Sound Imprints

The series of works “Sound Imprints” uses a self-initiated technique of stochastic painting, a kind of hybrid of a Chladni plate and an analogue laser printer.

The video documentation
of the performative painting process

Artist statement

The series of works “Sound Imprints” uses a self-initiated technique of stochastic painting, a kind of hybrid of a Chladni plate and an analogue laser printer. I developed this technique during the KulturKontakt Artist-in-Residence programme in 2012 and perfected it at the Bildraum Studio Artist-in-Residence programme in Vienna, Austria, in 2021. 

The exhibition is part of “The Limit of Representation” series, which began with the eponymous text from 2019, written during my stay at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. This text is a synthesis of research I have been conducting for the past 13 years. The text brings together a series of works that represent an attempt to see and touch the invisible, that is, how to overcome the limitations of our senses through artistic processes and try to see reality as it truly is.

During the performance, a series of 8 ‘prints’ were created in front of the audience. The process of creating these paintings consists of several stages. The first stage features the gradual application of raw toner to the surface of the aluminium composite plate. A transducer is fixed on the plate, a device that converts any surface into a sound one. The next stage features the emitting of sound waves that stimulate the movement of a toner - the movement of particles is observed. After I achieve a certain expressiveness of the print, I melt the toner particles using a quartz lamp. Laser printers use quartz lamps to melt the toner and bond it permanently to the surface. The surface of the plate bends under the impact of elevated temperature, thus creating the topography of the printed image.

By using sound waves, I separate myself from the expression of creation and limit my physical presence in the resulting image. The goal is to create highly expressive prints without concrete physical interaction, by reducing gestures, composition and human impact to a minimum. Preset parameters determine the formal realization of the work, its appearance and the final result. The process of creating the paintings is abstracted almost to the level of pure concept, intending to deconstruct the medium of painting by reducing it to the most fundamental level.

I want to emphasize the inseparability of the artistic act from the artwork - artwork as a document of artistic process and research. Paintings are a physical document of this process. Only then can one see what it is to create an image. It is creating memory, creating a print, imprinting particles on the surface, moving particles under some kind of force. By their nature, prints are recordings of different information on a certain surface, thus it is likely that the concept and process of making them are a work of art, and the resulting paintings are only documentation of this act.

“Each print is a memory, a recording of some force, some event preserved on the surface. Particles that at one moment are static, at the next moment take on the form of some event that is preserved on the surface. Stimulated by sound, they move, creating patterns, shapes and textures.“

The exhibition depliant is a meta piece collaboration between Hrvoje Hiršl and Nikola Bojić.

Nikola intervened in the notes of Hrvoje with free associations, textual and media references. In this way, the entire exhibition can potentially be placed in the field of extended meaning and open, non-linear referentiality.

Short eddit of the performance from the
audience recordings, HDLU Zagreb, November 2022

Photos by Damir Žižić & Juraj Vuglač

Relised with the support of
Ministry of Culture and Media , the City of Zagreb and
The Croatian Association of Visual Artists (Hdlu)