As part of his Ph.D. at the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, Department of Digital Arts (University of Malta), Matthew Galea has developed an interactive sound art piece entitled (Re)diffusion.
(Re)diffusion comes from Weapons of Mass Distraction, a series Galea has been working on which draws analogies between agents of mass communication and firearms. In language, terms like ‘point’ and ‘shoot’ are shared between the two devices, illustrating how both can be used for a positive or negative effect. ‘Mass communication has been weaponised in some cases and can perhaps cause more harm than firearms,’ Galea says.
Galea believes that sculpture is an intervention in society rather than matter, and that it makes use of space as an agent that connects everything: objects, sounds, and time. However, sound has long been ignored in the medium. As Marshall McLuhan remarked, no object can be considered as purely visual, sonic, or tactile, but rather a blend of sensory stimuli. This idea of sensory ratios applies to how media comes into being.
‘I believe that sculpture can go beyond simply being looked at’
Objects moving in space or triggered on a computer, always require some kind of physical intervention that comes with visual and other sensory consequences. Similarly, sound does not exist in isolation. Sound always requires some kind of physical media to propagate it. Galea notes that whilst the human characteristic of observing things in isolation is beneficial in some areas, in an artistic context is rather pointless. In (Re)Diffusion, he attempts to create a sculptural situation that has the ability to distort space and modify it in real time. ‘I believe that sculpture can go beyond simply being looked at,’ Galea says.