Art from Math and Nature

For the past few years, my creative work has involved algorithmic processes inspired by nature and mathematics. Structures - visual, sonic, or both - grow, reproduce, die, and evolve in complex and beautiful patterns. My background as a mathematician and programmer affords me great flexibility when creating art in this manner. Consider the following image:


This image is a representation of a mathematical object consisting of around 14 million line segments. An initial line segment represents the trunk of a tree or the stem of a shrub, and then this segment grows and divides in a manner analogous to that of botanical life. Here's a closeup of one section of the "tree", which gives a clearer sense of its linear, branching structure:

Can you find the location of this closeup in the original image?

So what's the point of this? Why are these structures special? To answer these questions, I borrow from M. H. Abrams's classic work of literary criticism The Mirror and the Lamp. Abrams argues that the primary goal of pre-Romantic literature was to mirror reality, but that the Romantics sought instead to illuminate reality with a lamp whose flame was the soul of the artist. In my algorithmic art, I attempt to unify these two approaches: on the one hand, I seek to reflect the underlying structure and causation of our physical reality, and on the other hand, I present this structure as seen through the lens of my own aesthetic and ethical being.