Views of fractal mountains

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“Why geometry is often described as cold and dry?
One reason lies in its inability to describe the shape of a cloud, a mountain, a coastline, or a tree.
Clouds are not spheres, mountains are not cones, coastlines are not circles, and bark is not smooth, nor does lightning travel in a straigth line.”
(Benoit B. Mandelbrot, The fractal geometry of nature, 1982)

In the late Seventies the mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot began to study a new geometry of Nature. His studies concerned those geometric objects that are not the usual Euclidean solids, which had defined the formal characters of the natural world so far. He called them fractals: their shape is irregular and fragmented, yet it remains the same at whatever scale of observation.
The series Views of fractal mountains draws inspiration by Mandelbrot’s theory. It investigates a self-built paper sculpture of a mountain from the perceptive and imaginative point of view. As a fractal object, the sculpture can be reconfigured in infinite shapes; the basic aspects of each shape are still recognizable. Yet, as a simulacrum, it embodies the symbolic and metaphorical idea of the actual mountain, the one we know through physical experience and images.
In Views of fractal mountains photography acts as a generator of visual short-circuit. In the photographs the landscapes are a fake because the paper sculpture does not correspond to the real object of reference, even though it is a plausible scene. However, the landscapes are real as we tend to overlap the content of a recalled visual memory to these views.
Through the photographs the sculpture loses its coordinates of object and becomes the symbolic image of our idea of mountain.