The Emergent City. Online visualizations, the networked city.

November 11, 2008 by stanza Leave a reply »
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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.

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