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Flipside
Clementine
Figure of Eight
Perpetual Motion
Possible World

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Clementine
2008-9

HD720 animation
118 minute loop
(clip duration: 5 minutes 39 seconds)

 

   

This looping animation features a single orbit around the moon. Rendered from a computer model where planetary positions and orbits are plotted to correspond as far as possible to actuality, the lunar surface itself is based on data collected by the Clementine spacecraft which spent some months orbiting the moon in 1994.

The audio track, produced by Christopher Haworth, is a long-form algorithmic composition consisting of a generative sequence of sound-atmospheres that emerge and fade over the 118 minute duration. It takes its overriding theme from the song, Oh My Darling Clementine. The Clementine spacecraft was named after the song as it would be 'lost and gone forever' once its mission was complete.

The project was prompted by an instance of serendipity. While visiting an observatory near Dublin in 2005, I unexpectedly came across a memento from the Apollo 11 mission, namely a small Irish flag that had apparently accompanied the astronauts into space. The animation's duration reflects the time it took for the Apollo Command Module to make a single orbit of the moon.

Thanks to Colin Melody; Paul Bourke; Scott Eaton; Trent Hare, USGS; Christopher Haworth; Dominic Davenport.