structures […] series

structures […] is an ongoing artistic research project. It uses sound as a medium & ecologic tool of access & intervention to explore the sonic environment of selected cities. Each project uses the same initial approach: listening to the sounds of a city, its elements, characteristics, dynamics and balances. These findings are used to critically reflect on the experienced environment & subsequently to form a variety of very different artistic artifact outcomes - the projects listed below. These sound installations, books and other forms of presenting the research findings are radically site-specific. They emerge from an environment while also being made for & in response to an environment.

structures […] is understood as a research framework that allows the artist & visitors to come into contact with a specific environment through (sound) art. It also is an experiment on the practice of making art, in which different menthods, manners and forms of (re-)presentation are chosen.

 

structures […] projects:

 

structures [albuquerque]

radical site-specific Sound Installation
text-based performative Land Art
in eight locations on Open Space Land in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

April 2019 - April 2020

structures [ albuquerque ] is a radical site-specific sound installation at eight locations on Open Space Land in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. German artist Robert Stokowy has created this installation, which will be opened in April 2019 and on display for at least 12 months. This public artwork is the result of an research period in the natural environments of Albuquerque.

 
strABQ_Poster.jpg
 
 

reciprocal structures

radical site-specific Sound Installation
mixed media
as part of ART BASEL MIAMI; 777Mall - Mana Contemporary, Miami, Florida, USA

December 2018

reciprocal structures is an arrangement of artistic research artefacts. It consists partially of a radically site-specific piece exploring the essence of Miami’s sound environment. Sounds & objects were gathered in Miami and composed according to the research outcome of a listening study conducted in the city. The main focus lies on sonic structures, balances between places as well as inner & outer space. The piece is to be understood as an access point from which one can conduct their own sonic experience.

The project was made in collaboration with Mana Contemporary and funded by Berlin Senate for Culture & Europe.

 

 
 
 

structures [ berlin ]

radical site-specific Sound Installation
8 channels
Galerie im Saalbau, Berlin, Germany

June 2nd - August 5th 2018

This radical site-specific sound installation was specifically created for Galerie im Saalbau in Berlin. The piece is conceptually based on a written score (see below). The project was commissioned & funded by the City Government of Berlin.

 

This piece is available for further installations, with new & radical site-specific compositions. 

 
 
score_eng_structures+berlin.jpg
 
 

structures [ mdina ]

radical site-specific Sound Installation
8 channels
APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale 2017, Mdina, Malta

2017-2018

A vault underneath the Mdina Cathedral Museum. Rough curved ceiling and walls of old dusty sandstone. Sounds emitted by speakers, hidden under a wooden boardwalk in this 17 meter long corridor. Rhythmic, slow, winding, becoming musical, echoing and dying in the sand and dust.
For this sound installation Robert Stokowy explored the spirit of Mdina by working exclusively with and from its sonic environment. Spirit in this context is to be understood as an animating or vital principle held to give life to incorporeal, immaterial part of an object. This sound installation is radically site-specific since it is not just for a certain place but was created from and with the elements of the environment of the exhibition.
The piece resulted from a reciprocal combination of artistic research, meaning that research was conducted to created art, and art was made from research. The sound material of the installation as well as the conceptual and compositional structure were designed according to the research findings gathered in the City. By conducting listening studies in selected places, the artist gathered observations (which were documented as writings, drawings, diagrams, photographs and sound recordings). These studies are based on methods and practices of practical phenomenology and enactivism. While the sound recordings function as the raw material with which I work, the documented observation created the Gestalt and inner form of the artwork. Thus the project emerged intrinsically from the City itself, while my role as an artist was reduced to mediate between environment and artwork.

The project was funded by: German-Maltese Circle & Goethe Institut

 
 
 
 

structures [ tübingen ]

radical site-specific Sound Installation
3 speakers and objects
Shedhalle (as part of Generate!° Festival), Tübingen

2017

Three sound objects were arranged on four pedestals, leaving one pedestal empty. This work is another artifact of the research series structures [...], deriving from an artistic research endeavor focussing on the sonic environment of a chosen urban environment. This artwork and its sonic and material composition result from a research process in the City of Tübingen. The idea was to create a radical site-specific Sound Installation exclusively with found material. The combination of material and sound was chosen to give access to a multi-sensory as well as multi-facetted perception of the city's found structures and characteristics. Sound enhances materiality while the tactile information enhances the sonic experience. All selection processes and composition methods were executed in relation to the research findings.

Support: Generate!° Festival

 
 
 
 

structures [ siegen ]

radical site-specific Sound Installation
8 channels
Museum for Contemporary Art Siegen (MGK), Germany

2017

Eight small loudspeakers are positioned on a wall in what appears as a very strict pattern. The seemingly symmetrical order of equal intervals is destabilized by minimal variations in the position of each speaker, destabilizing the balance of the artwork. The loudspeakers emit reduced sounds, recorded in various places in Siegen. Auditory and visual components merge and give rise to a situation, in which the installation's inner tension reveals itself over time.
This work is another artifact of the research series structures [...], deriving from an artistic research endeavor focussing on the sonic environment of the City of Siegen. Proceeding his research series structures […], Robert used the auditory observation results as material for the composition of this installation piece. With sound recordings made in Siegen he created a four channel composition which was played over eight small loudspeakers. Having each channel playing on two speakers, the channels were organized in a specific sequence so that no channel pattern was repeated. This allowed for a high number of different additive sound fields from which an increased sonic diversity in listening perspectives emerges.
The installation was exhibited along with works by Bernd & Hille Becher, Sol LeWitt and Hiroshi Sugimoto. All works were black and white, hence the minimal design.

Support: Kulturamt Siegen & MGK Siegen

 
 
 
 

vertical sounds   I   structures [ bernau ]

radical site-specific sound installation
8 channels
Water Tower Bernau, Germany

2017

Sounds, fragile and faint, trickling down from high above, ricocheting diffused from the circular walls. Retracting towards the ceiling, then dust-like filling the whole space and eventually settling on the cold, raw concrete floor.
As a part of the ongoing artistic research series structures […], this installation engages with and derives from the sonic environment of the Wasserturm in Bernau. It is an artifact of a year-long research process especially focussing on the tower’s inner architecture. The research findings were used to create a fixed composition, resulting in a subtle intervention.
In most sound installations allow recipients to explore the established sound field in its entirety. They move around and can choose from a variety of positions from which they can perceive the installation situation. In vertical sounds the possible perceptive positions are drastically reduced. Recipients were not allowed to ascend the staircase, where the loudspeakers were placed. They were not able to locate the loudspeakers or differentiate the sound signals due to a lack of perspective. Therefore the visitor was confronted with a situation of reduced privilege. She or he could only concentrate on what was (diffusely) audible from their position. This was supported by a lack of visual activity within the space. Only by a calm and attentive manner of listing over a longer period of time the installation situation revealed its rich sonic nuances and full potential. The composition is a sonic environment of gradual (re-)formation, ensuing in perpendicular movement and thus fully accentuating the space’s acoustics and qualities.

 Support: Stadtwerke Bernau // Electronic Studio - TU Berlin

 
 
 
 

Integrated Structure

radical site-specific Sound Installation
8 loudspeakers
Kleiner Wasserspeicher (Small Water Reservoir), Berlin, Germany

2017

16 speakers mounted almost invisibly to the ceiling of the hemispheric water reservoir - nothing more - just the building’s bare structures and sensory characteristics. A subtle sound field faded and resurfaced amidst the sounds of visitors and from the outside. Creating a subtle intervention, exposing essential features of this very architecture.
The architecture of the Wasserspeicher with its rich reverberation and sonic permeability was of central interest for this project. By using pure listening and phenomenological practices, Robert explored the place in and around the Kleiner Wasserspeicher in Prenzlauer Berg. A multichannel sound composition was created, based on the research findings and applied to the place as a transformative tool. Fragile sound structures permeated the room and exposed certain auditive structures, intrinsical to the place. These artificial structures functioned as an access point for the auditive qualities and characteristics of this historic place.

Technical Support: Sangwon Nam

Pictures: Robert Stokowy & Kathrin Scheidt (www.kscheidt.com, Berlin, November 2016)

 
 
 
 

Pier To Pier

radical site-specific sound installation
8 channels
Pier at Arena Berlin

2016

Six speakers were placed under the pier at Arena Berlin. Every four minutes a software program randomly selects one of eighty-one 6-channel compositions with a length ranging from 00:30 to 04:00 minutes. The sounds of each composition created different movements, changing densities and acoustic constellations. A shifting balance between artificial and natural sounds is created, confronting the visitors with a situation in which they can not really determine which sounds are added and which are natural. 

Technical support: Didio Pestana, Matthias Spreng, Andrew Miller, Sangwon Nam

Programming support: Sangwon Nam

Design - Flyer & Poster: burgund t brandt

 
 
 
 

obicere

radical site-specific sound installation
8 channels
Pier at Arena Berlin

2016

Six speakers were placed under the pier at Arena Berlin. Every four minutes a software program randomly selects one of eighty-one 6-channel compositions with a length ranging from 00:30 to 04:00 minutes. The sounds of each composition created different movements, changing densities and acoustic constellations. A shifting balance between artificial and natural sounds is created, confronting the visitors with a situation in which they can not really determine which sounds are added and which are natural. 

Technical support: Didio Pestana, Matthias Spreng, Andrew Miller, Sangwon Nam

Programming support: Sangwon Nam

Design - Flyer & Poster: burgund t brandt

 
 
 
 

concrete

radical site-specific sound installation
8 channels
Pier at Arena Berlin

2016

Six speakers were placed under the pier at Arena Berlin. Every four minutes a software program randomly selects one of eighty-one 6-channel compositions with a length ranging from 00:30 to 04:00 minutes. The sounds of each composition created different movements, changing densities and acoustic constellations. A shifting balance between artificial and natural sounds is created, confronting the visitors with a situation in which they can not really determine which sounds are added and which are natural. 

Technical support: Didio Pestana, Matthias Spreng, Andrew Miller, Sangwon Nam

Programming support: Sangwon Nam

Design - Flyer & Poster: burgund t brandt

 
 
 
 

Pretrospective

radical site-specific sound installation
8 channels
Ujeongguk Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

2016

Robert Stokowy exhibited some of his radical site-relative sound objects at Ujeongguk Gallery. This show was a group show with Korean Sound Artist Sangwon Nam (n2), who provided a four-channel sound field in which pretrospective was immersed. For this show he selected three pieces of his Fair-Weather Days Series (2015-2016), as well as two other sound objects. The sixth sound object was made specifically for this exhibition. Along these sound objects Robert showed his visual score Bicycle Tire Print (Hommage to RR).
pretrospective is a Werkschau that can be understood as the starting point of Robert's artistic research endeavor. The goal was and is to get to the core of evident perception of physical and non-physical objects. In order to do so he tries to investigate sonic environments inner structures, their dynamics and balances.
All sound objects dealt with the visual representation of a physical object and its sonic extension. Through this audio-visual combination the static object became a polymorph construct that allowed a perception beyond its usual experience. All objects of the Fair-Weather Days Series were found by the artist. The sounds played from them were recorded in each individual finding place.


Exhibited works:
Seoul Music (site-specific sound object)
Bicycle Tire Print (Visual score)
Fair-Weather Days (site-relative sound objects - Berlin, Cologne, New Mexico)
Targets (sound object)
Luminaria NM (site-relative sound object)