bret battey • bat hat media


On the Presence of Water

computer-realized sound and video (1997)


On the Presence of Water is a sound and image meditation on water as an archetype. Computer manipulations of found sound and imagery are knit tightly together to express a narrative of the subconscious. I used the contemplation of water-as-symbol as a lens to focus a disparate array of sounds, images, ideas, and experiences into a creative work.

This was my first composition for video and music. I developed the video and computer music in parallel, with creative insights in each medium influencing work in the other.


The work received an Honorable Mention in Austria's Prix Ars Electronica 1998. It was also a selected work in the 2000 Concours de Musique et Art Sonore Electroacoustique, Bourges, France. It has also been selected for 2007 release on the first video DVD of the Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States.

Technical Details

The audio was authored on Silicon Graphics Indy, Indigo, and O2 computers and a Power Macintosh using Csound, Common Music, RT, Audiosculpt, and Digidesign Sound Designer.

The video is comprised of Hi8 and still footage arranged and manipulated with Adobe Premier 4.x and Photoshop 4 on a Power Macintosh, rendered with Radius Studio and Targa 1000 video boards.

Presentation Details

Duration: 9 minutes 30 seconds

This work was authored in DV NTSC, stereo. It is available in DV, DVD, and H264-encoded Quicktime formats.

Selected Presentations

  • September, 2011 - Solo show, Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio, USA
  • April, 2009 - Solo show, CCRMA, Stanford University, USA
  • February, 2009 - Washington State University, USA
  • January, 2008 - Solo show, GEMdays Festival, Huddersfield, UK
  • 2006 - Washington State University, USA
  • 2006 - University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, USA
  • 2001 - Boston CyberArts Festival, Boston, USA
  • 2000 - GEMS Concert, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • 2000 - Not Still Art Festival, Brooklyn, New York, USA
  • 2000 -'s Digital Catapult film festival, San Francisco, USA
  • 2000 - CalArts' CEAJIT festival, Valencia, California, USA
  • 1999 - d i a l o g u e s 9 9, matthew gallery, Edinburgh, UK
  • 1999 - Bellevue Art Museum Northwest Film and Video Art Festival, Bellevue, Washington, USA
  • 1999 - CNMAT/SMCC Exchange Concert, UC Berkeley, California, USA
  • 1999 - 7th Annual Australasian Computer Music Conference, Wellington, New Zealand
  • 1999 - Electromuse Festival, Seattle, USA
  • 1999 - University of Virginia, USA
  • 1999 - University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA
  • 1998 - ArtsEdge Festival, Seattle, USA
  • 1998 - Electroacoustic Music Festival, Seattle, USA
  • 1998 - Society for Electroacoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) Conference, Dartmouth College.
  • 1998 - Video Salon, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA
  • 1997-98 - Sonic Circuits Festival, various venues, USA
  • 1997 - Festival of the Korean Electroacoustic Music Society, Korea

Click the thumbnails for full-sized images