structures [ mdina ]

radical site-specific Sound Installation
Vault of the Cathedral Museum, Mdina, Malta
exhibited during the APS Mdina Cathedral Contemporary Art Biennale (November 2017-January 2018)
eight loudspeakers



structures [ mdina ] is a radical site-specific work of Sound Art through which recipients can explore how Mdina is. By focussing ontologically on the essential being of the City, the artist wishes to bring forward the spirits and their dynamic behavior. Through this depiction a perspective on the historic influences of these spirits can be revealed. With his sound installation Robert Stokowy is exploring 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 physical organisms and the incorporeal, immaterial part of an object. For this Biennale the artist thus investigated what Mdina’s inner being, its essence evidently is.
The sound installation resulted from a reciprocal combination of artistic research, meaning that research was conducted to created art, and art was made from research. This reciprocal combination of art and research has its core in the process that connects both parts. The aim was not to create an artwork but rather to gain a greater understanding of sound’s potential, the sonic environment of a site and its conscious perception through the process of artistic 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.


Pictures: Robert Stokowy

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