This project is supported by the Malta Arts Fund - Research Support Grant

John Paul Azzopardi

Innovative technology can produce fresh opportunities for research and experimentation which can lead towards novel experiences within the phenomenological aesthetic domain. Innovative technology not only allows us the possibility of experiencing new modes of aesthetic engagement, it can also enhance a deeper understanding of certain ideas that have already been researched. Digital media and technology such as 3D rendering software, medical scanning technology and Virtual Reality have opened up opportunities to explore new ways of seeing, experiencing and understanding aspects of aesthetics which were previously impossible to explore. Via such technology new modes of interacting with traditional arts such as sculpture can also be experienced in unexplored and unique ways. Implementing the mentioned digital tools can then potentially generate the possibility to spatially minimize the interrelationship between an art object (in this project's case, sculpture) with its audience creating novel modes of experience leading towards immersion.

This research project will therefore explore a novel possibility to experience the internal dimension and structures of sculpture, experimenting also on how to experience a closer relationship with an artwork. Sculpture, in the traditional phenomena of experience, has only been experienced from its outer dimension. There are also sculptures that are translucent; however the study to experience the internal space within sculpture is still a field that requires exploration. Just as one experiences an architectural building by observing it from the outside and also experiencing its internal spatial dimensions, this project also aims to create the possibility to experience the internal space and structures within sculpture by means of innovative medical equipment; i.e. 3D scanning hardware and software. Medical technology such as CAT Scan hardware with its appropriate software will create a 3D digital rendered replica of the scanned sculpture which can then produce an opportunity to experience any and all viewing angles within the sculpture.

The aim of this project is to see how such technology not only spatially reduces the interrelationship between a subject and its observer; it can create a new phenomenological experience such as the exploration of a sculpture's internal architectonics (space and structure). This in turn creates new inquiries of investigation from multiple perspectives such as that of the philosophical, psychological and other disciplines.