a proposal to devise a form of abstraction based upon 3
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Prof.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available