Archive for November, 2008

Explore some of the possibilities of Stanza’s Soundcities project.

November 24th, 2008

Sound Walks (http://www.daimi.au.dk/~u042689/soundwalks/ (explores some of the possibilities of Stanza’s Soundcities.

Another artist  uses the Soundcities database through the openly distributed XML-file….Super works making soundmaps and soundwalks

Jakob Hougaard Andersen,  student at the University of Aarhus, Denmark, as a part of a course in multimedia aesthetics…..the soundcities has an open XML structure and he has linked his flash interfaces to my database….see www.soundcities.com

stanza soundcities liverpool soundmap

stanza soundcities liverpool soundmap.

Soundcities is an online open source database of city sounds  and soundmaps from around the world, that can be listened to, used in performances on laptops, or played on mobiles via wireless networks. Initially all of the sounds were by Stanza, but you can now contribute your own found sounds.

This is was the first online open source found sound databases and soundmaps.  First version 2004.

Stanza presents at Force of Metadata Goldsmiths Symposium

November 21st, 2008

Goldsmiths Media Research Centre and Centre for Cultural Studies
Symposium: Force of Metadata Goldsmiths, University of London
November 29, 2008, 9.30 am – 18.30 pm
Metadata rules the web. Its power goes beyond merely ordering descriptions of data. Metadata administers access, pre-decides preferences, enables surveillance, automates transtextuality, and shapes our experience. As metadata management becomes more and more effective and ubiquitous, it is time to ask: Are we witnessing the birth of a new regime of attention, of media control and media power? What are its chances, constraints and power relations? How does a social imaginary operate with the means and within the limits of metadata management? Can metadata acquire the power to generate content? Is it, indeed, productive itself?

9.30 – 9.45 Welcome: Scott Lash (Goldsmiths)
9.45 – 11.15 Chair: Jennifer Bajorek (Goldsmiths) Bernard Stiegler (Centre Pompidou): The Alternative of Metadata: Automated Voluntary Servitude or Economy of Contribution
11.15 – 11.30 Refreshments
11.30 – 13.00 Chair : Robert Zimmer (Goldsmiths) Götz Bachmann (Goldsmiths): The Power of Metadata Time Yuk Hui (Goldsmiths):  The production of Networks and the Networks of Production Kuan Foo (Bocconi): Innovation, Metadata and Firm Growth

14.30 – 16.30 Chair: Olga Goriunowa (Goldsmiths) Harry Halpin (Edinburgh): Metadata and the Dialectics of Posthumanism

Stanza (Artist, London): The Emergent City. Presenting Data from security tracking, traffic, and environmental monitoring

Lev Manovich (UC San Diego): Information Wants to be ASCII

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Artist, Montreal): Antimonuments and Subsculptures

Copyright Image by Stanza

Image shows live data being visualisation using motes ad hoc wireless sensors placed around goldsmiths  college.  From stanza’s project Sensity.

The day before Lev Manovich visited my studio in the Goldsmiths  Digital studios.  I was showing him my research  work, media visualisations,  sonifications , the sensity project, and images from my software that make time-scapes.  We were  meeting because I had asked Lev to write a text / essay on my new work.  The writing  commission on this body of work  (data visualisations and  the emergent cities series)  Helen Sloan of  Scan and The Watershed have agreed to  pay the commission a year earlier and at last I  have found someone I  thought could do it.. ( Not that  Helen was keen)

Real-time CCTV on London buses to improve public safety.

November 12th, 2008

Transport, and public money is leading the way  with technology but it is also being used as technology test beds. More experiments with tech on public transport all dressed up as protecting the public.
Icomera AB, the world’s leading provider of cellular broadband gateways, has announced that its Moovbox technology has been selected to provide real-time communications for a major trial of live CCTV on London buses to improve public safety. 21st Century CCTV, a division of TG21 plc, has equipped twenty-one double-decker buses in North London with the technology, which allows live images to be transmitted to a central control centre shared by officers from TfL and the Metropolitan Police’s Transport Operational Command Unit. The six-month trial on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) will monitor and analyse the use of the technology to decide whether it can help deal with incidents on buses more effectively.

“Transmitting CCTV streams is a bandwidth-intensive task,” said Ola Sjölin, Icomera CEO. “Our mobile gateways employ patented switching and load balancing technology that leverages multiple cellular backhaul links to provide the fastest possible connection for public safety applications such as this. Our relationship with 21st Century CCTV brings together two market leaders to create a best-of-breed solution ideally suited to intensive, mission-critical applications such as that Transport for London is trialing.”

“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!

The Emergent City. Online visualizations, the networked city.

November 11th, 2008
stanza city

Stanza City: Generative Software System.

This text is a transcript of one of my talk about my work The Emergent City.

My current work remains focused on the creative use of technology integrated into urban space.My areas of interest include investigating new concepts for the relationship of the physical body, emergent data and real space in the built environment.

As an artist I am trying to create artistic metaphors for new creativity using new technologies and integrating new media artworks into the public domain. As an artist I am trying to create artistic metaphors for new creativity using new technologies and integrating new media artworks into the public domain. There are three strands of my working process; these involve; collecting the data, visualizing the data, and then displaying the data. The outputs from the online interfaces and online visualizations can be realized as real time dynamic artworks as diverse as installations, and real objects, made out of new display materials back in physical space. In all my work I try to exploit the changing dynamics of city life as a source for creativity and create meaningful artistic metaphors. I utilize new technologies and integrate new media artworks into the public domain as part of this ongoing research into the visualization of city space.

In essence I am researching data as a medium for creativity and how meaningful experiences of our cities may result. From a technological peprspective, I am researching sensors , motes, new display technologies and interactive architectures. This research includes investigations into…..Concepts for the relationship of mobile computing within urban space and the built environment.

The Emergent city is to be a group, a body of artworks that I am working on all connected by a central theme. As you know a city is a web of connected networks. In essence, the city fabric is a giant multi-user, multi-data sphere. The city is made up of traffic patterns, pedestrian patterns, bird flocking patterns. Patterns can be seen in the architecture, patterns in the buildings, patterns in the architectural fabric of the urban design network. All of these spheres can be represented by media and therefore by data within the digital realm. And all of this data can be interpreted and mediated. It becomes a matter of choice. Collections of data can be stored to be retrieved later. The mobile data infrastructure becomes a data source so powerful so interwoven that its scale can only be imagined as metaphor. The size and scope of such an archive, of such rich mediated data experience can support many projects. As such it can be interpreted via a variety of interfaces. Cities offer the opportunity for unique types of data gathering experiences via a variety of sources.

My objective is to ‘mediate’ data into conceptual artifacts. With this perspective there are many unimagined threads of data and connections that describe our world that can be explored through wireless mobile networks within which we can create artistic interpretations. There are various types of data can be re-imagined. This includes pollution data recorded via sensors in the street, to create audio files. Weather and forecast data, acquired via weather station equipment, this can be used and can create ambient soundscapes and morphing visualisations as the wind shifts direction or the rain increases. Noise monitor levels, and noise maps, create a symphony of true urban sounds that can be used to make sound reactive sculptures. So under this umbrella of ‘the emergent city’ project I have made a number of works that have move beyond the process of research, beyond what I term as asset gathering, into what might be alpha beta projects. An example of this is my URBAN GENERATION project. I have also made the online database for soundcities which now has 2000 sounds online line in it. So other artists can interface to it. Memory mapping. About traces and memories of urban space. Multiple viewpoints of data cities. The city also has millions of CCTV.

In essence the city is the biggest TV station in existence. Millions of hours worth of data are recorded every day by these cameras on city TV. One can take the sounds and images off live web streams and re-represent them thus creating new interpretations of the city in the process. The city already has a recorded source of data, CCTV is everywhere. Using data from CCTV, you can bring the outside inside. Selected feeds are collected from around the world in real time. These real time images are fed into a software system where a series of specialised channels rework these images. The channels are always on, and always changing, a constant view of the world changing and evolving around the clock. This uses specially created software and technology to randomly find images in real time from anywhere in the network, in this case anywhere in the world.The increase of technology infrastructure in the daily existence of a city means that technology will, more than ever be everywhere in our environment. Mobile data mining will be part of the fabric of the landscape. We will be carrying this data in pods, phones and ID cards. Everything is or will be tracked. CCTV, car sensors, tracking inside our phones and id card movement tracking in the guise of anti- terror activity. The patterns we make, the forces we weave, are all being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and sourced for information. These patterns all disclose new ways of seeing the world. The value of information will be a new currency as power change. The central issue that will develop will be the privilege and access to these data sources. Uses of this information and data should allow rich new interpretations on the way our world is built, used, and designed.

So we need to imagine the city at a different scale. The possibility is to extend our imagination and enable that perception of the city as a dynamic network. We can now put systems in place that can re–employ our perception and thus create new understanding of how this behaviour unfolds. There are patterns, they are connected and the systems that evolve, can be simulated and acted upon. We can influence the process and the system and we can also create variables into this system that allows understanding of the bi-products of the system, the data and the resulting information Currently a research fellow at Goldsmiths Digital Studios.

datacity

Datacity: Sensors In The City. Stanza Visualisation.

I am scattering the city with sensors. Hundreds of them, some fixed, and some embedded, to access these data structures and to claim them for the public domain within the realm of social sculptures.I am trying to make smart networks that have data open to all, and not closed off spy surveillance oriented systems. The networks could be thought of as open social sculptures that can inform the world and create new meaningful experiences. Thousands of motes can be deployed across the city for gathering data in wireless sensor networks. Used in large numbers they can communicate with one another via radio signals across the network. They can reconfigure themselves, so that the network stays stable. The data is chanelled through a system to a point where it can then be interpreted. So the concept is to embed the city with thousands of motes to gather data for the creation of artistic artifacts. The motes can monitor sensors such as temperature, sounds, light, position, acceleration, vibration, stress, weight, pressure, humidity, and GPS. Motes and sensor boards can monitor the micro incidents of change in the city, the noise, traffic flows and people flows. The interactions of all this data, controlled via mixed up interfaces that can re-form and re-contextualise experiences in real time as social sculpture. Imagine walking out the door, and knowing every single action, movement, sound, micro movement, pulse, and thread of information is being tracked, monitored, stored, analysed, interpreted, and logged. The world we will live in seems to be a much bigger brother, than first realised. Its a world full of data that can help understand the fundamentals of our outside environment, and monitor the micro codes of our DNA, a world where we are liberated and empowered by data, where finally all of the technology becomes more than gimmick and starts to actually work for us.

So this is where I am at..scattering thousands sensors across the city and trying to figure this out.Sensity artworks are made from the data that is collected across the urban and environment infrastructure. I have a network of sensors which collects data, which is then published online. The sensors interpret the micro-data of the interactive city. The output from the sensors displays the “emotional” state of the city online and the information will be used to create installations and sculptural artifacts.These artworks represent the movement of people, pollution in the air, the vibrations and sounds of buildings, they are in effect emergent social sculptures visualizing the emotional state of the city. The sensor network can be moved from urban to rural setting and different types of visualization can be made depending on the environment. Sensity is an open social sculpture that informs the world and creates new meaningful experiences. Sensity is also a highly technical project that will give vast amounts of information about the fabric of our cities. By embedding the sensors like this we can re-engage with the urban fabric and enable new artistic metaphors within city space. The sensors are positioned across the city. Custom made software enables these sensors to communicate will one another in a network over a proxy server in real time. The data can also be used to create visualizations in an open source environment. Other online users can also re- interpret the data and interrogate the various sensors in the network as this is open sourced as well (see xml streams)l. Representations of these datasets will allow unique understanding of the urban environment and environment in real time. Motes are used to collect the data.

stanza

Datacity: Sensors In The City. Stanza Visualisation.

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 weather, the noise traffic flows and people flows. The interactions of all this data, controlled via interfaces that can re-form and re-contextualize experiences in real time. Sensity incorporates the holistic city system. The sense city is a city of, accumulated incidents of love, abuse and death. The micro incidents of change in the weather, the noise traffic flows and people flows. The archives of this data can be controlled via mixed up interfaces that can re-form and re-contextualize experiences in real time; to make emergent sculptures visualizations and sculptures. Sensity leverages the real time data city and represents it online showing the life of the system and the emerging changing bahaviours of the space. The data is the medium. Future cities will be merged real time connected up data cities. Sensity connects up networks of real time information flows. The results are mashed up cities and real time performative city mashings. The shared data space can overlap and there is a new space the space in between that only two nodes share. The aetheticization of the shared city space. I have merged collected data from various cities. The images below show an integrated architecture the space where the cities overlap and create a new architectural space. Technology. I now have several sensor kits both twenty nodes that can be placed up to 300 meters apart with GPS. I have made two versions of the Sensity interface software. One works with recorded data (ie recorded data) and one that works with the real time data, which means the sensors are switched on always and working through a router. The changing data is what affects what you see and experience. The sensors can monitor temperature, sounds, noise, light, acceleration, vibration, pressure, humidity, and gps. The sensors take a constant stream of data which is published onto an online environment where different interface can make representations of the XML and from this lots of artistic interpretations can be imagined.

Other artworks made:- HOUSE AND GALLERY:

see stanza.co.uk stanza (04 – 08)

ddc

Datacity: Sensors In The City. Stanza Visualisation.

CCTV the new planned unrest as a result of economic policy.

November 11th, 2008

Police camera action, CCTV makes quite good TV.

Attacking and confronting the systems. CCTV makes a good memorial a document of our social reality, our neglect.  All those images of last seen here from Jill Dando, to Damilola Taylor, my Stars Of  CCTV….these images forever recorded before the bullet hits or the police charge.

But what use is it to contain and kettle, to lock down the people. The city is the people its for the people.

We are living in a cyber city, it could become a cyber prison, so should we just get used to it, should we just open up the system. We should do  something otherwise when the fight starts our children will suffer.

In 1994 John Major said, “No sympathy for civil liberties groups whatsoever”.  Quote from conservative local conference. CCTV sees a function creep extending its uses and purpose over time. But can we trust the technology.  We have become a society of endemic surveillance.

In the next  few years we  will see the seeds sown for endemic surveillance. The new investment from the police and councils can only  be for the new planned unrest as a result of economic policy.

These systems will be in place to track and monitor those who have “issues” and they  will have been paid for by you.

The we have nothing top hide culture will soon find out what they have “invested” in as this technology becomes embedded in the networked city. Seeing out children fight, be unemployed and spied upon….this will be our fault.

stanza world is watching

Image: Stanza. "The world is watching" Live CCTV artworks from around the globe. 2004

The above images is a canvas artwork  from the generative real  time system called  “The  World is Watching. It uses  live CCTV feeds from 1200 cameras from around the globe.

A global panoptican…only it should be transparent and open.

The seeds we are sowing will not reap  healthy rewards. This investment is blind.

Stanza at V&A: Robotica – Control Inside the Panopticon. Robot paintings 2008

November 11th, 2008

V&A Presents Cold War Modern Friday 31 October 2008 Join us for an evening to celebrate the exhibition, Cold War Modern: Design 1945–1970. Cybersonica and Cybersalon showcase an evening of progressive electronic music and audiovisual performance, accessible interactive and digital art, thought-provoking screenings and classic and contemporary gaming.

In more detail:Stanza: Robotica – Control Inside the Panopticon. Gallery 47f or Sackler. 18.30-21.45

Stanza: Robotica – Control Inside the Panopticon

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.

Twelve robots – each identified with a prison inmate number – roam freely on a canvas on the floor. These robotic prisoners are sent out across the canvas with small tasks to complete. Police “barrier tape” keeps the robots inside their controlled space. The robots are tracked – everything is watched and recorded since each robot wears a wireless CCTV camera – and shown on a monitor as a record of the event.

Like people, robots have common ‘modes’ and can be programmed to demonstrate social behaviour. The robots mimic and trace the patterns people make based on algorithms – but 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. Their “wanderings” over the evening are captured onto the canvas. They create their own robotic generative paintings in their own little prison.

Stanza robot paintings 2008

Stanza robot paintings 2008

Government defeat on DNA database

November 5th, 2008

The government has been defeated in the House of Lords over the issue of keeping peoples’ DNA and fingerprints on the police national database.

The UK has the largest police DNA database in the world – with more than four million people on file.
“If the government wants a universal DNA database it should say so, not smuggle one in through the backdoor,” Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said.

Ministers believe such guidelines could hinder their plans for a counter-terrorist database as releasing details of material obtained covertly, through surveillance, could be dangerous.

The government says such a database is vital for public protection but opposition MPs have criticised the step as “Orwellian”.

Who runs the database?

A department in the Home Office is responsible for the day-to-day running and its work is overseen by a board composed of the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities.

Can children be included?

Yes but there are no legal powers to take a DNA sample from anyone under 10 without the consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Under-18s also make up nearly a quarter of all arrests so the Home Office says a “comparative proportion” of profiles is to be expected.

references

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7532856.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/7710310.stm

Information Arts: Intersections of Art, Science, and Technology

November 4th, 2008

Information Arts offers one of the only comprehensive international surveys of artists working at the frontiers of scientific inquiry and emerging technologies.

Its goal is to describe this art, explore its theoretical rationales, and alert readers to possible future directions.  It is also one of the only sources available that reviews cutting edge techno-scientific research in a way accessible to those without extensive technical backgrounds.  It will be of interest to artists, art historians, electronic media designers, technologists, scientists, researchers, and more general audiences interested in the future of research that will have significant impact on the culture. by Stephen Wilson.
Professor, Conceptual/Information Arts, Art Department, San Francisco State University. MIT Press/Leonardo Books. 2002