Bret Battey - Writing on the Surface


"When all things are stirring together,
I only contemplate the return.
For flourishing as they do,
Each of them will return to its root."
-Lao Tzu

"But something in us, while the millennia
monotonously pass and pass,
hungers to offer up
our specks of life as fragile tesserae
towards the vast mosaic--temple, eidolon"
- from Denise Levertov, "Variations on a Theme by Rilke"
(used by permission)

The full scope of time renders all of our proud, anxious, and violent dramas mere writing on the surface of water. Yet during something as brief as the soft flow of one moment's breath, one may hope to discover undercurrents deeper than one's work or its impermanence - and to find the source and goal of one's acts gently transformed.

The sounds for Writing on the Surface were realized with Csound, Common Music, and Supercollider, leveraging my research into feedback systems as a sound synthesis source and algorithmic principle. The video was realized with Adobe AfterEffects and 3D Studio Max animation software, the later driven by scripts generated from the author's extension to the LISP-based Common Music toolset.



Bret Battey