Puerto Rico trench

ten Brink, J. 2004. Puerto Rico trench.

TitlePuerto Rico trench
Creatorsten Brink, J.

A Virtual Reality documentary film, the film uses scientific data in the visual arts through visualisation of data management processes. Puerto Rico Trench is a documentary that uses scientific data to visualise data management processes. The film explores

representations of wilderness through science by taking data from newly mapped areas of the ocean floor in the Pacific and

transforming them into inhabitable virtual spaces.

Digital technologies, in particular database VR technologies, offer new kinds of textual and visual discussions. VR challenges

such fundamental concepts as an image of landscape. The Puerto Rico Trench film uses pioneering VR software in a high

definition large scale moving image project. The Fledermouse software was adapted for use in moving image project by ten

Brink with technical support from USGS in the USA and University of Westminster and attracted a $35,000 grant from NOAA in

the USA. By using a Multibeam echo-sounder and extensive use of 3-D visualisation fly-bys along the ocean floor through the

dramatic bathymetry of the Puerto Rico trench, the film creates ‘digital landscapes’ simulating in parts video games and 3-D


The film is a product of a close cooperation between ten Brink and a group of scientists throughout all the stages of production

and post production. It includes live action documentary filming aboard a research ship and generation of 3-D fly-by using the

Fledermaus software. Beside its contribution to the visual arts, the film has been presented in science conferences and is widely

distributed (over 1200 copies to date) in the USA, Caribbean region and Australia in university libraries and science museums

(The University of Western Australia, University of Texas at Austin, Russian Academy of Sciences Novosibirsk, University of

North Dakota).


1. 10.10.2004: American Geophysical Union Conference, San Francisco, USA (www.agu.org/fm04) - Science Film Programme ,

San Fransico, USA

2. 27- 30.6.05 International Scientific Congress 2005, Havana, Cuba

3. 12.05.2005 - CBS TV, Boston, USA

Year10 Oct 2004
Publication dates
Published10 Oct 2004
Output mediaDocumentary film
Media typeVideo

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