Archive for the ‘ideas’ Category

Buildings as displays. 2005

December 16th, 2007
stanza dna building

One day, all buildings will be giant display screens. Not building with display screens attached or stuck on the front…

My proposal for a dna building ..stanza image

Stanza….Clarks bursury diary notes. 2005

One day, all buildings will be giant display screens. Not building with display screens attached or stuck on the front like in Tokyo, but buildings as a display material with data networked into the architecture itself. The inside of the building the working process, the data, the movement of people in space will be embedded into the architecture via technology, sensors and computers. The building will become a living sculptural entity a display material. In order for this to have we will also need a new type of display material a new polymer based technology. It has yet to be invented. But here is a simulation of data of this experience using live Bristol data.

http://www.stanza.co.uk/ideasrus/display/index.htm

I made this work “Microcity”, to imagine new metaphors relevant to the experience of the city. What happens when we place data sculptures outside in real space. What might these data sculptures look like and how might they behave. This example I made is a 3 d, real time data sculpture made out of an as yet invented new polymer display. The images sent over network from a bank of data from the datascape. A city of data balls with retrievable narrative for experience. Social sculptures contain information zones, banking data, etc Narratives from huge libraries of online videos images stories. System accesses national data archives. The idea is that these balls will float all over the city. (http://www.stanza.co.uk/micro_city/index.html )

A polymer display ball or intelligent material would allow the creation of a datascape of gathered assets, which could contain narrative for creating understanding. Translating what we gather into something we understand or at least into something we can experience.

The increase of technology infrastructure in the daily existence of a city means that technology will, more than ever be everywhere in our environment. Data mining will be part of the fabric of the landscape. 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.

My recent experiments at the Watershed have been investigating this concept of data in the public domain. There is loads of data out there already. The data is like a medium is malleable, it is problematic to work with, and in some cases it is protected by the data protection act. The work “Publicity” (http://www.stanza.co.uk/publicity/index.html) explores placing the inside data of the buildings onto the outside of the building it uses public domain data.

Exploring the notion of who owns the data and the intelligent building. Most buildings have CCTV and they use it to observe the people inside the space, ie the public. In this artwork I use the technology in the building to broadcast all the information outside over the internet into the public domain. An experimental relay was adapted from the Watersheds CCTV live footage of the general public entering the Watershed gallery.

stanza

Stanza image CCTV on the outside of a building to make inside outside. 2004

Stanza image CCTV on the outside of a building to make inside outside. 2004

Focusing on this, I also want to embed the building with intelligence, with sensors, to capture data that can be visualized. I have called this project “Sensity”. Its in development (http://www.stanza.co.uk/sensity/index.html)

Sensity artworks are made from the data that is collected across the urban and environment infrastructure. A network of sensors, some fixed, and some embedded, collects data which is then published online. The sensors then interpret the micro-data of the city. The output from the sensors will be display the emotional state of the city online and the information will be used to create installations and sculptural artefacts.

These artworks made will represent the movement of people, pollution in the air, the vibrations and sounds of buildings, they will be in effect emergent social sculptures visualising the emotional state of the city. Sensity is an open social sculpture that informs the world and creates new meaningful experiences.

A first working prototype is in development which will be embedded into the Watershed. It will bring the building alive. Or rather it will be a live representation of the whole space monitoring environmental data to make visualizations.

Indeed as I mentioned above, the city is already scattered with technology used for surveillance. I have recently added to my works in cctv and surveillance pieces by making a series of new works.

Have a look at http://www.stanza.co.uk/new_york_stories/index.html

Anyway during my last visit to the Watershed I got side tracked trying to make the next version of my robot called “The mating Game”. I have been buying robots off Ebay and messing about with the electronics. So far I have made a multi robot piece using ten robots in a mating ritual. They are basically acting out a courting ritual and generating sounds depending on their position. You can see a series of videos online of the early installation set up. (http://www.stanza.co.uk/robotsmating/mate/index.html).

Stanza

August 2005 ©

Artist as Engineer. “The Author as Producer”

October 31st, 2007
stanza artist robots 2002 - 2010

stanza artist robots 2002 – 2010

stanza artwork

Walter Benjamin (in ‘The Author as Producer’ of 1934) describes the shift in the role of the cultural producer ‘from a supplier of the productive apparatus, into an engineer who sees his [/her] task in adapting that apparatus thus reconciling the means of intellectual production with technical quality’.

‘An author who has carefully thought about the conditions of production today… will never be concerned with the products alone, but always, at the same time, with the means of production. In other words, his [/her] products must possess an organising function besides and before their character as finished works.’ (1983: 98)

The essay recommends that the writer (artist, cultural producer) must reflect upon their position within the production process like a technician, demonstrating expertise alongside solidarity. This alliance is necessary to transform him [/her], ‘from a supplier of the production apparatus, into an engineer who sees his task in adapting that apparatus’ (1983: 102).

All references to Walter Benjamin, ‘The Author as Producer’ in Understanding Brecht, trans. Anna Bostock, London: Verso 1983; written as a lecture for the Institute for the Study of Fascism, in Paris, April 1934. A more recent translation is available in Michael W. Jennings, ed, Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings, Volume 2 1927-1934, trans. Rodney Livingstone et al, Cambridge, Mass. & London: Belknap Press of Harvard University 1999, pp. 768-782.

Surveillance artworks: experiments with realtime images.

October 22nd, 2007

stanza artist


Stanza artwork: Live CCTV online remixed in real time. 2004

Projects with tangible outcomes for the mobile infrastructures. Using CCTV to create emergent artefacts and new ways of seeing the city. In the UK there is one CCTV camera for every 14 people. If you are in London, you could be caught on camera up to 300 times a day. Westminster City Council in London have come up with a solution – CCTV cameras without wires, which broadcast their pictures back to base using the council’s new wireless network. The advantage a wi-fi network camera is the mobility.

The pilot scheme uses five discreet cameras to monitor people’s comings and goings in Soho Square. Wireless CCTV cameras make it easier for more and more cameras to be installed.

“Within the Soho Square we have a network of wireless LAN bridges providing blanket coverage throughout the square,” said Tim Hearn of Cisco Systems which is providing some of the technology. “Down the narrows streets, Greek Street and Frith Street, we have Wi-Fi pointing down those streets as well so they give us coverage down there.” So that’s a network of wireless LAN devices that we then plug into CCTV cameras, we provide access to mobile workers that will have laptops of mobiles working with them, or maybe some specialist devices. “We’re also linking into noise monitoring devices or other sensors,” he said. Sourced from the BBC website.

The city already has a recorded source of data, cctv is everywhere. Using data from cctv, artists can bring the outside inside. Selected feeds are collected from around the city in real time. These real time images can be fed into software systems where a series of specialised channels rework these images. The channels are always on, and always changing, a constant view of any city or environment evolving around the clock.

I have made a system or art project called ccityv which uses specially created software and technology to randomly engage any camera globally. The system can grab images from any source.

I have to extend this to network cameras in the Bristol area. It is now possible to go further and get everyone in Bristol to tell us where webcams and cctv systems are; we could also set up some of our own. We can then grab all this imagery and edit it rework it and manipulate it inside the software.

Using pdas we can also send users to find the cameras to be recorded and re-engage with the world of surveillance. This system can capture portraits to monitor, and we can use it to tell stories and narrative in the street that can come into the ccityv project. This allows a process to start whereby we can get the outside inside and the inside outside. Data maps can be set up using the mobile Bristol software so that users can find these cameras and put themselves in the pictures. Then when it is updated you would be updated into the archive online. So the public can have all sorts of fun with this. The public can use cameras to make narratives, take portraits, subvert the surveillance process etc.

My system is online and can be engaged with in the everyday use by anyone. Most importantly it is inside the gallery projecting onto display devices. Note this is in real time, it is also online (see urls below); see the date and time stamp on each one. Also if a camera does not load please wait and a new one will be found immediately. Sometimes cameras go offline. The first image to load is a ‘dummy’ image.

Stanza artworks using CCTV

URBAN GENERATION

http://www.stanza.co.uk/urban_tapestry/index.html

YOU ARE MY SUBJECTS

http://www.stanza.co.uk/i_spy/index.htm

http://www.thecentralcity.co.uk/ccityv/

http://www.stanza.co.uk

stanza cctv artwork

Stanza image of cctv artwork.

The results are like an online realtime vj system mixing CCTV  images from around the worlds in real time.

bristolglobe

Cloud of data in Bristol. 2003. Live data responsive system

Exhibition Title: Online—The Emergent City By Stanza.

July 6th, 2007

stanza_artist__webstanza artwork called globals

stanza image : artwork called globals 

List of works about Cities. This is a list of links to my online artworks about cities. I am looking for a curator to make an exhibition of this as well as an exhibition space for an offline show.

Exhibition Title: Online

The EmergentCity by Stanza

Control Series, (Paintings ) http://www.stanza.co.uk/art/play.html

New Decayed series. (Paintings) http://www.stanza.co.uk/art/shop/indexdecay.html

Memory Mapping (Drawings). http://stanza.co.uk/memoryweb/index.html

Conundrum. (video) http://stanza.co.uk/conundrum/index.html

Artitexture. (video wall) http://stanza.co.uk/artitexture/artitexture_pages/index.htm

The Central City (website)http://www.thecentralcity.co.uk/

Inner City (Touch Screen) http://www.thecentralcity.co.uk/innercity/index.html

Biocity. (Touch Screen) http://stanza.co.uk/touch/index.html

Photocities (website) http://www.thecentralcity.co.uk/photocity/index.html

Diversity. (Projection) http://stanza.co.uk/diversity/index.htm

Brilliant City film (Plasma) http://stanza.co.uk/cinedata/index.html

*Authenticity (Projected )http://stanza.co.uk/authenticity/index.html

*Urban Rythms ( plasma) http://www.stanza.co.uk/spain_cctv/index.html

Codified (plasma triptych) http://www.stanza.co.uk/codefied/stanza_f9.htm

Megalopolis (plasma) http://stanza.co.uk/megalopolis_web/index.html

Globals. (Projected). http://stanza.co.uk/global/index.htm

Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. (screens )http://www.stanza.co.uk/chinashanghai/index.html

*Urban Generation , Installation http://stanza.co.uk/urban_tapestry/index.html

*You Are my Subjects http://stanza.co.uk/i_spy/index.htm

*Blue Skies (Small display)http://stanza.co.uk/blue_skies/index.html

*House (Projected) http://stanza.co.uk/house/index.html

*Sensity (Projected and installed) http://stanza.co.uk/sensity/index.html

*Soundcities. Online database…headphones booths to touch screen.

Soul. (large installation.http://www.stanza.co.uk/soul_globe/index.html

Work that need the involvement of space and community

Publicity( CCTV onto outside) http://stanza.co.uk/publicity/index.html

Public Domain ( Gving CCTV units away) http://stanza.co.uk/publicdomain/index.html

Soundcities. (Online database.) Workshop collecting sounds. The sounds of the city

Sensity (Installed version) http://stanza.co.uk/sensity/index.html

  • *Denotes live networked artwork therefore needs internet connection
  • Other works can be shown and exhibited locally
  • Also available are paintings, prints, drawing of maps, and slides (not online).

Also a selection of digital prints will be made up and shown.

What is needed for an offline gallery exhibition are computers, projectors , displays, works printed up framing and electronics. Plus exhibition infrastructure, transport and catalogue.

Crossbow Motes. Details of experience to date. 2004 – 2006

April 9th, 2006

Crossbow Motes.

What follows is a sort of diary / journey of my experiences of dealing and researching new technologies at the fuzzy edge where ‘stuff’ is getting developed and marketed to end users as research tools. The technology in this case is Crossbow Motes.

My interest and work with Crossbow motes (Mica 2 wireless board and sensors) and wireless technology goes back to early 2004 when I went over to Crossbow head office in San Jose and then attended a workshop in Boston in late 2004. For the workshop which costs over $500 dollars, you have to turn up owning or having ordered the technology,I actually wanted to evaluate it or at least see if it worked before I bought. I was looking for a technology that could fit my concepts (live real time data from a sensor network represented online for monitoring public space) and you have to start somewhere, however I paid upfront for the course and the technology , booked the flight from London, and got myself to a hotel in Boston USA.

It should have been a clue as to how difficult XBOW motes actually are. Out of 200 people at the workshop of which they said ten people would turn up to the free two hour session the day before (for the pre install). Well what I mean is, the clue should have been in the pre install day. Nearly every person or group, who had previously bought this technology needed to be shown how to install them. This audience included some navy seals, software engineers with PHD’s and all sorts of BSC and MSC graduates working in professional fields, ie hardware and software engineers. That is nearly everyone who had bought this couldn’t get it to work and needed their hand holding.

Anyway I went ahead and bought the kit at the workshop except the director of Crossbow couldn’t get mine working and he eventually gave me his used mib 510 board.

Its three years I have been messing around with these motes and there are some simple truths.

The first is this is expensive, the second is there is hope offered but failure is always close at hand, the third is your on your own.

I also wonder out of all the people that bought/buy these kits off Crossbow Technology who has actually to used them successfully. If anyone has can you write to me. I did ask crossbow for a list but they wouldn’t give me one. How many of these kits are deployed somewhere and working, or are they all left in dusty cupboards; my guess is the later.

Not only is it difficult to appraise what they should do, they don’t even do what the company promises (more on this later) but to try to develop your own ideas you have to read one of five manuals (which I did) this isn’t the problem, I mean at least there are some manuals. The problem is lots of the stuff is either not true or misleading.( the online forum is useless.)

Maybe I just ask the wrong question, however for three years my question has been the same. Can I get the data online using motes. I want to make real time online environment with the live data, not the local saved data. And after much questioning I was told use XML RPC. The answer to this has always been yes, but how?

They actually sold me software which they said does this out of the box. Well I can tell you and them it does not. It does not take XML RPC into flash for example. The version of XML RPC is proprietory and unique to Crossbow. Believe me it took months to figure this out. ie it’s a non standard version. I repeated the same question after I bought more stuff and they said I would now need to develop either a bridge or a PHP or CGI script in order to do this. (Which I have now also achieved as of 2007.see below.)

I asked them for examples or to at least show me that you at Crossbow have done this and their reply was to say that the code is Crossbow property ie proprietry intellectual property. OK what does this mean. Well first it means that the product doesn’t do what they say it does. Second it means either they are still developing this and also that they weren’t prepared prove to me that this worked. Thirdly it meant that I still hadn’t got my sensors blasting out data online over a network so that I can manipulate it.

However this isn’t the point.

The distributors in UK Willow and Crossbow in USA all said I can get real time data online to my website using the software they sold me for £800 pounds, err that’s why I bought it. They said it is built in. I made several requests about this and they assured me before I purchased that it was. Anyway you can not get realtime data to be presented to an online source using the kits and the software they supply you with. What they said is not true and as such is misrepresentation.

However, I did get my real time data but only after having written my own custom software which was mote proxy bridge in java. (Thanks to Eamonn) There is also way to do this via PHP and postgreSQL , but they didn’t help with this. In other words, you have to do a lot of your own software development to get this to happen, so be prepared.

The other issue with the motes is that I am always having issues restarting the program Xserve and trying to establish re -connections. In other words getting them running is one thing, keeping them running is another.

And of last month (mid 2007) Xbow announced they are now giving the software Moteworks away I bought this from them two months before for £800 ie $1600 us dollars. (No Joke) from their UK distributor Willow Technology. ER can I have my money back?

Recently I updated from version 1.4 moteview to version 2.0 and my mote bridge stops, working. They probably have updated their XML structure, so I rolled back to an earlier version. Well OK I here you say its the cutting edge of technology….er bleeding edge. So my bridge was re-wrote and updated again so I am now running version 2 of moteview with my own mote proxy.

I also bought a “stargate” wireless gateway (It cost £700 pounds via UK Distribution Willow Tech). This was advertised with built in micro wireless camera, err they could have said what it was. The built in micro camera was in fact an external USB Logitec webcam, this is what I got when I opened the box. They charged about £120 pounds $240 dollars for this webcam. The other thing about the “stargate” is it needs a regular power supply. It should be solar or battery powered. It makes no sense to have a battery unit for a wireless sensor network for remote monitoring. (True I can adapt it) At this price I should have just bought another laptop, and that’s what I recommend to anyone else..

There has not been one stage in this process when I have felt like I have had good service either off Willow ( Xbow UK distributors, although Willow tried their best, since their interest is making a sale in redirecting products that come from the USA with 100 percent mark up) or from Crossbow USA who I have dealt with directly.

Although I am still pursuing this project and my research, (I have started so I will finish)…this is more of a warning. Really I feel like should just ask for my money back with all this as it feels like sales misrepresentation.

You see I actually went to San Jose head offices from London and told them what I was going to do and what wanted before I started to invest my time and money in this, this was early in 2004.

Maybe all the researchers use other peoples money so it doesn’t matter and nobody speaks up; but this is just a word to those that might even want to invest in this. WARNING; look at any other wireless technology for sensors platform and avoid Crossbow Motes, maybe gumsticks are better, or build your own. Anyway you have been warned.

Oh, one more thing, I even bought housing to protect them, this does not fit properly and you have to break solder connections to get them inside, and they arent waterproof. This felt like more money wasted.

To conclude you have to do a lot of your own software development to get real time online visualization.

I have also been doing tests for continual running, mainly battery life but also stability and data polling. So far thirty six hours is the longest period I have had my sensor networks running without either a re-start or some other related health issue. Well maybe there is a memory leak in moteview 1.4. Also on this endurance testing during the last month of this two motes have now stopped working in my system. This means that they are fairly unstable for anything beyond “play” development.

Some positive points

I now have written my own custom software which was mote proxy bridge in java to get real time data online. I have tested this now and I making several online real time visualizations. A version mote proxy middle has been made. Current Version 1.23

There is also way to do this via PHP and postgreSQL though opening ports, I have also done this and an online PHP kit Vers 0.9 has been developed.

I am still trying to develop with this, for my Sensity and House project. Its part of my AHRC creative fellowship and I have now set up my studio ie main operational headquarters in the Digital Studios at Goldsmiths College University of London.

Maybe Crossbow would like to support me by giving me a complete set of the new motes and sensors boards with GPS that can network over larger distances.(Imotes and Iris), so I can continue my research..

 

Wish list

Smaller more stable motes.

Data of much larger distances.

Plug in solar power cell to power them.

Stargate with solar polar or battery

Some decent housing that easy to clip wrong and fits well.

Much better technical support.

Easier set up.

More sensors available that can just clip on and piggyback the set up.

ALSO

A mote with Ethernet that just clips into a new work ports and configures to send data…that would be cool.

Sensity: The online interfacing of live real time sensors networks allows a communication with environment, with real space in the present.

January 10th, 2006

Screen-Shot-2013-08-10-at-21.43.03dSensity: Environments. The ‘environment’ in these projects is created from a wireless multi nodal multi sensor network that is in place. The analogue is made digital and the digital can be formed into a variety of output devices.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. The environment is intelligent its just that we don’t know how to communicate with this space yet.

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.

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.

Can 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.

stanza image

Can 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.

stanza image