Luna Series: II - Lacus Temporis
Bret Battey - 2008


Mercurius is a lunar impact crater. To the west of Mercurius lies the lunar mare (sea) Lacus Temporis (Lake of Time). The former is a complex, spiked vestige of a high velocity impact; the latter is a smooth plain of subtle gradations formed by ancient magma.

In the sound and image compositions Mercurius (2007) and Lacus Temporis (official release 2008), both the audio and visual components of the work have no cuts or edits. What we hear is continual transformation of one synthesis process, just as what we see is continuous animation of nearly 12,000 individual points.

Mercurius rapidly shifts between multitudes of seemingly conflicting states. It ambiguously combines multiple sensibilities of the spiral form, which can symbolize both unity and destruction. The title Mercurius also refers to the "swift messenger" Mercury, a symbol of the volatile and unstable.

In contrast, Lacus Temporis (a 2007 commission from Threshold Studios, Leicester) focuses on a single colour palette and delicate states lying between visibility and invisibility, order and uncertainty. A critical mass of stability and pattern establishes an illusion of solidity. The seemingly stable, however, readily melts away.

Mercurius received First Prize in the Punto y Raya Festival 2007 of Madrid, First Prize in the Abstracta Cinema 2007 Festival of Rome, the "Breaking Out of the Frame" Special Jury Prize of Amsterdam Film eXperience 2007, and is available on the Aurora International Animation Festival 2007 selection DVD.

The visuals were created in high definition with a custom-programmed plugin for Apple's Motion 2 video effects software. The music was created with custom SuperCollider code implementing specially modified digital feedback loops, controlled by algorithms written in MAX/MSP.