Electricity + Plywood = Analog Fractal Art

March 4, 2013 | Andy Cush

More often than not, fractals exist squarely within the realm of the digital. Though they closely resemble various natural phenomena–trees or lightning bolts, for example–the phrase usually channels something that was generated by an algorithm and lives on the cover of a ca. 1993 three-ring binder. Using 15,000 volts of electricity and a sheet of plywood, Pratt student Melanie Hoff brought the constantly splitting and multiplying patterns into the analog, as the electricity’s power seared through the grain of the wood. It’s all captured on stop motion video– “sped up hundreds of thousands of times,” says Hoff–and accompanied by some serene classical guitar. Watch above.