What exactly does the word “mirage” mean? According to the dictionary, mirage is “something that appears real or possible but is not in fact so.” Sonarpilot specializes in blurring the boundaries between reality and the simulated digital existence we find ourselves lost in. The English electronic artist behind the moniker, Michael Moppert, and filmmaker Roger Mäder work closely to erase any prenoted perceptions and open our eyes to parallel dimensions. The Mirage Project is a complex compilation of six 10-minute journeys through the fabric of space and time. The atmospheric centrifugal project kept our minds and eyes busy with its 2020 monthly releases.
Sonarpilot’s avant-garde sci-fi electronica and Mäder’s fractal rendering fabricates a musical odyssey. Their videos are well-oiled machines that might question and answer while retaining a sense of emotional urgency that soothes and calms or excites and frightens us. Either way, it’ll evoke emotions that make us inquire about the fundamental human condition.
The fifth video of The Mirage Project, “Cathedral,” allows us to lose sight and question what is above us, below us, and surrounding us. The constant LED silhouette shimmers as the soundtrack oscillates between Steve Reich’s classic minimalism and a muscular electronic beat, which brings us deeper into the mysterious structure. Are we in space? Or are we inside a computer chip? Could it be we’re at the trenches of the ocean with jellyfish floating around as we descend to the seafloor? All guesses might be correct and entirely wrong, and it doesn’t matter because we encompass it all, and all of it encompasses us. Blanketly, we are surrounded by its infinite outline.
As the song ebbs and flows with either glimmering bells or intensely layered violins, the visual follows suit. “Cathedral” symbolizes the technological eclipse that clouds our minds (and our judgment.) Sonarpilot states, “technology is becoming more and more our religion, the promise in which we put our faith.” The digital pacifiers play immense roles, giving us our news, our opinions, and our answers. We used to look towards the sky for solutions; now we look down at our screens. Yet, it’s important to remember that everything comes from nature, the materials used to create technology, and the design itself. In the end, what began in this world before we were even here will always overpower any human creation.
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