Mechanica Orbitalis

Intermodulation of oscillating patterns


Artist: Nourathar Studio

Authors: Caen Botto & Marta Rupérez

Title: Mechanica Orbitalis:

SnakeHole_46 / SnakeHole_30 / SnakeHole_14

Date: 2021

Medium: Mixed media; screen, video player, electronics, lens, in custom wooden box.

Custom application developed in Max/MSP/Jitter by Caen Botto

Dimensions: 45,5 (h) x 45,5 (w) x 12 (d) cm

Edition: unique within a series of 5


Mechanica Orbitalis presents a series of studies of the intermodulation of oscillating patterns. They explore the relationship between the mechanism of the movement of sound waves - the oscillating movement of harmonic motion - and a visual representation of orbital motion.

Each animation presents a set of circles whose individual movements describe different orbits. The differences of phase (and amplitude) in the frequency of these movements, allows for the emergence of interference patterns that generate (the illusion of) dynamic structures that appear to rotate.

The new forms generated can, in turn, be decomposed into partials, in the same way that sound waves are decomposed into path, phase and amplitude..

Analog and digital media converge in this series: through the circular opening in the front of a wooden box, audiences can appreciate the apparent motion of the patterns. An analog lens further amplifies (in size and depth) the algorithmic optical illusion projected by the screen.

To create the animated content, Nourathar Studio developed a generative graphics application that allows for the creation, in real-time, of different oscillating patterns. The work presents the resulting machinima, as a sequence of moving inter-modulations, in a space of unexpected depth