Julia & Dragon

Random Occurrence

Julia vs the Dragon
24" x 36"
Copper, steel, brass on oil stained board

Julia vs the Dragon

Julia vs the dragon full image

If it hasn’t been abundantly clear, Chaos Theory is hugely inspirational for me. Ever since I read Jurassic Park (before the 1st movie came out) I loved the iterations as they appeared in the novel. My copy didn’t allude to what actual fractal it was, though. Later, in college, I took a class called Patterns, Puzzles and Mazes. I learned a lot about the functions and aesthetics of games, mazes, tessellations, and various other fractal diagrams among other things. At this point, however, I behaved more like an amateur scientist. I began exploring the Dragon Curve iterations in a purely visual sense. On my own, with cut outs of the first form found in Jurassic Park, I created for this class a fractal puzzle. Through this I began to rotate and reflect the form in order to proceed to the other forms present in the book. After a while, and some frustration, I figured it out and set out to disprove myself by checking the actual equations. I found out that even I approached these iterations from a purely visual and playful standpoint, I taught myself the principles of iterative elements, self-similarity, and other things. It probably helped that I also read James Gleick’s Chaos twice already at this point.

This piece has been notoriously hard to photograph. The antiqued black is glossy, and the metal is shiny. I did my best.


Julia Vs the dragon detail 1

Decorative metal flourishes

A struggle to understand patterns that don’t make sense, and the visual principles of maths.

The thing that plagued me was I still didn’t know what this iteration was actually called, and only after my graduate career did I at last confirm it. I’m not sure what took me so long, but I also wrongly thought it was called the Julia Set. This felt off, though, but I proceeded to create the 1st iteration (get it?) of this piece. The binary spells out ‘Julia is the one’, but I was still ill at ease. Luckily, my google skills improved. After some intensive secondary research I confirmed the name Dragon Curve fit my favorite representation of Chaos Theory . So formerly a declaration of my confidence of the fractal’s name became a symbol a journey to understand this form and its name. With the final piece completed, I christened it ‘Julia vs the Dragon’ to encapsulate the conceptual struggle.


At the same time the understanding and new title came to pass, I became involved with a younger fellow artist named Julia. We got along well, but it was brief. I feared she thought the original title, ‘Julia is the One’, declared of my affection for her. This was never the case though. The opposite may be the case, though.

Julia vs the dragon detail 2

Very carefully aligned

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