bret battey • bat hat media

 

Luna Series #1: Mercurius

computer-realized video and sound (2007)

 

 

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Mercurius is the first in my Luna Series of video-music works. In Mercurius, as in the other works of the series, the audio and visual components of the piece have no cuts or edits. What we hear is a continual transformation of one synthesis process, just as what we see is the continuous animation of nearly 12,000 individual points.

Three-dimensional rotation algorithms create the spiral forms in this work. In the visual music tradition, the spiral or mandala form has been used to evoke the unity of a meditative state — James Whitney’s Lapis (1966) being an extraordinary example.

But the spiral has symbolic associations not only with unity or creative energy but also with destructive forces. The spiral may represent wisdom and integration (the coiled snakes on Mercury’s staff), but it can also suggest the center of a spider’s web and the all-destroying vortex.

Mercurius ambiguously combines multiple sensibilities of the spiral. If there is a unity here, it doesn’t express itself in the balanced visual instant (the centered, symmetrical mandala); it expresses itself only over time as a single process exhibits rapid changes between a multitude of seemingly-conflicting states. Hence the title: Mercurius (Latin for Mercury) is the swift messenger, a symbol of the volatile and unstable.

Honours

  • First Prize - MAD [Moviment D’alliberament Digital]  — Punto y Raya Festival 2007, Madrid
  • First Prize - Abstracta Cinema — Abstracta 2007, Rome
  • "Breaking Out of the Frame" Special Jury Prize — Amsterdam Film eXperience 2007
  • Best Experimental Animation / Visual Music — Red Stick International Animation Festival 2008, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

Technical Details

I produced the sound for Mercurius using a SuperCollider implementation of routines involving a modulated feedback system. I created control processes in MAX/MSP to run the parameters of the feedback synthesis. I created the visual material with a custom plug-in for Apple’s Motion 2 video effects software.

Presentation Details

Duration: 6 minutes 9 seconds

Video: This work was authored in high-definition video 720p (1280 x 720), and it relies heavily on the high color and pixel resolution of HD. It can be presented using Quicktime Pro 7.0 or better on a Mac G5 Dual 1.8 Ghz processor or faster. Alternative versions are available for G4 playback or (as a last resort!) standard DVD playback (PAL or NTSC).

Sound: Stereo or Quad. PCM on Quicktime versions, Dolby Digital on DVD

Selected Presentations

  • Broadcasts
  • Touring Shows
    • Abstracta International Tour
      • October 2008 - The Living Theatre, New York City
      • October 2008 - Cairo, Egypt
    • Aurora Video Festival Tour: Unfamiliar Countries, Impossible Structures
      • July, 2008 - Animator Festival, Poznan, Poland
      • June, 2008 - Lighthouse, Brighton, UK
      • June, 2008 - Dom Kino, Rostov, Russia
      • June, 2008 - Mir Cinema, Kazan, Russia
      • May, 2008 - Avant Music Festival, Moscow, Russia
      • April, 2008 - Belfast Film Festival, Belfast, UK
      • March, 2008 - Pushkin Cinema, Cheliabinsk, Russia
      • January, 2008 - Film Festival Centre, St. Petersburg, Russia
    • Avian Music Ensemble Tour 2008
      • May, 2008 - The Performance Project@University Settlement, New York, USA
      • May, 2008 - New England Conservatory, Boston, USA
      • April, 2008 - Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, USA
      • April, 2008 - Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, USA
    • Center for Visual Music: Essential Visual Music: New Visions
      • October, 2008 - University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA
      • May, 2008 - Philadelphia, USA
    • Punto y Raya 2007 International Tour
      • July 2009 - LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial, Gijón, Spain
      • June 2009 - Kulturni Centar Zrenjanin, Zrenjanin, Serbia
      • June 2009 - Kulturni Centar Požarevac, Požarevac, Serbia
      • June 2009 - Kultur Centar Grad, Belgrade, Serbia
      • June 2009 - Nordic House, Reykjavik, Iceland
      • April 2009 - Universitat de Girona, Girona, Spain
      • April 2009 - Shunt Events, London, UK
      • April 2009 - Cal Huo Che Center, Beijing, China
      • April 2009 - Centro Fundacion Telefonica, Lima, Peru
      • March 2009 - China Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China
      • February 2009 - CaixaForum, Tarragona, Spain
      • December 2008 - CaixaForum Palma, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
      • November 2008 - Silent Movie Theater, Los Angeles, USA
      • November 2008 - New Nothing Cinema, San Francisco, USA
      • November 2008 - Prairie Willow House, San José, USA
      • November 2008 - University of Oregon, Eugene, USA
      • November 2008 - DIVA, Eugene, USA
      • November 2008 - Emily Carr University, Vancouver, Canada
      • November 2008 - Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, USA
      • November 2008 - Espacio Cultural SUBTE, Montevideo, Uruguay
      • November 2008 - Metro Cinema, Edmonton, Canada
      • October 2008 - Centre Social i Cultural Lleida, Lleida, Spain
      • July 2008 - CaixaForum, Madrid, Spain
      • April, 2008 - Fabro, Buenos Aires, Argentina
      • March, 2008 - Fundación Telefónica, Buenos Aires, Argentina
    • Punto y Raya 2007 Edition Retrospective
      • Jun 2010 - Kulturni Centar Grad, Belgrade, Serbia
      • May 2010 - Galeria NUAS, Aichi, Japan
      • Mar 2010 - Aurora Picture Show, Houston, TX, USA
      • Feb 2010 - Cineworld, Middlesborough, UK
  • Screenings
    • Dec, 2016 - live@CIRMMT, Schulich Concert Hall, Montréal, Canada
    • Sep, 2016 - Best of Punto y Raya, Espacio Fundación Telefónica, Lima, Peru
    • May 2016 - Digitale Abstraktion, Haus der elektronischen Künste (HeK), Basel, Switzerland
    • May, 2015 - Xinghai Conservatory of Music, Guangzhou, China
    • Jan, 2014 - SoundImageSound X, Stockton, CA, USA
    •  April, 2013 - Fylkingen, Stockholm, Sweden
    • Apr-May, 2012 - Art Beijing, "Isomerism" Screenage Art Phenomenon Exhibition, Beijing, China
    • Nov, 2011 - New Media Art Center, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China
    • Oct, 2011 - Cinematheque, Paris, France  Sep, 2011 - 3rd Muestra Internacional de Videoarte, Caracas, Venezuela 
    • Sep, 2011 - Solo show, Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio, USA 
    • Sep, 2011 - Big Screen Project, New York City, USA 
    • Mar, 2010 - Vidéographies 21: L’œil écoute - Carte blanche à Jean Detheux, Liège, Belgium 
    • Dec, 2009 - Abstracta Festival at 3rd FRESH Festival of International Video Art and Short Film, Bangkok, Thailand 
    • Nov, 2009 - Lichtspiel: Contemporary Abstract Animation and Visual Music, Roy and Edna Disney/Calarts Theatre, Valencia, CA, USA 
    • Aug, 2009 - Computer Animation Festival: Visual Music, SIGGRAPH 2009, New Orleans, USA 
    • Apr, 2009 - Solo show, CCRMA, Stanford University, USA 
    • Apr, 2009 - "Best of SoundImageSound”, Western Oregon University New Music Festival, Monmouth, Oregon, USA 
    • Mar, 2009 - Music for the Eyes: Visual Music Films (CVM), University of California, Los Angeles, USA 
    • Nov, 2008 - Internacional Forum Art Tech Media, Cordoba, Spain  
    • Oct, 2008 - Optica Festival, Paris, France 
    • May, 2008 - Mostra Audiovisual International: Minima2008, Valencia, Spain  
    • Apr, 2008 - Phoenix Arts, Leicester, UK  Apr, 2008 - Red Stick International Animation Festival, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA  
    • Apr, 2008 - Filmfest Dresden, Germany
    • Apr, 2008 - Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival, Bellingham, WA, USA 
    • Feb, 2008 - FILE Festival Porto Alegre Edition, Porto Alegre, Brazil 
    • Feb, 2008 - FILE Festival Rio Edition, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 
    • Feb, 2008 - Reckonings: Five Decades of Electroacoustic Music, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA 
    • Feb, 2008 - SoundImageSound V, Stockton, CA, USA  
    • Jan, 2008 - Solo show, GEMdays Festival, Huddersfield, UK  
    • Jan, 2008 - Stuttgart Filmwinter International Short Film Competition, Germany 
    • Dec, 2007 - Transfera (TV Broadcast by La Central Digital), Madrid, Spain 
    • Nov, 2007 - Optica Festiva, Gijón, Spain  
    • Nov, 2007 - Amsterdam Film eXperience (AFX), Netherlands 
    • Nov, 2007 - Aurora Video Festival, Norwich, UK  
    • Oct, 2007 - Visual Rhythms, London, UK 
    • Oct, 2007 - Backup Festival, Weimar, Germany  
    • Oct, 2007 - The European Experimental Exhibition D-NEFF, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain 
    • Sep, 2007 - Abstracta, Rome, Italy 
    • Sep, 2007 - Punto y Raya Festival 2007, Madrid, Spain 
    • Aug, 2007 - FILE Electronic Language International Festival / Hipersonica, São Paulo, Brazil 
    • Jun, 2007 - Sonic Arts Network, Plymouth, UK