The complexity of a fractal structure is in infinite
recursion. Like a Russian matrioshka doll, very similar systems nest inside each other, and
there is always another level of detail. All parts are made up of smaller, but identical or nearly
identical, parts. So complexity is introduced not by differentiation between the makeup of the
atomic units which make up the system, but by the size and arrangement of the units themselves.
For new media, this is important because, as Manovich argues, creating objects becomes less
important than knowing how to manipulate and arrange them. Software is bundled with "developer
toolkits" and other databases of sample images and objects. Invariably, these samples are seen in
new media objects all over the Web -- and are sometimes combined in very unimaginative ways. In
fact, artwork which parodies new media made from
developer samples isn't hard to find (note: link contains Macromedia Flash content with audio).
Programs which render two popular representations of fractal structures, the Julia and Mandelbrot
fractals, are widely available. This closeup of a Julia fractal was generated with "Kfract," an
application integrated into the K desktop environment for Red Hat Linux.