Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Youth Culture. Sculpture available for touring.

January 11th, 2019

I had a great time in Manchester at Lightwaves 2018 Media City Manchester UK. I  showed my  new artwork which is of a towering  hooded sculpture which visualises visitor data it receives on mini screens and light illumination built into the sculpture. The tall figure, who’s hoodie challenges our assumptions about social alienation – captivating its audience and challenging visitors perceptions around anti-social behaviour and our collective ability to create safe public spaces for all. This Hooded Youth is presented as a symbol of belonging, rather than something to be feared. Digitally interactive, the artwork embraces public participation and encourages engagement with its technological system, which feeds in intelligence so that Youth Culture becomes a symbolic memory bank of place and experience.

The Nemesis Machine in Warsaw. Exhibition: Beyond the Seven curated by Piotr Krajewski.

November 3rd, 2017

Finally finished the lastest version The Nemesis Machine in Warsaw show opens weds night “Beyond the Seven”. Thanks to wro art center who curated moved and supported this. It’s on show then available for exhibitions. Uses live data from various sources and monitors London and Warsaw in realtime. The show is called “Beyond the Seven”. The artwork visualises life in the city on the basis of real time data transmitted from a network of wireless sensors. The artwork you see is a city of electronic components that reflect in real time what is happening elsewhere. Small screens show pictures of the visitors so that they become part of the city. Warszawie ‘za siedmioma’ – megalopolis w budowie / nemezis deweloperów ‘Za siedmioma’ at Dom S?owa Polskiego curated by Piotr Krajewski.

Our Friends Electric at QUAD Gallery Derby

June 29th, 2017


Lost In Translation is being exhibited at Quad In Derby as part of series of works connected with robotic and artistic practise.  In the installation a custom made robot that responds to a series of texts and makes drawings unique to each reader. Readers are invited to step up to the lectern and read into a microphone from a specially made book called Lost In Translation. The book consists of passages from The Bible , The Torah, The Quran and a take away menu. The text and voice are interpreted via software and a robot is set into action on a custom made plinth to interpret what it all means. The robot interprets the text and the voice to creates a painting on canvas of the results. The work questions not only the meaning and interpretation of text but just who controls our understanding of the outputs and indeed what is Lost In Translation.

This is a very playful user friendly work and actively engages the audience not only to think about the text but the meaning of how automation and networked technology is changing the control of understanding.

Lost In Translation

Stanza Robot Art AI and control

The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF)

May 25th, 2017

Stanza at The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF.  Stanza big data, Smart cities, IOT , internet of things , art, software Stanza at The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWFStanza artwork on show at the The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) is an exclusive industry event, hosted by Cisco. The IoTWF is widely recognized as the premier thought leadership forum designed to Evangelize and Energize IoT. Known as a must-attend event for key stakeholders and innovators in business, government, and academia, IoTWF brings industry leaders together to collaborate, network, partner, and solve the challenges facing IoT.

Previously held in Barcelona, Chicago, and Dubai, in 2017, IoTWF moves to London, Europe’s fastest growing technology capital. The 2017 IoTWF will explore the impact of IoT on business, technology and society and define a clear sense of the major priorities and challenges facing business as the world migrates towards IoT.

 Stanza big data, Smart cities, IOT , internet of things , art, software

Stanza big data, Smart cities, IOT , internet of things , art, software at the internet of Things World Forum thanks to Cisco Systems.

Stanza Body [Data as Culture] at Open Date Institutute. Extended until 2014

August 8th, 2013

Stanza Body  [Data as Culture]

sculpture By The artist Stanza















‘Data as Culture’ is reflective of our time.

The body piece and exhibition extended for six more months until 2014  on show in London

Body is a sculpture which responds to the emergent properties of the environment in South London where the artist’s network is situated for the duration. It represents the changing life and complexity of urban space as a dynamic, kinetic artwork. Real-time environmental data is embodied in Stanza’s life-size sculpture assembled from computer components and acrylic slices of his own physique. In ‘Body 01000010011011110110010001111001′ the urban environment provides a dynamic flickering and clicking sentience to the otherwise inert structure, reflecting the personal level of influence data has on an individual.

Open Data Institute
3rd Floor
65 Clifton Street














The London Based artist Stanza will be giving the keynote at Calculative Devices in the Digital Age Durham University

August 8th, 2013

The London Based artist Stanza will be giving the keynote at Calculative Devices in the Digital Age Durham University


Conference Durham University, 21-22 November 2013

Others Keynote Speakers Professor Pat O’Malley (Sydney), Professor Marieke de Goede (Amsterdam) & Professor Rita Raley (UCSB).

Calculative Devices in the Digital Age Durham University

The conference will be oriented to the following key themes:

•Data and calculation  – algorithms and algorithmic logics

•Associative life – ‘real’ and digital identities and social relations

•Data, analytics and decision-making – applications, interfaces, protocols

•Calculating futures – uncertainty, prediction and potentiality

The Securing against Future Events project is organizing a two day conference on the forms and techniques of calculation that emerge with digital computation.

How does the drive to make sense of, and productively use, large amounts of diverse data, inform the development of new calculative devices, logics and techniques?

How do these devices, logics and techniques – from neural networks to decision trees, from Monte Carlo method to traversal algorithms, from text analytics to data visualisation – affect our capacity to decide and act?

In a world of changing data landscapes, how do mundane elements of our physical and virtual existence become data to be analysed and rearranged in complex ensembles of people and things? In what ways are conventional notions of public and private, individual and population, certainty and probability, rule and exception transformed and what are the consequences of these transformations?

How does the search for ‘hidden’ connections and patterns using association rules, correlation rules or link analysis, change our understanding of social relations and associative life?

Do contemporary modes of calculation, based on constant incorporation of heterogeneous elements, produce new thresholds of calculability and computability, allowing for the improbable or the merely possible to be embraced and acted upon?

As contemporary approaches to governing uncertain futures seek to anticipate the yet unknown event – in domains as diverse as marketing and insurance, emergency preparedness and counter-terrorism – how are calculation and decision engaged anew?


British artist Stanza wins SHARE PRIZE 2012 in Torino for Capacities. A piece of work using real time data of the city.

November 1st, 2012
The British artist Stanza  wins SHARE PRIZE 2012 in Torino for Capacities. A piece of work using real time data of the city. This artwork captures the changes over time in the environment (city) and represents the changing life and complexity of space as an emergent artwork. Its an artwork about the internet of things, smart cities and connecting spaces.
British artist Stanza In Italy

Jury Statement

What is the role of art today, in this moment of social transition towards the city of the future? It was from this perspective that the artists interpreted the theme Open Your City, exploring the key concepts word by word. The short-list of the Jury reflects the reappearing artistic interpretation of the modern urban landscape as system, where the solid element is replaced by the message, the information and the database, a real, but dematerialized city. Artists have been short-listed by an international jury, consisting of Simona Lodi, Carlo Ratti, Bruce Sterling and Mirjam Struppek, on the basis of the artistic value of their work and its relevance to the Share Prize theme.

Capacities: Real Time Complex – Connected Cities by British artist Stanza is an installation dedicated to the complexity of life in an environment. Changes in each of the spaces are monitored in real time, as they give rise to constant tensions, highlighting the behaviour of complex systems and the emergent properties that appear. In this case the organism is the city and not the single individual; it is the entire urban habitat as a whole, revealing its nature as a multifaceted system. The installation is the real-time mirror image of everything that changes, gathering huge amounts of data that are transformed aesthetically into a physical copy of the city, made up of cables, lights and sensors that represent shifts in environmental parameters measured numerically. The obsessive focus is on the observation of environmental data by gathering measurement on temperature, light, atmospheric pressure, noise and the sounds of the city outside the museum. Gathering digital data on the environment has become an art, and art has become a data set rather than a collection of molecules. The short-list of the Jury reflects the reappearing artistic interpretation of the modern urban landscape as system, where the solid element is replaced by the message, theinformation and the database, a real, but dematerialized city.

Le parole OPEN YOUR CITY sono la traccia tematica che ha guidato la mostra di Share Prize. Il premio ha come obiettivo scoprire, promuovere e sostenere le arti in epoca digitale. La selezione delle opere finaliste della mostra è dedicata agli artisti che interpretano l’innovazione come linguaggio di espressione artistica, in ogni modo e forma. Una giuria internazionale composta da Simona Lodi, Carlo Ratti, Bruce Sterling e Mirjam Struppek hanno scelto gli artisti in base all’aderenza al tema e al valore estetico dell’opera.

Dichiarazione della giuria

Quale è il ruolo dell’arte, in questo momento di transizione sociale verso la città del futuro? In quest’ottica gli artisti hanno interpretato il tema Open Your City, sviscerando le parole chiave. La short-list della giuria riflette l’interpretazione del riapparire artistico del paesaggio urbano moderno come sistema, dove l’elemento solido è sostituito dal messaggio, dalle informazioni e dai database, una città reale ma smaterializzata.

Capacities: Real Time Complex – Connected Cities dell’artista inglese Stanza dedica la sua installazione alla complessità della vita in determinato ambiente. Ogni ambiente è sottoposto a cambiamenti continui che sono monitorati in tempo reale. I cambiamenti portano continua tensione e stressano il concetto di linearità ed evidenziano le emergenze che compaiono. In questo caso l’organismo è la città e non il singolo cittadino ma l’intero complesso urbano, tracciandone il profilo come sistema multiforme. L’installazione è lo specchio in real-time di ciò che si modifica, raccogliendo grosse quantità di dati trasformati esteticamente in una copia della città ma fatta di cavi, luci e sensori che esprimono il passaggio degli elementi ambientali raccolti in forma numerica. L’attenzione insistente è osservare i dati ambientali raccogliendo la temperatura, la luce, la pressione atmosferica, il rumore, e il suono della città fuori dal museo. Raccogliere elementi numerici che riguardano l’ambiente è diventata un’arte e l’arte e’ diventata un insieme di dati piuttosto che un insieme di molecole.



Stanza exhibits city wide data installation Verenigd Koninkrijk, Capacities. Update_4. Gent.

September 24th, 2012

Welkom op de website van de New Technological Art Award 2012, een internationale kunstwedstrijd van de Stichting Liedts-Meesen die deel uitmaakt van onze biënnale Update. Kom kijken naar het werk van de genomineerden van 22 september tot en met 18 november 2012.

Stanza, Verenigd Koninkrijk, Capacities

Zebrastraat – Zebrastraat 32/001 – 9000 Gent – Belgium –

New Technological Art Award 2012, een internationale kunstwedstrijd van de Stichting Liedts-Meesen In 2012 organiseert de Stichting Liedts-Meesen Update_4 in het kader van het project Zebrastraat en in navolging van de eerste drie Update-biënnales.

In Update_4 wordt de filosofie van de vorige edities behouden maar leggen we nieuwe accenten. In het verleden gingen de tentoonstellingen gepaard met de New Technological Art Award Liedts-Meesen die meer en meer op de belangstelling van de kunstenaars en het publiek kon rekenen. Onze focus ligt nu op de presentatie van deelnemers van de wedstrijd NTAA en bestaat uit:

-een grotere bijdrage van nieuwe technologieën in de kunst
-een verhoging van het aantal genomineerden van 10 naar 20
-een presentatie van één naar drie locaties in België : de Zebrastraat in Gent, La Cambre en iMAL in Brussel

Uit de meer dan 300 inzendingen waarvan 20 kunstwerken geselecteerd werden, vallen een aantal typerende thema’s te traceren. Ondanks het feit dat onze dagelijkse perceptie in een grote mate gedomineerd wordt door virtuele werelden en onder invloed staat van de eigentijdse technologie, kunnen verschillende werken onder het landschappelijk genre gecategoriseerd worden. Opvallend is evenwel de verwerking van diverse parameters die het kunstwerk via een technische transfer veranderlijk en de beleving ervan multisensorisch maakt. Mapping betekent in deze context niet zozeer een cartografische variant, maar includeert eveneens het flaneren, cruisen of dwalen. In een gegeven geografie vertaalt zich dit vaak in een (mechanische) choreografie waarin parameters als licht en geluid expressief gemanipuleerd worden. De luciditeit in een aantal werken kent een tegengewicht in de reflectie over eindigheid, dood en in een enkel geval opent dit zich cynisch en hyperbolisch tot het contemporaine euthanasiedebat. Items als identiteit en communicatie vormen een belangrijk inhoudelijk substraat waarin gegevens als sociale netwerken, privacy, hacking, spam verwerkt worden. De interactiviteit bij vele inzendingen doet een beroep op een actieve toeschouwer die zich vaak geconfronteerd ziet met keuzemogelijkheden of beslissingen die men dient te nemen.

Stanza artwork Capacities


Art that explores questions raised by modern society – about privacy, surveillance culture….

September 23rd, 2012

STANZA’s art explores questions raised by modern society – about privacy, surveillance culture, and who owns the data that is regularly collected about all of us – often using modern technologies to create his pieces. Since he first started exhibiting his works in 1984, STANZA has strived to create cutting edge art that deals with current issues. In the process he has won several impressive awards, including an AHRC arts fellowship, and has seen his work featured in over 50 different exhibitions globally.

Ahead of a installation of one of his works “Capacities” in Ghent, Belgium in September, Solomon Radley met with him, in front on a computer monitor at his studio in South London, to talk in depth about what he does over coffee.

Hey, how’s it going? Would you begin by telling me a bit about what you do?

STANZA: The things that I’m interested in are ‘surveillance space’, which is the idea of the city as having become a panopticon – this idea that we’re in a prison and we can be observed at all times, from all perspectives, all at once, and particularly in real time.

I use various technologies to do that, like CCTV and wireless sensor networks. Over the years, firstly I’ve developed a strong understanding of what these technologies can do in terms of learning about them, but also I’m having to develop for them, so I’ve learned how to develop hardware and software. You may think I’m a technologist – I see myself as a creative technologist, and I also see that artists are engineers, so they have to understand the technologies that they use, and the mediums that they use in order to get output.

To bring that into perspective, we can look at some artworks…

Sure thing. Would you expand on your thought that the city is a sort of prison?

STANZA: Urban Generation is a piece I did in relation to this idea of the city being a panopticon. Let’s say, in modernist terms, an artist would go out and collect assets – he might use a recording device or a camera – it would be a still, linear asset, and it would never change. It’s possible to actually conceive of the city as a moving physical entity, moving forward in time all the time. How is it possible to use new technologies to actually gain a representation of this, and use it in a culturally meaningful way?

Urban Generation attempts to imagine the world from everyone else’s perspective all at once. If I’m giving a talk, what I try and do is – to illustrate the conceptual shift – I say: “I’d like you to close your eyes, and I’d like you to imagine yourself in a place in London. I’m going to do the same and I’m going to take a single mental snapshot, and I’d like you all in the room to take your single snapshot. Now, I’d like you to imagine the view of the people sitting next to you to your left and to your right, so you have three images multiplied together. There’s 300 people in the room; I’d like you to merge all of these 300 images together. And now not like a film, (because if we used a film we’d be recording the same images) what I’d like you to do is to move these images forward in real time.”

This is the idea I’m trying to capture with this piece of work.

A lot of your work is concerned with the question of who owns the information that is regularly collected about people, and with re-claiming that information. Tell me about this idea.

STANZA: I make artworks that arise from my research into these themes – the themes being ‘control space’ and ‘surveillance space’ and issues with privacy. What I’m doing, which is sort of new ground, is that I’m hacking access to a network and re-appropriating the data and information, and I’m re-contextualizing to give it a wider meaning. I want to show that you can do something positive with this data.

Other works where I’m interested in the control and ownership of data include this website called GenoMixer, where I fully sequenced my blood. In a sense this looks like artist self-portraiture, but I was interested in thedomain space – the public domain space – that’s inside our bodies.

We have this huge line of code – 3.3 billion letters – and it basically has an economic value. The proposal here is to IPO (Initial Public Offering) the project on the stock market, and to give everyone a share of the derivable intellectual royalties. For example, if somebody else wanted to investigate your DNA in a medical program they’d have to pay you. If some other company discovered the cancer gene because you were on the police forensic database you could say “No it’s copyrighted – it’s on the GenoMixer database”.

It just so happens that I also made a series of self-portraits with them…

One of the most obvious types of information that is commonly collected about the general public is video images gathered by CCTV, and this is something you often look at. What are your thoughts about CCTV?

STANZA: Let’s look at “Urban Generation – trying to imagine the world from everyone else’s perspective, all at once“. What we’ve got here is: each square on this four-by-four grid is making calls to over 100 cameras in London in real time. This is a parallel reality, using live network data to re-appropriate it over the network and use it for something else. For example, this could be used as an extension on landscape painting.

Why this has become quite interesting, and the reason I mention these modernist aspects that are fixed, is that this work is never the same. You could look at it even now, on a different monitor, and it would be different: It’s not the Mona Lisa – where every time you look at the work you experience the same thing – there’s an added problem here.

Another interesting question here is: Is what we’re looking at the artwork? On July 7th in 2005 they switched this entire network off because of the terrorist attacks. Well my system still worked, it’s just that the output – which is what connects a viewer to the system – is shifted.

This [Public Domain Responsive Architecture Facade] is the same concept using CCTV, observing the whole of the city but making it transparent. Why would you want to make your movements open and transparent? Why would you want to let CCTV be seen by everybody? This is a building with its outer surfaces displaying images that are embedded in the city – all the stuff on the outside of the building is shifting in terms of the real time properties of that city. In a sense, you (as the observed individual) become part of the building and part of the city, and this opens up the idea of transparent architecture and transparent space.

Public Domain is another work along the same theme, where I gave CCTV cameras away to members of the public, to open up this idea of CCTV networks. People sometimes say that they’ve got nothing to hide, and to nothing to fear…I think that’s a problematic statement. I’m not coming down on a particular side of the fence here, but it seems to me that we’ve opened Pandora’s box, and there’s a whole series of legislative and ethical issues that aren’t being addressed.

Hopefully what I’m doing in these artworks is to draw attention to the fact that there’s a whole series of potential problems that we’re walking in to.

You also play with collected data, which you use to create interactive works or installations where real-time changes are caused by environmental factors…

STANZA: We’ve already looked at my CCTV system. There’s another one, which uses wireless sensors/wireless nodes. You scatter them across the city, and they talk to each other in a network grid.

This research started in 2004 as a result of an AHRC grant that I was awarded, and I was trying to find a system I could use as open source hardware and software, that would monitor the whole city space. I’ve scattered these sensors around a city to generate visualisations and sonifications in various cities. For my first project [Sensity] they were output onto a visual globe.

So, now what I was interested in doing is looking at this real time data, that’s now everywhere, and seeing if I could do something else with it – if I could make art with it.

Equally, in Sonicity I deliberately put a whole load of speakers on the floor and connected them all up to make it look like a map, and somewhere else (in another part of the world) that data is being collected from my network and being spat out onto the internet via an XML stream. In arty terms, maybe I’m “painting with data” – the data has become the medium. With this data I’m painting a sonification of the real time landscape.

The second thing I was trying to think about, as part of this thinking process, was all the stuff that’s being collected about us – not just my data, but tax data and medical records – which could be used because of the way it changes and shifts from one thing to the next to power other events:

With CapacitiesI made…let’s call it a sculpture…a sculpture of computer parts that looks like a city, and would be powered by events changing somewhere else in real time. In this version of Capacities, all the lights and fans, and all the parts that change, do so because of other things happening in the world in real time.

The reason I’m trying to do that is that there seem to be other values that people are missing in terms of the things that are happening to us, and the world, in real time. We’ve become bodies residing in a ‘data space’. Everything around us is the data space and by default we interact with it – even small movements displace millions of atoms.

I conceive of this post-modern world in which movements are just moving a series of 0s and 1s. I can measure the 0s and 1s that I’m displacing by moving around. This interactive process is embedded in the work by default.

Visitors to a Gallery… is quite an important work, in that it opens up the gallery space as an artwork. For example, these two people that are pictured aren’t actually in this room – they’re in another room in another part of the gallery, so they’re embedded in the artwork that you’re viewing. Everybody in the architectural space becomes part of the artwork, and this happens in real time – it’s not recorded, and it’s not a film. So I utilize the technology in the space (the CCTV system).

Secondly, what’s happening here is that there are a series of proximity sensors that affect this as an algorithm – as you walk around this space all of these images oscillate/vibrate slightly.

So when you’re in the room, viewing this artwork, you’re at the same time generating an artwork for someone else in another room?

STANZA: And you’re in the work you’re viewing yourself, through your interaction with the sensors.

That’s also happening in Seeing Through Walls, where there are little cameras and monitors, so you become embedded in the same artwork as it’s being broadcast live, or in this piece where you can see through to people on the other side of the wall.

I was actually in a Greek club where they had something like that – the mirrors in the toilet let you see yourself, but also the women doing their makeup in the adjacent toilets…

STANZA: Ha! No wonder their ecomony’s gone down the pan…

Moving on from that, my work splits into this idea of using real time networks and investigating different ways of interacting with public space.

Here’s a strange project called The Binary Graffiti Club, where I got a load of people to dress up in hoodies with 0s and 1s on their backs, and they go round the city making binary graffiti – painting little coded messages onto the city.

Anything in particular?

STANZA: Well…no. I don’t want to be too specific about this, because… Well here’s a piece going back to the DNA project (the open source bit). If you sit in the gallery for…this has been online for seven years: If it was exhibited in a gallery you could get my open source DNA, and you could go off and replicate me, but it changes a letter once every second so you’d have to sit there for 104 years with a pen and paper. The same is true of the binary graffiti club – if you want to know what the message is, you have to sit there and transcribe it and translate it.

One letter from STANZA’s DNA code – the letters are shown in order, one per second for the 104 year project

This led from another piece of work – A City of Bits – as well as this performance that was laid down in the form of this sushi: I invited 12 people, after the disciples, and asked them to come and eat this coded sushi message. So, this is a coded message that they eat, and then they all put their own message back into a jar which I’ve now destroyed. I’ve transcribed those messages here…

You have a performance coming up in Texas soon – tell me a bit about what you’ll be doing.

STANZA: In Soundcities, using a recording device, I’ve been to all these different cities, recording sounds which are attached to Google Maps, and you can visit lots of cities in the world…

The key to this is the database; you can see the sounds, arranged in different categories, and you can create a performance by picking a selection of them and building up rhythms. This is what I do with my performances, except I have the same thing on a couple of machines, and I might mix it with sounds from churches, etc. It’s basically a live world tour of city sounds as music: the machines are connected to a mixing desk, images are coming from the website projects.

During the eight years I’ve been doing these performances, they’ve been heavily focused on the sounds of cities, the database live and soundmaps.

So this database can be used in performances, but the key here is that the database is open source, and other people can contribute to this community of sounds. There’s lots of other projects that have come from this, but the most important bit is this. This XML feed shows the sound, and its longitude/latitude, and although this is just a line of code it basically means that anyone else can use this to write their own apps.

What I’m doing that’s unique here is: it’s like an artist of the past allowing someone into their studio to work in parallel with them.

Sonicity: Networked Soundscape at Lanternhouse

December 7th, 2010
stanza artwork sonicty

Stanza Installation. 2010. Sonification Of Space

Sonicity Installation is now available for touring.

This installation artwork focuses on the real time space and the experience of the gallery visitor as they interact with the space, using data gathered from  new technologies.

Sonicity is a responsive installation, a sonification of the real space and environment. The sounds you hear are the sounds of the changing environment, ie the changes of noise, light, temperature of the space is turned into a real time sound stream using dozens of wireless sensors presented as an installation on 170 speakers.

The funding for all the speakers and installation version was made possible by financial support of Lanternhouse International.

Sonicity is a responsive installation, a sonification of the data space.The sounds you hear are the sound of the changing environment, ie : the changes of noise, light, temperature of the space is turned into a real time sound stream using dozens of wireless sensors.

The system monitors the space (the building) and the environment (the city) and captures live real time data (light , temperature, noise, humidity, position) to create an ambient sonification, an acoustic responsive environment, literally the sound of the micro incidents of change that occur over time.

The objective is to explore new ways of thinking about interaction within public space and how this affects the socialization of space. The project uses environmental monitoring technologies and security based technologies, to question audiences experiences of the event and space and gather data inside the space.

The project also focuses on the micro-incidents of change, the vibrations and sounds of the gallery using wireless sensor based technologies. Motes are used to collect the data. The ‘motes’ are tiny wireless sensor boards that gather data and communicate to the central server. The real world is monitored and the data stored in my archive retrieval system. Motes and sensor boards sense the micro incidents of change in the light, the noise, temperature, sounds of the flows inside the space.

Using the XML live feeds the data can be turned in music. A custom made MAX/MSP motereader and sound synthesis engine has now been written. This allows one to hear the sounds of space, ie : an aural experience of the surrounding space. Additional mixers in the software allow all the sensors to be mixed and cross mashed. Basically this allows you to perform with space.

Stanza making things that occupy space.

November 30th, 2010

Much if not most of his work over the last twenty five years has been concerned with the city and with real-time technologies of surveillance and information and has often involved using and even making electronic devices.  In 2009 he did a residency at Lanternhouse in Cumbria,  near to the Lake District,  in which he applied some of the same techniques as he has used in relation to city life to more rural contexts. Yet this bucolic interlude was an exception to the normal location of his artistic practice.

Yet I would like to claim that Stanza presents an exemplary form of art as craft, in the sense that he takes the materials of our current technologised culture and materially engages with their possibilities in order to reflect upon what it means to be living in that culture. What is particularly interesting about Stanza’s work is that he understands how to use in creative and novel ways a whole range of tools and technologies, which, along with his prodigious rate of production, means that his output is a kind of map of shifting technological realities and possibilities. He groups many of his artworks over the last twenty five years under the rubric The Emergent City Projects.


Image: Stanza Music Performance with touchscreens: 2004

Stanza artwork above 2004

In the mid-1980s he was making music videos about ‘cities, networks and urban situations’ using ‘VJ decks and experimental TV techniques’.  In 1989 he started a series of monochrome paintings of cityscapes, based on his own photographs, entitled Control… In 1997 he started Central City…….

In a situation where the virtual realm becomes more and more the place where we, in the so-called developed world at least, work and socialise, the material, lived environment of the city becomes a locus of greater authenticity, much as the rural landscape did during the period of industrialisation. Yet, much as representations of the countryside in the 19th century were often made with much more awareness of the social and ecological issues than we now imagine,

Stanza’s work does not romanticise the city. He portrays it as a complex, informational space, networked by different complex systems, some visible and some invisible. He also makes the work in the most direct sense; he is a maker, a craftsperson, who knows how to program, how to use live video feed, and how to build robots, and sensing devices.

Above all he knows how to use and to work with the technologies of real-time computing and visualisation that have become an increasingly important part of our technologised culture.

To a certain extent Stanza’s practice and that of others like him, embodies the idea of ‘immaterial labour’ and the ‘social worker’ as discussed by, among others, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt.

In the context of a capitalism increasingly dominated by information technology Hardt and Negri distinguish between two forms of the ‘immaterial labor of analytical and symbolic tasks’, on one hand ‘routine symbolic tasks’, and ‘creative and intelligent manipulation’ on the other (293). They claim that, inasmuch as such labour necessarily involves cooperation prior to its subsumption by capital, it seems to ‘provide the potential for a kind of spontaneous and elementary communism’ (294). Hardt and Negri have been widely criticised for the naivety of this statement. What might be claimed is that immaterial labour does offer a new model of craft production as opposed to the dehumanising mass production of industrial capitalism.It seems to me that the work of Stanza offers us a model of not just an artistic but also an ethical engagement with technology, at a time when such a thing is, I believe, increasingly needed. His work does not comment on, for example, surveillance technologies or sensing technologies, or other public manifestations, in a political or polemic manner. Rather it engages in what they might be for, how they might be used, in ways that explore their meaning and potential beyond the obvious kinds of use. As such he works against the cool aesthetic of much work made with such technologies.

By contrast with the reticent of such stuff, Stanza produces an abundance of vivid, complex, often baroque work that is unashamedly aesthetic in the sense of being concerned with the sensually beautiful. In this he is like Ruskin’s gothic builder, whose love of variety and for beauty for its own sake was, for Ruskin, evidence of his freedom, as compared to the ‘enslaved’ worker, endeavouring to produce regular perfection. The modern equivalent to such an enslaved worker might be an artist committed to a conceptual programme of work as much as it might be a computer programmer endeavouring to find the most economical and ‘elegant’ solution to a logical problem. That said Richard Sennett’s book on The Craftsman explicitly claims that programming can be a craft and offers the example of Linux programmers.

stanza artist

Image: Detail from live CCTV software system by Stanza 2005.

Stanza artwork above 2005

The difference between Stanza and the Gothic craftsman discussed by Ruskin is that the latter works spatially, making things that occupy space and endure, unchanged over time.

Stanza works in time, in the sense that he manipulates real-time and time-based  technologies such as CCTV cameras.  He does not so much ‘sculpt time’ as Andrei Tarkovski described the process of film making, as ‘craft time’. In the context of a culture in which time has increasingly become a commodity, this crafting of time takes on a more pressing and even political dimension.

Charlie Gere

Head of Department

Institute for Cultural Research


August 2nd, 2010


I am developing the idea of studio as laboratory and extending previous versions by inviting members of the public to be involved in the process and the experiments. The studio will also have live CCTV broadcast and live data feeds.

Artists are like scientists they ask questions and find answers in peculiar ways….guided by research and process development.  Most artists, like scientists do stuff, they make things to question the world. They often speculate, researching difficult issues in a general direction in the way they see it with specific outcomes, these outcomes may or may not be art.

From the real to virtual and back to the real is a theme that has had my attention for five years and the idea is embedded in the works I am currently making.

stanza_i_am _stanza

Image: Stanza installation:- “Visitors To A Gallery” 2008. CCTV artwork.

This project will take place in the Barn at Lanternhouse, as Stanza creates data scapes in an Open Studio.  The residency is about exploring the artistic process, being transparent about the process and the development and production of new work.

The “open studio” mirrors the process of the project, with material and philosophical process being available to witness throughout.


Image: Stanza installation:- “Visitors To A Gallery” 2008. Installation on Floor.

This work (the studio as lab) is now in version three for my residency in Lanternhouse International (UK) called City of Dreams.

Three works to be developed during this City of Dreams residency: Info Below

  • Sonicity
  • Capacities
  • Open Studio: Transparency

UK artist Stanza wins VIDA 6.0, 2003

May 31st, 2010

UK artist Stanza wins VIDA 6.0, 2003

El Jurado de la Competición de Arte y Vida Artificial Vida 6.0 – Daniel Canogar, Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Machiko Kusahara, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Jane Prophet y Nell Tenhaaf – examinó un número récord de propuestas: 71 obras de arte que utilizan conceptos y técnicas de vida artificial. Estas piezas fueron preseleccionadas de un grupo de 89 recibidas de 21 países. La Fundación Telefónica de España, organizadora del concurso desde hace cinco años, concederá los siguientes premios


Stanza Generative software map maker.



La idea es ahondar en las analogías de la identidad orgánica de la ciudad. La microciudad se convierte en una red orgánica de cuadrículas y diagramas. La forma y el contenido de este trabajo es un mundo visual de la ciudad y su estructura. Redes de tecnología de la información se ponen en contraste con redes orgánicas y redes urbanas. El proyecto fusiona los sonidos de los diferentes espacios. Los sonidos del lenguaje imponen un ritmo con el que la narración visual puede interactuar. ‘The central city’ es una experiencia de arte por Internet, interactiva y audiovisual. Está formada por trozos de texto con sonidos incorporados, todo ello realizado para Internet. La ciudad se convierte en una red orgánica de cuadrículas y diagramas en la que se yuxtaponen imágenes y sonidos urbanos.

En este proyecto he querido desarrollar analogías para la identidad orgánica de la ciudad como comunidad urbana y establecer enlaces con redes electrónicas y comunidades virtuales. Esta interacción orgánica se pone en contraste con las estructuras realizadas por el ser humano, así como con las formas del diseño urbanístico. Los espacios en la red son para soñar, pensar, meditar y la transitoriedad. La forma y el contenido de este trabajo es un mundo visual de la ciudad y su estructura. Un laberinto visual, un dédalo de circunstancias. La propia ciudad está siempre en transformación, siempre fluyendo. Cada aspecto de la vida ciudadana parece mostrar unas características específicas que pueden transformarse en las diferentes partes del laberinto, componiendo las imágenes que se van a utilizar. La experiencia urbana consiste en pequeños bloques y celdas unitarios que se relacionan y unen entre sí para componer la identidad urbana. La ciudad ha pasado de metrópolis a megalópolis y, finalmente, a ecumenópolis. La ciudad está en todas partes, propagando su diseño inerte hacia el cielo y formando un guirigay de objetos físicos en el espacio. Las ciudades se convierten en “colonias de insectos”, proyectadas hacia arriba como gigantescas torres acechantes ante cualquier solar sin construir, cualquier espacio vacío.


Mi intervención artística mira fragmentos de nuestra experiencia de ciudades, componedores de la ciudad completa. La ciudad central es un lugar que parece fuera de control, pero que pretendemos controlar a través del diseño. La ciudad como cuadrícula, como repetición, puede parecer sublime o puede resultar confusa y carcelaria. Las macrociudades nos ofrecen un espectáculo desolador de propagación urbana masificada; la megalópolis se extiende hacia arriba y a todos lados para albergar a ese 70%-80% de la población mundial que actualmente vive en las ciudades.

Este trabajo en la red representa espacios, espacios idealizados. No veo la “ciudad central” como una simulación. De hecho, no me interesa especialmente la simulación. Veo la evolución final del proyecto como una experiencia, una experiencia online en Internet, que puede contemplarse desde dentro del cubo blanco que es el ordenador. El marco, la cuadrícula que contiene este trabajo, es el ordenador e Internet. Imágenes de mapas que vuelven a dibujarse y procesarse, para lograr una ciudad en evolución perpetua. No es necesario recorrer caminos iguales.


Me interesan los sonidos de lugares concretos y la forma en que los sonidos reflejan su identidad y restablecen las características de cada espacio o entorno. Cada ciudad tiene una identidad determinada y los sonidos que escuchamos en ella nos puede dar pistas sobre las personas que la habitan, además de provocar y estimular nuestros sentidos de una forma musical. Los sonidos del lenguaje imponen un ritmo con el que puede interactuar la narración visual. La intención dentro de las secciones más modernas de la ciudad central es crear una experiencia audiovisual que evoque el espacio, tanto en forma de descripción literal como de composición musical desarrollada. Estas son las ideas que conforman mi nueva serie de “mapas sonoros” y la “ciudad sonora”. La ciudad se codifica en formas crecientes basadas en patrones algorítmicos. La experiencia de la ciudad digital. Una experiencia lúdica no lejana a la propuesta por la crítica situacionista. Y como los situacionistas, también se pretende construir ciudades. Mi respuesta inicial en el proyecto de ciudad central, por ejemplo, fue deconstruir un lenguaje del entorno urbano y ciudadano y volver a construirlo como imagen artística para tratar de constituir una forma y un contenido nuevos. Si te colocas en el medio de esta estructura concreta, sólo encuentras el significado de la experiencia estética cuando decides pasar de un lugar al siguiente. Utilizo estos pequeños fragmentos como ritmos que interactúan con la parte siguiente y evolucionan en algo totalmente nuevo. Esas partes son células, elementos de un todo que se genera a sí mismo. La naturaleza de los sonidos y el ruido de las ciudades en tono y lenguaje. Un ritmo que antes era de fondo puede dejarse oír en primer plano. Se mezcla y evoluciona. La ciudad es su propia música, en constante transformación, una hermosa combinación de chirridos, martilleos y percusiones. La conocemos de sobra, pero no somos consciente de ella mientras nos bombardea. Sin embargo, los sonidos evolucionan, se generan, se mueven, mueren, languidecen y cambian. Los sonidos de la ciudad están ahí constantemente, no hay silencio, el código no se detiene. Los niños, los trenes, los taladros, los animales, los microsonidos, los sonidos de nuestros cuerpos, los sonidos de la calle, el interior de nuestras almas. Formas conocidas, identidades y sonidos que son comunes a todas las ciudades y, sin embargo, cada una tiene sus formas especiales que individualizan y distinguen cada lugar, cada espacio.

Todos los sonidos están grabados en minidisc de sus fuentes originales, para luego ser incorporados a la ciudad central. Los archivos de sonido tienen distintos funcionamientos: unos tienen forma de bucle, otros están mezclados y otros son generativos. Hay incluso una sección de máquina de discos en la que los sonidos salen de la jukebox desde el servidor y en casa uno puede organizar su propio karaoke, recitando las palabras sobre la banda sonora de la ciudad industrial.


‘The central city’ se aparta del concepto de pieza “lineal”, optando más por una experiencia no lineal e interactiva que entrega al público parte del control sobre la obra. La ciudad te permite experimentar obras diferentes, dependiendo de la forma seleccionada para navegar. También se puede elegir un sistema aleatorio. Al igual que esta no linealidad, algunas de las piezas cambian con el tiempo, y el usuario puede controlar su funcionamiento e introducir cambios de sonido e imagen. Se podría decir que esta transformación de la relación entre el público y el artista modifica nuestra percepción de la obra artística. Presento una situación en que el público puede no sólo participar sino también decidir, contribuir a la forma y el contenido. La obra explora esta nueva relación entre el público y el artista. El usuario decide si quiere modificar sonidos e imágenes, dónde ir, qué ver, qué escuchar. Puede hacerlo mediante movimientos dentro de la cuadrícula. En definitiva, el usuario puede elegir la experiencia que desea tener, sintetizando medios, sistemas y fenómenos convergentes en el proceso.


La ciudad se codifica en un número creciente de formas basadas en patrones algorítmicos. Es la ciudad digital, con un carácter lúdico no alejado del de la crítica situacionista. Y como los situacionistas, también se quiere construir ciudades. La ciudad central se ha convertido en una amalgama de ideas del campo del arte, la arquitectura, el diseño y el urbanismo, unidas dentro del espíritu y el genio del movimiento situacionista.


Mediante el ratón se introducen sonidos diferentes y el usuario puede tener cierto control sobre la experiencia. Además, en las secciones generativas las imágenes adquieren formas distintas y se mueven por la pantalla en un espacio tridimensional. Las secciones se controlan por posición o por ratón. Unos pequeños botones incorporan sonidos generativos a imágenes que van evolucionando y desapareciendo con el tiempo.

El proyecto de Central City se pensó específicamente para Internet, como pieza de arte en la red. Las restricciones técnicas y de diseño que impone el medio al que va destinado determinan el sonido y la imagen resultantes. Este trabajo se pensó esencialmente para Internet por el potencial que ofrece de llegar a un público mucho mayor. Mi idea del arte en la red es el que utiliza los protocolos de la red como medio. La obra ha de ser específica para la red, diseñada para Internet, debe utilizar elementos de html, javascript e incorporar también flash, shockwave y java. El arte en la red es comunicación global, interactiva. Es también relativamente barato y no tiene las limitaciones económicas que se encuentran en otras manifestaciones artísticas. La naturaleza de la web permite una mayor libertad frente a la censura actual y, debido a que sigue desarrollando su lenguaje, ofrece también una mayor libertad de expresión.

Muchas de estas obras están controladas principalmente por el ratón. Cuando el usuario lo mueve cambia la luz y la imagen. Se puede encontrar una copia de todo el proyecto en CD-Rom y también existen versiones que se pueden exhibir como instalación para espacios de mayores dimensiones. El proyecto ha evolucionado desde su nacimiento en 1997, hasta la forma que tiene en la actualidad, que es la versión 5 de 2003.

También se está desarrollando una versión que permite que el sitio web pueda verse en diversos ordenadores. El sitio web se proyecta utilizando varios proyectores, y al mismo tiempo los sonidos se envían a un software nuevo, especialmente escrito en max msp. Este software remezcla y fusiona los sonidos. El trabajo en este formato se ha exhibido en directo en varias ocasiones.


‘The central city’ es una amalgama de ideas del campo del arte, la arquitectura, el diseño y el urbanismo. Sobre urbanismo han tratado también otros trabajos anteriores, como el LP “Conundrum” y obras en vídeo. En estos trabajos se entra en una región llena de sonidos construidos con precisión, creadores de atmósferas sombrías que evocan en quien los oye paisajes urbanos. “Conundrum”, de 1987, es un disco y vídeo conceptual sobre la naturaleza del entorno urbanístico de Londres. El vídeo está rodado en la zona sur de Londres y editado en estudios de televisión con un trabajo exhaustivo de post producción. El LP utiliza sonidos que se pueden oír en el entorno mezclados con un pesado paisaje industrial. De esta época es también “Artitextures” construido en un panel de pantallas de vídeo y que muestra temas del diseño urbano deconstruidos y repetidos en una cuadrícula. Se trata de una serie de imágenes y formas urbanas, continuamente editadas y reprocesadas que contienen fragmentos aislados de la vida en la ciudad. También es interesante la serie completa de pinturas de gran formato y obras basadas en fotografías. La serie “Control” está formada por pinturas al óleo en blanco y negro sobre lienzo del período 1990-1992 y la serie “New Decayed” de 1989 (ver

La ciudad central recibe la influencia de estos trabajos sobre el entorno urbano realizados en otros medios, y como obra interactiva en la red ha evolucionado a lo largo de varios años hasta su actual forma y versión. El trabajo se inició en 1997 y la primera versión se puso en la red en 1997. Actualmente está en la versión cuarta e incluye obras como soundcities e inner city.

Cuestiones técnicas. Se necesita shockwave para algunas áreas y no se podrá escuchar mi música o los sonidos si no está instalado shockwave. Se puede descargar este plug-in del sitio web macromedia. Deseo agradecer a todos los que me han prestado su ayuda en las diferentes partes del proyecto, en especial a los arquitectos, urbanistas y habitantes urbanos. Gracias a todos los que me han ayudado con el código cuando lo he necesitado. Gracias a todos los buscadores que permiten el acceso a este trabajo, a las compañías de software y, en especial, a Adam Hoyle, director online, Atty, Toxi, Danny Brown, Vicky Forrester, Andy Wilson, Pelado, Crab, Dug Group, los códigos abiertos, la red y todo el freeware.













El sitio web 2003 (Versión 5) consta de los siguientes trabajos:


La forma y el contenido de este trabajo es un mundo visual de la ciudad y su estructura. Redes de tecnología de la información se ponen en contraste con redes orgánicas y redes urbanas. La ciudad se convierte en una red orgánica de cuadrículas y diagramas. He querido desarrollar analogías para la identidad orgánica de la ciudad como comunidad urbana y establecer enlaces con redes electrónicas y comunidades virtuales. Esta interacción orgánica se pone en contraste con las estructuras realizadas por el ser humano, así como con las formas del diseño urbanístico. Cada aspecto de la vida en la ciudad parece mostrar características específicas que pueden transformarse en las diferentes partes del laberinto, componiendo las imágenes que se van a utilizar. La ciudad ha pasado de metrópolis a megalópolis y, finalmente, a ecumenópolis.

Central City

La ciudad central. Las más de treinta secciones que contiene incluyen: Transportron, maprouter, evolver, cuboid, univercity, transportron, textor, matrixity, fostexity, videotron, small worlds, etc. Cada una incluye además bandas sonoras y distintas opciones de imágenes, entornos tridimensionales y sonidos generativos. Central City es una pieza de arte en Internet, interactiva y audiovisual. Está formada por fragmentos de texto, con sonidos incorporados, especialmente concebida para Internet. La ciudad se convierte en una red orgánica de cuadrículas y diagramas en la que se yuxtaponen imágenes y sonidos urbanos.

Inner City

Inner City es una experiencia audiovisual e interactiva de arte en Internet que continúa la búsqueda del “alma de la ciudad”. En sus diversas áreas se encuentran entornos de sonido e imagen generativos construidos en espacios tridimensionales. La microciudad se convierte en una red orgánica de cuadrículas y diagramas. La forma y el contenido de este trabajo es un mundo visual de la ciudad y su estructura. Inner City es un laberinto interactivo que se desarrolla íntegramente en la red. Está formada por veinte secciones que incluyen virosity, artitexture, blackstar, complicity, cuboxis, intoxcity, megalopolis, organicity, phyletcity, revolver, utopias. También se han desarrollado ediciones con pantalla táctil, disponibles para su exhibición.


Composiciones sonoras de la interfaz urbana y audio del nuevo CD. El proyecto “soundcities” está íntegramente formado por sonidos existentes y paisajes sonoros extraídos de los miles de muestras recogidos por mí. Me interesan los sonidos de cada lugar concreto y la forma en que los sonidos reflejan su identidad y restablecen las características de cada espacio o entorno. He recogido y grabado los sonidos de las siguientes ciudades: Sao Paulo, Londres, París, Dresden, Amsterdam, Saltburg, Graz, Rotterdam, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Manchester, Liverpool, Ljubiana, Frankfurt, Oporto, Estambul, México, Chicago. Estos sonidos constituyen la base del nuevo CD soundcities. También realizo una performance en la que utilizo las aplicaciones de Central City y los sitios web en dos ordenadores portátiles para generar estos datos de sonido e imagen.


Monitorización constante de las ciudades del mundo. El estado emocional de la “metropolicía”. Proyecto sobre la subvergencia de la vigilancia. Unas webcams recogen imágenes de ciudades de todo el mundo en tiempo real. Estas imágenes son trasladadas a u sistema de software donde son reelaboradas por una serie de canales especializados. Estos canales están siempre en marcha y siempre transformándose, ofreciendo una vista constante de las ciudades del mundo evolucionando con el tiempo. Utiliza software y tecnología a medida para viajar aleatoriamente por el mundo e integrar las imágenes captadas por las cámaras. Personas que miran a personas que miran las ciudades. Incluye las siguientes secciones: tormented, bleeding, earthquakes.


18 espacios virales emergentes generativos que ahondan en las analogías de la identidad orgánica de la ciudad. La ciudad como código, conocimiento emergente y estructuración de memoria. La ciudad se codifica en una serie de formas crecientes basadas en patrones algorítmicos. Mediante sistemas generativos las imágenes adquieren forma, se transforman y se mueven por la pantalla. El sistema lleva integrado un procesador de sonido generativo. Todos los sonidos proceden de la ciudad, y son reprocesados en tiempo real. Los sonidos de la ciudad no se detienen; no hay silencio, el código no para. Incluye 18 secciones diferentes. Requiere como mínimo G4 o Pentium 4.


Seis instalaciones generativas audiovisuales que fusionan imágenes y sonidos en un espacio lúdico en la red. Las imágenes están controladas principalmente por movimientos de ratón y posición. Cuando el usuario mueve el ratón, la luz y la imagen cambian. Se pueden montar como instalaciones en las que los visitantes mueven las imágenes al moverse ellos por el espacio.


Entorno online de imágenes basadas en fotografías tomadas en ciudades de todo el mundo y procesadas en una fusión modernista de imagen y sonido. Una selección de imágenes diferentes de diversas ciudades del mundo, en las que he tomado miles de fotografías. Esta primera serie reúne sonidos e imágenes de Dresden desde 2001. Fusiona también los sonidos que se escuchan en lugares determinados. La ciudad ha pasado de metrópolis a megalópolis y, finalmente, a ecumenópolis. La forma y el contenido de este trabajo es un mundo visual de la ciudad y su estructura. Fragmentos artísticos de nuestra experiencia de las ciudades y que componen toda la ciudad.


La webcam recoge sonidos en directo y los traslada a mi base de datos, al tiempo que los recompone. La interfaz online te permite conectar directamente con este sistema y realizar tus propias mezclas urbanas generativas. Un código generativo especial reorganiza estos sonidos naturales de las calles, el sonido de lo urbano. Incluye un sistema que permite el uso de sistemas audio generativos en la red. Los sonidos de la ciudad son trasladados a un espacio emergente continuo con el que se puede interactuar.


Soundmaps toma los sonidos del lugar en que se pueden escuchar. Es un conjunto de mapas sonoros interactivos que se pueden adaptar para cualquier ciudad del mundo y crecen hasta crear un laberinto de multitud de mapas basados en los sonidos de la calle. Las primeras versiones se utilizaron en mi proyecto de Central City en 1998. En las nuevas versiones se exploran las relaciones entre los sonidos de la ciudad y su estructura urbana. Dependiendo de dónde estés en un momento determinado, los sonidos de la ciudad son otra vez recogidos por la red de cuadrículas y diagramas.

Estos trabajos pueden exhibirse en forma de instalaciones. Algunos de ellos pueden mostrarse en pantallas táctiles especiales y también se ha desarrollado una performance que incorpora Central City y Soundcities.

Stanza exhibits real time data network at Decode: Digital Design Sensations. V & A Porter gallery

November 22nd, 2009

Stanza is in this show…Digital Design Sensations. 8 December 2009 – 11 April 2010.

Using custom made sensors in the V & A Porter gallery and around the city. 20 custom environmental sensors units measure, light, noise, sound, humidity, and temperature….this data is turned into a online real time visualisation of the space.

Stanza’s work “Sensity V & A” uses environmental sensors scattered all over the museum and the city to make visualisation and sonifications. Literally painting with data these works open up a discourse about networks and surveillance technologies. The ownership and interrogation of public domain space is opened out where anyone can view all the data in these networks. This is used by stanza to make artworks but it is of equal interest to urban designers, city planners, and architects. Stanza’s main point is to question the social political fabric of the landscape around us. This work aim to reclaim the city which is remade as a real time virtualised space belonging to all. The work is interactive, real time and responsive; it is also available online.

The Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition will be centred in the Porter Gallery. The exhibition will explore three themes. Code as a Raw Material will present pieces that use computer code to create new designs in the same way a sculptor works with materials such as clay or wood. This section will look at how code can be programmed to create constantly fluid and ever changing objects. The second theme, Interactivity, will look at designs where the viewer directly influences the work. Visitors will be invited to interact with and contribute to the development of the works, many of which show designers playing with the boundaries of design and performance. The final theme, The Network, will focus on works that comment on and utilise the digital traces left behind by everyday communications, from blogs in social media communities to mobile communications or satellite tracked GPS systems.

Sensity by Stanza as part of Decode: Digital Design Sensations at the V and A. I wont be showing the globe but I will be showing live data visualisation of London and the V @ A.

Drones and Surveillance

February 27th, 2009

Image of new Police CCTV gear.

Remote-controlled drones are already used widely by the military. And they are coming to a city near you.

Now ministers believe they are likely to become ‘increasingly useful’ for police work. Armed with heat-seeking cameras, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles would hover hundreds of feet in the air, gathering intelligence and watching suspects.In theory, their advantages are clear. They are cheaper and quieter than conventional helicopters, can circle their target for hours without refuelling – and they don’t get bored on long surveillance missions. The plan to deploy ‘spy in the sky’ planes is outlined in the Home Office’s latest Science and Innovation Strategy. It says: ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are likely to be an increasingly useful tool for police in the future, potentially reducing the number of dangerous situations the police may have to enter and also providing evidence for prosecutions and support police operations in “real time”.Two years ago, Tony McNulty, then a Home Office minister, acknowledged that scientists were exploring the use of UAV technology for a ‘range of policing and security applications’. But the document cautions: ‘We need to investigate how such vehicles could be used, and their ability to provide high-quality evidence for convictions.’ There are also safety concerns surrounding the planes. Those used by the military are prone to crashes on takeoff and landing. Many have been lost over battlefields.

A trial by Merseyside police, of £30,000 ( not inc training costs)  remote-controlled miniature helicopters with still, video or infra-red cameras, highlighted more mundane problems related to battery life and the effects of bad weather on flights. Mark Wallace, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘I think a lot of people would be concerned at the Home Office looking to use technology more generally associated with the tribal borders of Pakistan and the fight against terror over British towns to watch the British public. The flying robo-constable is also “almost silent” in use, and “allows entirely covert operation”.The distributor spokesman said the aircraft are “military derived…obviously I can’t talk too much about that particular use…they are essentially reconnaissance tools.” Since the microdrone isn’t listed among those used by the regular military, this might indicate that the British special forces have taken an interest in the diminutive stealth-chopper, perhaps in a counter-terrorism role.

This would fit in with the Merseyside police reported plans to test it in firearms operations, as well as for more mundane tasks such as monitoring traffic congestion and crowds. So the CCTV revolution continues unabated. Liverpool has gone from Jamie Bulger ( CCTV abduction)  to aerial surveillance and still big brother and the mother of big brother uses money that  could be better spent elsewhere.

Still, as with all things wireless there are workarounds and if you have to  find one lying on the concrete in Bootle its sure to fetch a nice price on Ebay.

Networked Cities By Stanza. Sensity project.

February 6th, 2009
Copyright Image by Stanza

Networked Cities By Stanza. Sensity project.

Copyright Image by Stanza

The ‘environment’ in these projects is created from a wireless multi nodal multi sensor network that is in place. The network emits live data via a proxy server and the online xml data gateway represent a live communication flow of the city space. This impression and this part of the work is what I term asset gathering and in this case they are constantly gathered into an online system ready for interpretation.

The online interfacing of live real time sensors networks allows a communication with environment, with real space in the present. Control mechanisms of ownership and rights access are opened up my making the data available in the public domain. These real time impressions can be modulated from online interfaces to physical sculptural interpretations.

The data is remade real again as physical objects interpret the virtualized readouts. The analogue is made digital and the digital can be formed into a variety of output devices. The data can be represented as online interfaces like I have made (Sensity , House, both online), or by triggering the technology in the physical world, ie sensors, Leds, displays, robots etc. Sensity can trigger buildings relating to whole cities, or vice versa. The flow of the data can be set to affect the behaviour of the output environment.
The data environment that is created is a mapped on top of the space, a virtual data map or the real world.

Other artists are also allowed access to this “back end city, real data city and they can make their own “Sensities”. In this way the data is open sourced. From any Sensity network numerous artistic interventions can take place. In fact the whole city can be represented, and all artists can make multiple work from this “The Emergent City”.  A city of sculptures re-presenting  real time space.

Page 66 of “Responsive Environments”, Lucy Bullivan. On talking about Usman Haque “he awaits the environment that is simply intelligent”. 1


Sensor on Google Maps 2006

stanza datacity

Networked Cities By Stanza. Sensity project. 2004 – 2010

Within Sensity there is now a loop from the real to the virtual and back to the real.  This notion of playing or manipulating with a malleable form (data) is made possible as each stream, each node, each sensor, or even the entire network can be communicated with using this xml online gateway.
We have seen rich shift in relational and responsive interactive works and the move away from gallery as a venue for art to the use of architecture and public domain space in the last twenty years….stanza

In an age of global warming, so many artists are still using the architectural space as a coloured light bulb. As we burn more fossil fuels the light are flashing on and off. Sensity be made more physical on output to represent of the growth of the city as an experience in the real world away from the screen. A city representation of the fabric of city space end the emerging patterns caused by these data flows. An art city can be made where the data powers the wind turbines, the data changing the solar panels that change the lights. Loops of real time data change the meaning all the while changing the  input and output  which is (e)merging into a new space.  Also  see my new works Tree, Sonicity and Capacities. REF.1. “Responsive Environments:  Architecture, Art And Design.”Lucy Bullivan. V & A Publications. 2006.