Nova is a responsive video work on the theme of the movement of water. The project combines video recordings with synthesized wave patterns to produce an altered portrait of water, grounded in reality but extended into the imaginary. The work aims to show water as both familiar and alien, returning a sense of mystery to this fundamental element. In this way, Nova is intended to encourage wonder and respect for the natural environment.
When it is at rest, water is neutral and still, but upon any stimulus it immediately assumes intricate, changing forms. As soon as wind touches its surface, textures appear; currents give rise to eddies and flows; casting a stone produces a multitude of waves. Constantly transforming, it becomes abstract and hypnotic. All of this richness emerges from fundamental physical principles of wave cancellation and reinforcement. Water exemplifies the way that simple systems can give rise to complexity.
Each viewer plots a unique course through the imagery depending on the scope and focus of their gaze. In this way, Nova emulates the experience of finding images in natural structures, such as by seeing figures in clouds or hearing melodies and rhythms in environmental sounds.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.