BACKGROUND INFO: TEXT BY STANZA. 2003
Surveillance systems are everywhere in the public domain. We are all actors, bit part actors, in a giant movie called life. Except we cannot watch, it is not on public display even though the results are monitored, filtered and distributed without our permission.
The increase of technology infrastructure in the daily existence of a city means that technology will, more than ever be everywhere in our environment. Everything is or will be tracked. CCTV, tracking via car sensors, tracking inside our phones and tracking our id card movement: All this tracking in the guise of anti- terror activity. The patterns we make, the forces we weave, are all being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and sourced for information. These patterns all disclose new ways of seeing the world. These patterns all disclose new ways of seeing the world. The value of information will be a new currency as power change. The central issue that will develop will be the privilege and access to these data sources. By at least taking some of this data and making something with it one is at least reclaiming ownership of the data and putting it back in the public domain.
The increase of technology infrastructure in the daily existence of a city means that technology will, more than ever be everywhere in our environment. Mobile data mining will be part of the fabric of the landscape. The city has millions of CCTV cameras and embedded surveillance cameras. In essence the city is the biggest TV station and by proxy the biggest surveillance system in existence. Millions of hours worth of data are recorded every day by these cameras on city TV. One can take the sounds and images off live web streams and re-represent them thus creating new interpretations of the city in the process.
So let us imagine a space in which every action, memory, thought, feeling, has a connection to every other action. A space where all data in the system, seemlessly integrates with all others. This place exists, its inside our heads. The emergent metaphor of the brain has many similarities with the emergent connectivity of cities. The city experience is a web of connected networks and multi layered threaded paths that condition us to the emotional state of the city space.
In essence, the city fabric is a giant multi user multi data sphere. To take part you really have to put something back in, that's like life. In this case, to take part you have to input data so others 'may' see the output of the data response.
This scenario leads to identifiction of various type of mobility. Mobility can be seen from traffic patterns, to pedestrian patterns, to bird flocking patterns; to multi-threaded patterns along a time line. Patterns can be seen in the architecture, patterns in the buildings, patterns in the architectural fabric of the urban design network. And closer inside the micro patterns of the city, we have the life cycles of the atomised, the insects, the life of continuity all of which exist along a timeline of past present and future.
The city has a history. Stories relative to time and place, stories from the street. Love stories personal and extreme, crime stories, stories that are small or that can affect global parameters. A possible objective is to 'mediate' data into conceptual artefacts. With this perpsective there are many unimagined threads of data and connections that describe our world that can be explored within which we can create artistic interpretations.
Viper 2004 in Basel Switzerland.
Samsung media Centre in Korea as part of Senef.
The Watershed Media Centre Bristol.
This artwork won first prize in the FifiFestival media arts in France. First prize in 2003.
You need shockwave installed. There is an internet security issue so tick all the boxes the first time you visit; you need to allow the access to the work. Please note, sometime the piece is slow to start, therefore allow a few seconds. Also, the first few images are 'dummy' images, these are always the same, therefore please allow the system a few seconds to 'warm up'. Remember this is happening in real time so if you are not connected to the internet it will not work.
Keywords: CCTV, webcams, networked, generative, filmic, netart, cities, urban,