Contest Rules


As part of our continuing efforts to promote fractal and algorithmic art, we are organizing another new exhibition of fractal art, to be shown at the International Congress of Mathematicians in India in 2010. This contest is to select all of the fractal artwork that will be used in the exhibition.

This contest and exhibition have been made possible by our sponsors.


1. Process Overview

1.1. During the entry phase of the process, artists will submit their images to the selection panel, who will review all artwork. The panel will then choose artwork for the exhibition. Selected artists will then provide high-resolution versions of the artwork, which will then be printed, framed, and displayed as part of our exhibition. All entries (whether selected for exhibition or not) will also be displayed on the contest web site. The selection panel is composed of fractal experts, prestigious fractal artists, and sponsor participants.

2. Participation

2.1. Eligibility: Anyone may submit their own artwork to the contest, except selection panel members and their immediate families. (See below for a list of selection panel members.)

2.2. Personal Information: Entrants must provide their full name, mailing address, and email address in order to participate. (Email addresses will not be used except to send information about the contest. They will not be sold or given to any third party.)

3. Entries

3.1. Quantity: Each entrant may submit up to three (3) images to the contest.

3.2. Size: Submitted images should be sized so that the largest dimension is 1600 pixels. Examples of acceptable sizes are 1600x800, 1600x1600, and 1200x1600. Images whose largest dimension is less than 1600 may still be entered, however it will be harder for the selection panel to review the artwork, and ultimately the images will need to be provided in high-resolution form if they are selected anyway. It is therefore to entrants’ advantage to provide the images in as large a format as possible (within the 1600-pixel restriction). Artwork will be reduced in size only for display on the web site; the selection panel will review the full image provided by the entrant.

3.3. Format: Images should be submitted in RGB JPEG format. Entrants should take care not to over-compress the images—entries should be reviewed by the submitter to be sure the appearance of their JPEG files is acceptable. PNG, TIFF, BMP, and GIF files will not be accepted at this stage. Your uploaded JPEG file must be 4000000 bytes or less.

3.4. Delivery: Images should be submitted via the contest web site. (This form will be online by July 26, 2009.)

3.5. Watermarks: Submitted images may contain watermarks, title text, or copyright notices if the entrant wishes to include them. Entrants should be aware that heavy watermarking detracts from the work; we suggest that subtle works best. When including text, entrants should remember that although submitted images will be up to 1600 pixels, artwork displayed on the web site will be smaller, which may make text less readable.

3.6. Existing Works: We would prefer you create new artwork for this contest. Existing works may also be submitted, but we are more likely to select artwork that is new and fresh.

3.7. Copyrights: Entrants must submit only artwork for which they own the copyright. Submitting others’ work on their behalf is not permitted; submitting others’ work as one’s own is illegal in most countries (it is copyright infringement).

3.8. Licensing: By submitting images to the contest, entrants are granting a non-exclusive, perpetual license for the artwork to be displayed on the contest web site and, if selected, for a large-scale print of the artwork to be made and displayed in the exhibition. Ownership of the prints will remain with our sponsor and it will from time to time be displayed at other venues after the first exhibition. Artists should take care when submitting existing work that the license granted to the contest does not conflict with previous licenses for the artwork. If a conflict is found at a later date, the artwork will be withdrawn from the contest and the artist agrees to reimburse the contest for printing cost, if the artwork has already been selected and printed; the artist also agrees to indemnify the contest against any damages resulting from conflicting licenses.

3.9. Content: Artwork may be submitted that is created with any tools, software or hardware. Artists should remember that this is not just an art contest, but a fractal art contest. Entries should also not contain grossly offensive or blatantly pornographic material; such entries may be refused (and not displayed on the contest web site).

3.10. Dates: Entries will be accepted between July 26, 2009 and October 10, 2009.

4. Selection

4.1. Quantity: The selection panel will select exactly 25 works for inclusion in the exhibition. They will do so based on their own criteria and their own judgment as to the quality of the work. We do reserve the right to select fewer pieces if that becomes necessary, but we do not expect it to be necessary.

4.2. Artwork Information: The selection panel may ask the artist for more information about the artwork, either background information or technical information.

4.3. Announcement: Final choices of the selection panel will be announced to the entrants and on the contest web site during October 2009.

5. Selected Artwork

5.1. Size: Artwork that is selected must then be provided in high-resolution format, sized so that the largest dimension is 8000 pixels. If a high-resolution version of the artwork cannot be produced, it should not be entered. Some images may be selected for printing at even larger size (12000 pixels in the largest dimension) so entrants would do well to be aware of the size requirements. This is particularly important for certain types of fractals (e.g. flames) which are difficult to render at large sizes.

5.2. Format: High-quality RGB JPEG files, RGB TIFF files, or PNG files will be accepted for selected artwork. JPEG files with minimal compression are preferred.

5.3. Delivery: High-resolution files may be provided via the contest web site or sent by mail on CD or DVD (an address will be provided if that need arises). Mailed materials will not be returned.

5.4. Additional Information: Selected artists must provide a brief artist’s statement about the artwork and a short (one paragraph) bio of themselves.

5.5. Dates: High-resolution files for selected artwork must be received by contest staff by October 20, 2009.

6. Selection Panel Members

Benoit B. Mandelbrot, Honorary Chairman
Javier Barrallo (Spain), The University of the Basque Country
Damien Jones (UK), fractal artist and programmer
Kerry Mitchell (USA), fractal artist and programmer
Janet Parke (USA), fractal artist
Juan Bautista Peiró (Spain), Polytechnique University of Valencia
Frederik Slijkerman (Netherlands), author of Ultra Fractal
Rajat Tandon (India), University of Hyderabad
Mark Townsend (Australia), author of Apophysis

7. Selection Criteria

We are choosing art that represents our art form to a world that largely does not know it—or if they do know it, they know only garish, 70s-style imagery. We want to show diversity of fractal styles. We want to show diversity of colors. We want to show technically excellent work, but not work that is only technically excellent—it should be exemplary in its artistic expression as well. We want to show artwork that evokes a response from the viewer, that they can connect to. We want to show artwork that is uniquely fractal; artwork that uses fractal tools to produce less-fractal imagery is not as desirable (but is not disqualified). We want artwork that will look good when printed large (i.e. has lots of good, interesting fractal detail).