Toni Meštrović


video film
SD 576p, 16:9, Pal, color, PCM 5.1 surround sound, 17’35”, 2004

The sea as a perceptual phenomenon is the subject of my artistic exploration in the video work “Abyssos”. It is an attempt to recreate the sea medially as a visual and audible entity that exists in my memory and my perception.
As a point of departure I looked at the word Abyssos (bottomless), which is a synonym for dark infinities and primal chaos. It was important for me to create a work, with the intention to open up the space between conscious and unconscious perception.
In the video I depicted the very broad and many-sided ‘communication’ with the sea, by utilizing my water and underwater video and sound recordings taken over the two years around the island in Croatia where I come from.
The original underwater footage is combined with the images and sounds that have been manipulated through digital processing technology. Like a kind of a feedback system, “real” imagery (original video footage) is intertwined with artificial imagery (manipulated footage and 3D imagery).
Underwater sound recordings containing obscure verbal transmissions – those of human voices and fragments of conversations – play an important role in this work. These transmissions were captured accidentally by a hydrophone at a location in Dalmatia three nautical miles removed from the presence of man.
These recordings present a metaphoric view of the sea as a medium that represents communication and collective world memory. Through this idea of connectivity, the work highlights the rhythms and loops of sounds and images occurring in the natural environment.

Author: Toni Meštrović
Sound Composition: Hannes Hölzl
Producer: Academy of Media Arts Cologne
Country of production: Germany / Croatia
Year of production: June, 2004 (2002-2004)
Running time: 17 min, 35 sec
Aspect ratio: Anamorphic 16:9 (1.778)
Video: PAL, color
Audio: DTS 5.1 Surround Sound