On the road going down to the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, there is a sign with "Sea level" written on it, signifying the point zero of The Mediterranean. From this point on you can imagine yourself diving, holding your breath. The name of Deganit Berest’s series refers to this sign.
The "Sea Level" works starts with snapshots, photos taken while travelling. Berest then works on these images, or fragments of them, with the computer, creating images constructed of a grid of large scale pixels. While the integrity of the original image is preserved, the size of the pixels is sometimes exaggerated to a point where the image is hardly recognizable. Deganit Berest is interested in reaching a threshold where the viewer might oscillate between seeing the work as "meaningless,” geometric abstract shapes on the surface, ("sea level"), but then, suddenly, might experience recognition that these seemingly random stacks of cubes become a specific image.
Thematically, the images too, suggest liminal states of consciousness: Divers which refer to the mythological figure of Icarus, their heads and part of their bodies beneath the water and part in the air above - frozen in this state forever – between life and death. Another group of works describe youths sleeping outside, taking a nap, or falling into it, during the day. Their absence may suggest a loss of awareness, a small death in life.