The mathematical artistry of Lusus Saule

Lusus Saute - Fractals
Lusus Saule – Fractals

“Presently striving to become an artist in Second Life”, is how Lusus Saule describes himself. I think he’s being far too modest; his artistry is clearly evident in his work, and I find it remarkable that I haven’t seen more of his pieces exhibited through SL galleries.

As it is, his work can primarily be found on display in his own Lusus Art gallery complex, a suite of four gallery spaces located in the Port Lydius art region and nested behind the i4 Galleries.

Officially opened in October 2014, the spaces are currently displaying four aspects of his work which all have a decidedly mathematical leaning, and which each present a series of fascinating studies.

Lusus Saule - Fractals
Lusus Saule – Fractals

I was actually drawn to his work when I spied one of his fractal images on a poster while visiting Port Lydius for other reasons. As regular readers know, this particular form of art has a specific attraction for me, so seeing the poster encouraged me to go take a look, and I was quite delighted by all I discovered.

“These images were created with the 3D fractal software called Mandelbulber,” Lusus says of the pieces on display in his Fractals exhibit. Five of these are quite strikingly offered in the kind of panoramic format I personally feel is ideal for capturing the beauty of this type of work. Intriguingly, Lusus says that these items were the result of getting sidetracked using the software while working on a larger project.

“I originally wanted to see if it was possible to create an immersive experience by creating fractal images that surrounded the viewer,” he says. “[So] look out for these some time in the near future!” I can say that it is something I’ll certainly be doing.

Lusus Saute - Droste Images
Lusus Saule – Droste Images

Alongside of the fractal exhibition can be found Droste Images. Here Lusus presents  series of images taken in, and of, regions in Second Life which he has then manipulated to create finished works based on the Droste effect. This essentially sees the same image repeated within itself, each version geometrically reduced. Such images form visual instances of strange loops, itself a foundation of fractal geometry, making it the ideal partner to the fractals exhibit. Indeed, some of the images on display here are suggestive  of another mathematical form which utilises fractal properties: mandelbrots.

Across the courtyard from Fractals and Droste Images can be found Op Art and Animated Gifs.

Op Art blends of Op Art and Kinetic Art in a series of striking pieces which have a geometric / mathematical foundations. Traditionally, Kinetic Art relies on the observer’s movement around the art (be it 2D or 3D) to generate the sensation of motion. While this is clearly evident in the pieces displayed here, Lusus has added to it through the use of scripts to generate additional movement.

Lusus Saute - Op Art
Lusus Saule – Op Art

This actually gives these pieces considerably greater depth, and when combined with slow, simple camera movement when viewing them, can result in some startling effects, most of which are rather difficult to capture in a still image. The movement and depth within individual pieces can also change simply as a result of the distance from which they are viewed, giving rise to a range of optical effects and illusions that enhance the Op Art aspect of the works.

Animated Gifs,as the name implies, presents a series of animated GIFs to the observer – although they may not appear to be animated when first viewed. This is because Lusus is utilising SL’s Media On a Prim capability for his work. This means that in order to be correctly seen, media needs to be enabled within the viewer, and individual images clicked upon (the frames may go white for a few seconds prior to the images displaying).

Lusus Saute - Animated Gifs
Lusus Saule – Animated Gifs

The result of this is a series of animated images and abstracts, all following geometric patterns which are perhaps both more fluid and complex than might otherwise be achieved through purely scripted means of showing animated gifs. Again, still images don’t really capture the dynamic nature of these pieces, they have to be viewed first-hand.

Whether viewed individually, or toured together, Lusus’ gallery spaces are more than worth a visit. You can also find out more about his activities in SL via his website, and if you’re ever in need of a helping hand with an aspect of using Second Life, be aware that he also curates the Metaverse Tutorials website as well.

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