Cu Na Mara (Hound of the Seas) , a new collaboration in moving image and sound by Scott F. Hall and Matt Dombrowski, is a phenomenological paradox: a superrealist experience created through synthetic means.
The piece opens in blackness and silence. The sound gradually rises up from black as the animation moves into the illumination of sunrise (or is it sunset?). The viewer is then drawn into the undulating motion and hypnotic repetition of waves, as the musical score suspends the mood between the foreboding
and the reassuring. Through the cyclic qualities of both image and sound, Hall's and Dombrowski's sea emerges as an inexorable entity that is at once aligned with and opposed to an intuitive quest for finality and resolution. The twist in this representation is that, upon a closer viewing, this realistic
image itself is uncovered as illusory: a complete simulacrum. The viewer, seduced initially by the 'philosophical' experience of the sea belatedly realizes that it is an audio-visual fabric woven by the virtual shuttles of 3D animation. The sea is completely unreal, drawing none of its charms and dangers
from the natural world it so accurately evokes. Through their interplay of empirical and conceptual elements Hall and Dombrowski provide a fresh take on the timeless opposition between appearance and reality.
-Eleni Manolaraki, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Classics, University of South Florida
Link to the video