Fractal Worlds

Through immersive projections and virtual reality experiences, fractal artist Julius Horsthuis combined complex mathematics with cinematic filmmaking to create mind-bending worlds of infinite 3D geometric patterns — transporting visitors to another dimension of new planets and unknown landscapes.

 “The worlds I create aren’t designed – they don’t come from imagination or experience. The shapes hide in the fractal formulas. They exist in a mathematical reality, and all I do is explore those worlds and make them reveal themselves,” said Horsthuis. 

In a fractal reality, he acts like a director or photographer in that he is operating in a world that already exists, and it is up to him to search for the right angle.

Retrospective – Main Gallery
This 23-minute immersive loop of footage featured worlds discovered by Julius over the past 5 years. Each world was based firmly in fractal mathematics from the software Mandelbulb 3D, and used the artist’s experience with cinematography and visual special effects to add his artistic touch.

Basin – Gallery One
This immersive installation played with the illusion of depth by projecting art into a basin. This encouraged visitors to lose themselves in this alternate world and become fully immersed within it.

Fractal Hallway – Gallery Two
Utilizing interactivity to uncover the worlds beneath in two different installations, visitors’ movements reveal a clearer image of the fractal world beneath the fog or waves. It was the artist’s idea that visitors would never be able to see the entire clear image, they could only see certain parts at a time, leaving the rest a mystery.

VR Exploration – Media Lab
In partnership with Oculus by Facebook, visitors were able to explore eight different worlds with the use of virtual reality headsets. Each world featured unique music or commentary, with one world featuring a voiceover of the British evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins from his Christmas Lecture series. Julius wanted to see what conclusions and connections people would come to when he combined biology information with his fractal forms.

About the artist

Julius Horsthuis

Julius Horsthuis is a Dutch visual and fractal artist who combines his years of experience with visual effects and passion for computer graphics to create cinematic animations. With a background in film, his passion for fractal art and artificial intelligence allows Horsthuis to be the creator of his own world.

Horsthuis works with the software mandelbulb3d to uncover iterative complex formulas that are generated by the computer to produce the unmeasurable structures that are fractals. An award winning artist, Horsthuis’ work has been featured in the Academy Award winning “Manchester by the Sea” (Lonergan, 2016) and the most VFX-heavy film in the Netherlands: “Koning van Katoren” (Sombogaart, 2012). His recent work has included collaborations with visual artists Android Jones and musical artists, ODESZA, Meshuggah, Tigran Hamasyan and Birds of Paradise. | @julius.horsthuis