Stanza, Surveillance based artwork

Title: Visitors To A Gallery - Referential Self, Embedded.

The artwork is a surveillance system that incorporates the visitors to the gallery inside the artwork. It is a performative spectacle of surveillance. As visitors come into the gallery, they are then tracked and captured by the camera system in the gallery. A series of codes and custom electronics manipulates the camera feeds. Proximity sensors on the floor allow the system to zoom in, or divide the screen in to grids depending on where people are standing in the gallery. The results are displayed on the walls.

  • The public are embedded into the "information stream" of the artwork so that they become the artwork.
  • This is an open process where the invasion of privacy is made public and shared.
  • The resulting experience becomes a real time artifact, the work is always changing, never the same again always different forever.
  • The focus is the live dynamic interpretation of the space and the people both inside and outside.
  • This artwork puts the public on public display. The surveyed public as everyday actors are displayed and incorporated into the spectacle.
  • This work opens out the networks of CCTV and manipulates these images creating new and hidden narratives in the process.
  • The idea of using the information inside the space is also to make the space transparent and extend the gallery space outwards.

Research: The work developed from research as part of a Clarks Bursary at the Watershed Media Centre in 2004, then again as part my AHRC fellowship in 2006. It was re-curated by Helen Sloan in 2008 and shown at Plymouth Arts Centre UK and then again in 2013 at De Markten Belgium

Contexts: Visitors in any of the galleries and all spaces in the building can appear inside the artwork at any time. In this way Stanza creates a parallel universe what he calls " a parallel reality". The gallery become a panopticon a surveillance space of the live breathing data "The Visitors To A Gallery - Referential Self Embedded ". This artwork continues Stanza's series of investigations by into privacy, identity within public space and networked space.

"Visitors to a Gallery- Referential Self, Embedded", uses custom made electronics and sonar sensors which are placed on the gallery floor to create the installation in the space. Visitors to the main gallery control the CCTV feeds by their own movement in the space. The piece becomes a semi performative controlled system. The proximity to the main ultrasound sensors affects the aesthetic of the image. The visitors act as an intervention in the the gallery space and become embedded in the artwork.

Concepts: The visitors to the gallery, are in fact assets, and could be referred to as data. Visitors are units of data, moving around the giant database. The patterns, movement, and exchanges of data in the real space, can be measured and interpreted as an emergent social space or flow space. Though I have indicated that visitors can be thought of units of data, it is also possible to “re-mediate” the body in the data space in order that a new, emergent, social space is created. New technologies will monitor the space to track public interactions and provide “interpretative” and the cluster of visitors within the gallery.

Artwork functions: Transparency of space; ownership of data; and problems of representation and privacy.

Exhibitions and Provenance. This installation has been exhbited in these galleries and venues.

First exhibited as Publicity At The Watershed Media Centre UK 2004. Thanks to Dick Penny and Clarks Bursary.

Plymouth Arts Centre Feb. Solo show. 2008.

"A Look Inside". Surveillance Art expo De Markten | Brussels Belgium 2013

Touring: This work is available for touring and for any public space wishing to expand on my concept of privacy in public spaces as artwork.

Technology: Live CCTV from the Gallery. Projectors, custom electronics system . Download sensor layout Download sensor notes

Concept, images, design, visualisation, installation, copyright Stanza. 2004

Thanks to Plymouth Arts Centre, Paula Orrell. Supported by Helen Sloan of Scan. Part of distributed South, which is a project funded by The Arts Council England. Thanks for support and custom electronics from Ian Steele. Thanks to an AHRC creative fellowship and Goldsmiths digital studios.

KEYWORDS: network, CCTV, networked, generative, sensor, installation, real time audio, visualization, environment. responsive.

Stanza, Surveillance based artworkStanza taking a photo inside the artwork being projected as the artwork

FURTHER CONTEXT:

Everything is or will be tracked. CCTV, car sensors, tracking inside our phones and id card movement 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. 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. 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 and the results are monitored, filtered and distributed without our permission. This research is an opportunity to redress that balance. Underpinning these artworks and research, are a whole series of potential problems about observation, surveillance, and the ethics of the control space. Imagine walking out the door, and knowing every single action, movement, sound, micro movement, pulse, and thread of information is being tracked, monitored, stored, analyzed, interpreted and logged. Stanza often works with small unit blocks that are simplified then re built , re-cored re-formed into an understanding that can re-communicate the complexity of the larger system. Stanza is working towards creating a new social space that exists in between these independent online networks where future cities will be merged into real time connected up data cities. The landscape will become an observable connection of monitored networks of real time information flows. Stanza 2004

In Visitors to a Gallery, Referential Self, Embedded, the artist is therefore fully aware of the tendency for ubiquitous technologies to be those of surveillance and control. The audiences here are making their own damn art and have the freedom to make the content of the work itself, but because the CCTV cameras are capturing their image when they might not have been aware of it, they of course are not fully in control. The artwork Gallery, Invisible Agency and Cultural Behaviours from 2008 marks a more conceptual approach to a similar theme, and Stanza asks what happens during the process of visiting the gallery as a dataspace - what does the visitor actually do? Professor Beryl Graham


"The London-based artist Stanza has been exhibiting for over three decades, and has been drawn consistently to themes of surveillance technologies, as in the “panopticon” addressed by Michel Foucault but later treated more skeptically by Bruno Latour and Emilie Hermant.
The theme of surveillance has been a central concern in the social sciences in recent decades. Much of the credit for this obviously must go to Foucault, due to his well- known passages in Discipline and Punish on Jeremy Bentham’s “Panopticon,” an institution whose inhabitants (prisoners, students, patients, or otherwise) might be watched at any moment from a central observation point. As Foucault puts it: “The Panopticon is a marvelous machine which, whatever use one may wish to put it to, produces homogeneous effects of power.” Another of Stanza’s themes is multi-point perspectives, though rather than give this topic the expected relativist spin, he stresses the notion that the varying perspectives amount to parallel realities thereby suggesting that these realities are partly cut off from one another for the same reason that Euclidean parallel lines never make contact." Professor Graham Harman


Stanza Surveillance

The custom system shows the split screens which is activated when people stand right next to one of the sensors,

Stanza, Surveillance based artwork

  A surveillance system that incorporates the visitors to the gallery inside the artwort, as a performative spectacle of surveillance. 2008. Stanza
  Image from 2013 exhibition in Belgium. Shows sensors and split screens.
  A surveillance system that incorporates the visitors to the gallery inside the artwort, as a performative spectacle of surveillance. 2008.
  Image from 2013 exhibition in Belgium. Shows sensors and split screens from four of the gallery spaces all on the same wall.
 
  Shows the gallery visitor being zoomed in on and tracked through the gallery in this version in 2008.
  A surveillance system that incorporates the visitors to the gallery inside the artwort, as a performative spectacle of surveillance. 2008.
  Visitors looking at the other visitors.
  A surveillance system that incorporates the visitors to the gallery inside the artwort, as a performative spectacle of surveillance. 2008.
  Cameras Zooming in on one person.
 
  Visitors coming down the stairs in another part of the Museum.
  A surveillance system that incorporates the visitors to the gallery inside the artwort, as a performative spectacle of surveillance. 2008.
  Split screens from the 12 cameras 2013
 
  Split screens from 16 cameras 2008
  A surveillance system that incorporates the visitors to the gallery inside the artwort, as a performative spectacle of surveillance. 2008.
  Detail of zoomed in cameras in the gallery 2008
 
  Detail of zoomed in cameras in the gallery 2008
 
  Detail of zoomed in cameras in the gallery 2008
 
  Visitors To A Gallery - Referential Self, Embedded. 2008 . From around the gallery on th walls
 
 

Details of some of the electronics system from 2008 for controlling zoom, tilt, divide, shift etc for up to sixteen cameras in real time.

Trouble shoot tech notes 1 sensors 1 sensors wiring

Stanza,

(C) Copyright images and concepts. Stanza 2004