In Search of a Digital Masterpiece (or Two): Stanza

May 31, 2012 by stanza Leave a reply »
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Abstract.

In Search of a Digital Masterpiece (or Two): Stanza

By Maria Chatzichristodoulou [aka Maria X]

This article (5000  PUBLISHED BY MIT PRESS) discusses Stanza’s artistic practice in relation to the ever-contested, severely loaded and perpetually evasive concept of the ‘masterpiece’ to ask: Are there any digital artworks that can be said to merit the title of a masterpiece? (Paul, 2011). And, can Stanza’s works be described as such?

Stanza is an internationally recognized, award winning digital artist, pioneer in his use of technology in the arts, who boasts a vast and diverse body of work that spans a range of practices, techniques and media: from prints, video and net art works, to interactive installations, responsive environments, generative art and complex digital ecosystems. The thematic strands, aesthetics, and affective impact of Stanza’s work have remained remarkably consistent over the years, dealing with issues such as urbanism, solitude and surveillance culture. His practice, nonetheless, has undergone significant shifts, moving from the creation of linear, object-based works such as prints and videos, to large-scale compositions of (a)live, open-ended, permeable, and unpredictable systems.

On my way out of the Thursday Club event I encountered digital artist Stanza an artist whose practice I have been enticed to follow since the late 1990s, when he contributed generative artworks of the Amorphoscapes series and the net art piece The Central City to the Medi@terra art and technology festival I was co-directing at the time (Athens, Greece). Stanza is an internationally recognized, award winning digital artist, pioneer in his use of technology in the arts, who boasts a vast and diverse body of work that spans a range of practices, techniques and media: from prints, video and net art works, to interactive installations, responsive environments, generative art and complex digital ecosystems. He started creating and presenting work in the mid-1980s with pieces such as Artitextures, a multi-monitor video art installation (originally made as video wallpaper) presented at the V2_ Institute in Den Bosch, Holland (1986); and the Conundrum video, shot in the grey cemented mazes of South London and heavily aesthetisized in postproduction (1987). Both works use city images and sounds to reflect upon fractured urbanity, communicating a sense of cultural discontinuity and emotional isolation within a post-industrial urban landscape. Though the thematic strands, aesthetics, and affective impact of Stanza’s work have remained remarkably consistent over the years, dealing with issues such as urbanism, solitude and surveillance culture, his practice has undergone significant shifts: he has moved from creating linear, object-based works such as prints and videos, to (often grand-scale) compositions of (a)live, open-ended, permeable, and unpredictable systems characterized by a state of flux.

full essay over at MIT  press

www.stanza.co.uk/about/essays/STANZA_LEA_03.pdf

 

 

 

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