Archive for the ‘code’ Category


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

City of Processed Codes: 100 Cities.

June 19th, 2010
stanza city -038

Stanza artwork. Custom made city. 2010

One Hundred Cities.  One of one hundred cities made in metal.  Based on simple code but made by hand.  Exploring the relationship between the analogue and the digital.

So far  I  have exhibited them at Flux Studios South London and I have just exhibited them as part of Camberwell Arts Week London.

Stanza artwork. Custom made city. 2010

Stanza artwork. Custom made city. 2010


June 18th, 2010

Stanza . Responsive architecture. 2010. AOF Facade Norway.

This proposal has won the Nova Folkets Hus facade international juried competition and is now in development. The facade becomes a live dynamic interface, an artwork that changes its behavior as a result of the changing condition in the environment. This works by sensing the city and the environment to make art. The results become representations of the real time spaces and environment of Trondheim.

Environmental data is collected across the urban and environment infrastructure to make the artwork; using custom made sensors in the building and around the city. (30 custom environmental sensors units measure, light, noise, sound, humidity, and temperature). This data is turned into a online real time visualization of the space. The sensors interpret the micro-data of the interactive city. The output from the sensors display the real time environmental and emotional state of the city online in real time and the information will be used on the façade and online interface to control it.

My environmental sensors are scattered all over the building and city; this means I am literally painting with live data.

Stanza Live City Data

Artwork sensors in the building and around the city. Stanza 2010.

Artists residency at Lanternhouse.

June 18th, 2010

Image: Stanza Installation. 2009

Residency– A City of Dreams.

Dates – 21 July until 1 September 2010

This project will take place in the Barn at Lanternhouse,  as Stanza creates cityscapes in an Open Studio process. During the creation process,  Stanza will reveal the architecture of creation.  He will reveal the actual process; lay bare the reality of the work, physically by showing the machinery of the piece in progress and theoretically with a series of show-and-tell invitations to the public. This is also a new way of using the Barn as a studio and the project will help Lanternhouse make sense of the actual building and how spaces are utilised. In this way, the “open studio” mirrors the process of the project, with material and philosophical process being available to witness throughout.

Stanza will document his work and it will be available online for audience and participants to follow.  The Barn will be an Open Studio, a public domain space possibly with a live CCTV link available online at for a public online audience to follow the process.  This is not the creation of a visual exhibition; this is open process and development / production of work.

Image: Stanza Capacities Installation. 2010.

Image: Stanza Capacities Installation. 2010.


A City of Dreams is process as exhibition, with opportunities for participants and audience to see the artwork unfold  and then to see the final piece during the last week of September. Participants will have the chance to talk with the artist at intervals through the six week period, as the work develops.  They can engage with the development as there will be the chance to be involved practically in building the city. Stanza will create this work/s and be available to participants during the day as agreed as an “open studio”.  The aim is to allow people to engage in making the work.

The artists website will be used as a showing space for the final piece and documentation and selected documentation will also be made available for Lanternhouse website.

Key themes: Networked, real time, responsive, mediated, online, dataspace, city, artwork.

Lanternhouse, The Ellers, Ulverston, Cumbria, LA12 0AA, United Kingdom

Three exhibitions currently featuring my work. April 2010

March 30th, 2010

Three exhibitions currently featuring my work using data, and ideas connected with surveillance space, mapping, landscape and networked spaces. April 2010


Image: Stanza live real time city data visualisation. 2007

1. ”Map Marking” features five works by artists and designers who employ digital technology to create maps, annotate them or intervene in the mapping process. Taken as a whole this exhibition represents a personalized cartography that endows maps and the spaces to which they are linked with the ephemera of life, from the fleeting sensations of the environment to the transitory movements of people and their emotions.
Apr. 6 – May 7, 2010, tue – fri, 12 – 6 pm, with a reception on Apr. 21st at 6:00 pm. The PDG show description ( ).

2. 2. “Park” Towneley Park Burnely as part of AND festival. April 2010 Looking towards the window in the gallery you can see a digital virtual landscape of the view through the window. The artist has embedded an image of the real world inside the artwork and using a network of multiple wireless sensors in Towneley Park he has recorded light, temperature, noise, humidity using customised environmental technologies. The painterly squiggles on the image show the data and the sounds you can hear are streams of data which the artist has turned into sound.

3. Decode at V & A. Until 11 th April.  Sensing the gallery and the environment to make art. The results are the visualisation and sonification of real time spaces. 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.


Image: Stanza Sensity V@A Decode Show.

Stanza generative coded wall.

March 4th, 2010
Brent Wall Projection example copy

Image: Stanza Wall Projection 2009

This artwork is inspired by the idea of an emergent data city. As we walk about, the patterns we make via phones, and gps systems, leave traces and memories of the places we have visited. This artwork tries to re-create those patterns as abstracted movements captured over time. The end result, the output are ‘maps’. “Codefied” creates patterned maps actioned by the interpretation of the code.

In the next version live networked data from GPS and 3g networks will create a live realtime accurate system of where we all are in the world at any one time. (screen size needed 1024 by 768) . In development it uses eleven people in real time to track through the city. Update march 2009.  I now have developed the GPS system fopr 15 people that tracks them all through the city and a preformance based piece is in development; an audio visual sonification and visualisation tracing / tracking the event in real time.

Brent Wall Projection example

Image: Stanza Wall Projection 2009

artwork by stanza….building as art…

“Visitors to a Gallery”- Exhibition. Plymouth Arts Centre.

March 4th, 2010
stanza_i_am _stanza

Image: Stanza. Title "Visitors To A Gallery" - 2007

This artwork uses the live CCTV system inside an art gallery to create a responsive mediated architecture.  This project continues where Publicity version one (2004) left off, ie hacking or utitlizing existing real time CCTV networks.

This version is made inside the Plymouth arts centre where I was artist in residence for a month (feb 2008).

Custom made electronics and sonar sensors are placed to create an installation in the gallery space. Visitors to the main upper gallery control the CCTV feeds by their own movement in the space. The piece becomes a semi performative controlled system. The proximity to the main ultrasound sensors affects the aesthetic of the image.


Image: Stanza. Title "Visitors To A Gallery" - 2007

“Robotica­- Control inside the panopticon” by Stanza

November 11th, 2008
Copyright Image by Stanza

Copyright Image by Stanza: Robots making paintings. 2008.

A world premier of Stanza’s Robotica: Control inside the panopticon playful robot installation – with performative and interactive aspects – that questions ideas of surveillance and tracking in popular culture using, robots, CCTV and sensor technologies.

Twelve robots – each named after prison inmate numbers – roam freely on a canvas on the floor of the Gallery. These robotic prisoners are sent out across the canvas with small tasks to complete. This robotic “wandering” is captured over the evening onto the canvas. They create their own painting in their own little prison. The idea of the Panopticon originated with the English utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham as a prison design that would allow an observer to monitor all the prisoners at all times, without any prisoner being aware of whether he was being monitored or not.Like people, robots have common behaviours and can be programmed accordingly i.e. robots can follow a path (path following mode), the can avoid obstacles (avoidance mode) and they can operate in wander mode. They all try to avoid one another – depending on their proximity to one another – while searching the space. In doing so they demonstrate social behaviour.

In moving through the gallery people create a ‘memory space’- a reference to a past created by the traces and paths left behind. The patterns we make, the forces we weave, reveal different ways of moving through the space. These patterns disclose new ways of seeing the world. All the robots are recorded via CCTV and each is made to wear CCTV which is shown on a monitor which also records the event. Police “tape” keeps the robots inside their controlled space. The robots mimic and trace the patterns people make – but based on algorithms. The robots are tracked – everything is watched and recorded – and unlike people their movements can be networked into retrievable data structures that it can be re-imagined and sourced for information. The digital patterns of the robots are re-made as analogue patterns. The robot path is in effect replaced with a series of ‘brushes’ – and it is these that are wandering around the canvas. A series of actions are applied to the movement of the digital brush across the rectangular canvas to create these robotic generative paintings.

This artwork investigates the relationship between the analogue and the digital aesthetic. The robots wander over the canvas to make the image – and this also protects the floor. The suggested canvas size 2.5 by 5m – and therefore a reasonable floor space is needed. All the robots will see the edges of the canvas and turn around automatically) i.e. they are roped off and will not go wandering off on their own!

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



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.


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

Stanza: Surveillance and Data Visualisations.

May 9th, 2006

A further selection of artworks from the Parallel Reality Series. They depict events captured from live networked surveillance systems. These works are located within the theme of privacy and surveillance. Surveillance “involves the collection and analysis of information about populations in order to govern their activities. Stanza writes “the patterns we make, the forces we weave, are all being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and sourced for information. These patterns all disclose new ways of seeing the world.” The artworks are made using custom made computer software using digital techniques developed by Stanza. Each picture contains thousands of surveillance based images using a system that captures and then manipulate the images over selected periods of time. Some images represent an hour of time, some are overnight and some show weeks.

Stanza London CCTV Media Visualisation 2005

Stanza London CCTV Media Visualisation 2005.

Stanza Los Angeles CCTV Media Visualisation 2005

Stanza Los Angeles CCTV Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: News feeds Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: News feeds Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV  Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV  Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV  Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.


The Central City by Stanza in Art Monthly

April 22nd, 2006

Image: Stanza artwork shows live CCTV feeds. 2006

This is a review of  The Central City by Stanza in Art  Monthly 2002. Since the advent of modernity the experience of the city has been characterised by a vibrant mix of audio-visual sensations. Signs, streets, buildings, reflections, voices, traffic merge into a chaotic simultaneity that is always more than the sum of its parts. The city’s networks and rhythms are also mirrored in the virtual realm of cyberspace and data transmission. While we all know what actual, living cities look like, many attempts at representing cybercities rely on a reductionist aesthetic of simulation, glossily rendered depictions of ‘liquid architecture’ or complex exchanges of information (as in the projects of Knowbotic Research). What both worlds (as well as much art, of course) have in common is the grid, a cellular structure that inevitably proliferates through arterial streets and cables into urban sprawl or information overload. Stanza has been mining the urban environment for imagery since the early 80s, initially in the form of large, monochrome paintings of South London tower blocks, offices and architectural details, then in photographs that experimented with various darkroom techniques, followed by videos displaying a repetitive grid structure and which are also available from the artist in the form of wallpaper. Stanza’s fragmentary, immersive approach to the transient flux of urban structures reaches its apogee in The Central City, an online Internet-specific work that is now in its third version (www.the Each of its 30 sections, or ‘areas’, consists of several Shockwave movies that combine animated digital imagery based on urban motifs, including maps, buildings, towers and streets, with sound samples taken from the same urban environment. Much of the material is self-generating – that is, as the user mouses over different areas, different sequences are activated as overlays and replicating patterns of organic shapes. The effect is quite stunning, as the user feels empowered to use the mouse like a brush, painting a continually evolving canvas and soundscape, choosing new mixes from a palette of effects. Digital sprawl becomes a metaphor for the living organism that is urban chaos.

While the pristine sterility of the Corbusian city has given way to the dystopian reality of crumbling tower blocks, so too has cyberspace been corrupted by viral infections and rabid, self-generating organisms. This is reflected in the names that Stanza has given to the different areas of The Central City, such as ‘megalopotron’, ‘matrixity’ and ‘germix’. Other sections, like ‘small worlds’ or ‘fibrinet’, are almost painterly in a Futurist sort of way, while others exploit the computer’s well-known ability to make semi-transparent, three-dimensional cubes rotate on their axes. ‘Proser’ offers poetic meditations (appropriately formatted as stanzas) on the urban condition, some of which can also be sung along to in another section that features a jukebox (for streaming audio) and a karaoke machine.
The works are all contained within the window of the frame, itself a grid structure whose coordinates determine the position of the user’s cursor. This is the point at which Stanza’s works become interactive, since they depend on mouse movements.

Having begun as a painter, Stanza still hopes that his interactive audio-visual digital works can somehow be appreciated within the tradition of painting. His Amorphoscapes ( are actually described as paintings and are designed to be shown in the form of projections or large plasma screens which would change according to movements of people in the room. It is even envisaged that multiple users would be able to control the appearance of artworks via online networks using wireless technologies.

Like the movies in The Central City, the Amorphoscapes use generative sounds and navigable images based on an ingenious programming language that offers the user plenty of surprises, although there is a danger that the form achieves more prominence than the content. Stanza has also initiated the website which offers a platform and showcase for other artists working with new audiovisual media. At present it hosts more than 50 projects, many of which use Shockwave or Flash formats to present new forms of graphical interfaces offering users considerable control over mixing the audio and visual elements. Soundtoys exhibits the diversity of the Internet and the explosion as well as the convergence of new digital technologies, particularly in the area of generative and interactive programming.

Michael Gibbs.  Art Monthly. March 2002