structures [ mdina ]

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


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.


Pictures: Robert Stokowy

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