bret battey • bat hat media


Estuaries 3

video + sound (2018)


Estuaries 3 is the third part of my “Estuaries” audio-visual series, which can be viewed as a set of standalone works or ultimately as one large, multi-movement work. In Estuaries 3, my focus was on spaciousness—longer, more slowly-developing audio and visual gestures—and, at the climax and close, creating a counterpoint of both events and gestures.

The “Estuaries” series involves visualizing Nelder-Mead optimization, a process used by mathematicians to find solutions to complex, multi-variable problems that cannot be addressed by solving equations. We see the results of many such routines searching for the brightest points in a source image. The music was created with my Nodewebba software, which interlinks pattern generators to create complex emergent behaviours.

Technical Details

I created the visual material with a custom plug-in for Apple’s Motion 5 video effects software, working in 4k resolution. The connection between the sound and the image was created almost entirely manually — the relationship is not algorithmic. An exception to this lies in the "counterpoint" areas at the climax and closing of the work, in which data from Nodewebba was mapped to create keyframes to control visual elements. I then reworked these keyframes manually to refine the counterpoint relationships.

Presentation Details

Original format: 4k 30 fps Quicktime Lossless, stereo (96kHz, 24 bit)


  • First Prize, Audiovisual, MADATAC X (2019), Madrid, Spain


  • Nov, 2021 - Punto y Raya Festival, Vienna, Austria
  • Oct, 2021 - Montana State University, USA
  • May, 2021 - NoiseFloor, Staffordshire University, UK
  • Nov-Dec, 2020 - Sound/Image Festival, Greenwich, UK
  • Oct, 2020 - SeenSound, Melbourne, Australia [streaming]
  • Dec, 2019 - Synchresis No. 40, Granada, Spain
  • Dec, 2019 - A Digital Realm for New Audiovisual Art, University of Venice, Italy
  • Sep, 2019 - Amsterdam Film Experience at Manifesto Film Festival, Amsterdam, Holland
  • Feb, 2019 - MADATAC X, Madrid, Spain
  • Jan, 2019 - Synchresis No. 37, Málaga, Spain
  • Nov, 2018 - Animation Marathon, Athens, Greece
  • Nov, 2018 - Synchresis, Valencia, Spain
  • Nov, 2018 - Festival Ecosurbano, Technológico de Monterrey, Mexico
  • Oct, 2018 - CVM: Music for the Eyes: Visual Music, Sonoma Film Institute, Rohnert Park, CA, USA
  • Mar, 2018 - Seeing Sound Symposium, Bath Spa University
  • Mar, 2018 - Visible Bits, Audible Bytes, Phoenix Square, Leicester
  • Nov, 2017 - Sound-Image Colloquium, University of Greenwich, UK [Premiere]