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NUMBER, ORDER and DISORDER in NATURAL TREES
Natural (that is, simulations of ) trees are shown here as visual exponents of abstract concepts of numbers, order and disorder. The influence of several parameters of growing, as number of branches, angle of openness, reduction factors of branch length and width are seen as a global appearance immediately perceived as a type (species). Furthermore the variation of these few parameters gives huge differences in the whole tree, showing the power of repetitive and systematic little trends in nature.
In the observation of actual trees present in nature, it is easy to note the constancy of physical characteristics for each species. The number of branches in each node, the ratio of branch length reduction are almost-constant for a particular variety. On the other hand, these trends, however modified and influenced by random natural circumstances, cause the tree to have a general aspect which is immediately related to that particular species.
This, for us, reveals a relation between the number and nature. But in nature we can see a freedom with these rules, a 'natural attitude' (let us remember the use of this word in the context of human behavior or in fashion) which also characterizes nature in general and trees in particular.
We see that a balanced combination of order and disorder, are necessary ingredients in natural beings. Ingredients which can be roughly attributed to heritage (order) and ambiance (disorder). Life can be considered as a plan with circumstances which modifies this plan until a certain point.
The degree of that variation presents two extremes, both non compatible with life: if there is no variation in the plan, if everything is order, the tree presents a kind of cold perfection, akin to artificial objects. If, on the contrary, everything is disorder, random changes, the product is a pathological being, no able of sustaining life. See the figures in Árbol to show these extreme situations.
These trees have been repeatedly used by the author to illustrate the limits between which Art, and Music, should move, partially satisfying expectations, partially frustrating them, i.e. surprising.
The program was written in 1978, well before the present fractal fashion. See more inárbol.
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