Animated Art

Jeffrey Ventrella

In 1984, at the age of 25, Jeffrey Ventrella had just earned his undergraduate degree in Art Education with a minor in Art History from Virginia Commonwealth University. Jeffrey already had a deep interest in geometry by the time he was introduced to fractals in the form of a simple computer program. Knowing nothing about programming, he gradually began to decipher the code so he could make primitive animations of fractal curves twisting into ever-changing organic shapes. A new visual language opened up - a metaphor for the emergent complexity of the living world.

Jeffrey failed Math 001 in undergraduate college, but his obsession with fractals and the desire to create art through algorithms brought him closer to the beauty of number theory, computational geometry, physics, and complex numbers. Driven by artistic vision, Jeffrey achieved a mathematical vocabulary that allowed more varieties of images and life-like motions to come forth.

This led to a Master's degree from Syracuse University in software-based art. After developing genetic algorithm-based animations while working at SU, Jeffrey briefly taught at University of California in San Diego working under artist Harold Cohen. He was then accepted into the MIT Media Lab in 1991, where he earned his second Master's degree. Soon after, he moved to Northern California with his wife, Nuala Creed.

After a roller coaster decade working in Silicon Valley in various game and virtual reality companies, Jeffrey became an independent contractor, and is now pursuing his creative dreams. Jeffrey's recent work includes a new series of fractal trees and a particle system with lifelike behaviors, currently being implemented in VR.