Video – Jackson Pollock (USA, 1912-1956) painting outside his house in 1950. “Technique is just a means of arriving at a statement” [from YouTube]. Pollock was probably the first and still unique man on planet earth able to continuously  increase his fractal dimension signature along his life work. He call it “Action Painting“. In a way, canvas was an habitat for him.

[…] The simulated ecology of different stimuli response threshold organisms, triggered by the seeds of these stigmergic processes, whether in the form of 3D local configurations, or by the qualitative values of any conceptual data items, must not be overestimated. Above all, the behaviour that emerges from all these spatial-temporal relationships conduct us into the realm of what nature is about: dynamical patterns of complexity. Not chaotic or purely rendered at random, but at the edge of chaos (Langton), where creative and autonomous aLife survives. As reported by Nature magazine (Sept., 13, 2000), research suggests that the abstract works of artists such as Jackson Pollock are esthetically pleasing because they obey fractal rules similar to those found on the natural world. Pollock was known to have swung his paint back and forth like a pendulum, using a can on the end of a string with a hole punched in it. Researchers (Jensen) have found that if a swinging pendulum is hit with a hammer at just the right frequency (slightly less than the natural rhythm of the pendulum), its motion becomes chaotic and the paint traces out very convincing “fake Pollocks”. However, the artist had no idea of fractals or chaotic motion. This seems to be in line with the actual synthetically computational art, where there is a need to reference some kind of external artifact or mechanism, but nevertheless and as it appears, not those of the self whether they are conscious, unconscious, intuitive or not. Synthetically generative art, and above all, artificial systems of morphogenesis of any kind, should be much more about what scientists call “complexity”, and rely on nature as a physical generative force of ontological significance. Moving on to the implicit, rather on the specific. […]

in Vitorino Ramos, On the Implicit and on the Artificial – Morphogenesis and Emergent Aesthetics in Autonomous Collective Systems, ARCHITOPIA Book, Art, Architecture and Science, INSTITUT D’ART CONTEMPORAIN, J.L. Maubant et al. (Eds.), pp. 25-57, Chapter 2, ISBN 2905985631 – EAN 9782905985637, France, Feb. 2002.

Pollock’s most famous paintings were made during the “drip period” between 1947 and 1950. He rocketed to popular status following an August 8, 1949 four-page spread in Life Magazine that asked, “Is he the greatest living painter in the United States?” At the peak of his fame, Pollock abruptly abandoned the drip style. (image above)

Pollock’s work after 1951 was darker in color, including a collection painted in black on unprimed canvases. This was followed by a return to color, and he reintroduced figurative elements. During this period Pollock had moved to a more commercial gallery and there was great demand from collectors for new paintings. In response to this pressure, along with personal frustration, his alcoholism deepened. (controversial Wikipedia entry)