VIRTUAL INTERNET CITIES. LIVE DATA CITIES. BY STANZA 2007

December 8, 2010 by stanza Leave a reply »
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VIRTUAL INTERNET CITIES.

The Emergent city

The city experience is a web of connected networks and multi layered threaded paths that condition us to the emotional state of the city space. In essence, the city fabric is a giant multi user multi data sphere. To take part you really have to put something back in, that’s like life. In this case, to take part you have to input data so others ‘may’ see the output of the data response.

Stanza CCTV artwork

Image: Stanza CCTV artwork using 200 CCTV cameras over one night. 2005

Lets imagine a space in which every action, memory, thought, feeling,  has a connection to every other action. A space where all data in the system, seamlessly integrates with all others. This place exists, it’s inside our heads. The emergent metaphor of the brain has many similarities with the emergent connectivity of cities.

Panic Noise

Mobility can be seen from traffic patterns, to pedestrian patterns, to bird flocking patterns; to multi-threaded patterns along a time line. Patterns can be seen in the architecture, the buildings, the architectural fabric of the urban design network. And closer inside the micro patterns of the city, we have the life cycles of the atomized, the insects, the life of continuity all of which exist along a timeline of past present and future. The city has a history. Stories relative to time and place, stories from the street. Love stories personal and  extreme, crime stories, stories that are small or that can affect global parameters. Inside the mobile city there are future stories and future worlds to invent and discover.

 

All of these spheres can be represented by media and therefore by data within the digital realm. And all of this mobile 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 would support many projects.  As such it can be interpreted as history via one sort of interface or as a game via another sort of interface.

 

Cities offer the opportunity for unique types of data gathering experiences via a variety of sources. An emergent  process data mining from all sides, online  for  all.  People collecting data, sounds, stories, photos, that can be filtered back into such a system.

 

stanza art data city

 

A possible 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.

The network that all this takes place in is the grid of the city. In Shanghai in the planning museum you can see this in one room by looking at the model of the whole city. Mobile devices, wireless, or sensor devices, can trace and track you through such a system where data impacts to unfold meaning. This data can in effect be for aesthetic purposes as well as for marketing, and delivered as any type of media.

A model of the city could be made in this case as a simulated experience. An example of this is a controlled ultrasound sensor rig which pings sound in relation to ones position in the system (used in my Robotica artwork). It will allow you to fade sounds as you move about. Another example would be GPS positioning systems within real cities spaces, or which there a number of projects in development worldwide, and I used it for example in “Sheep“.

 

Types of data can be re-imagined. This includes pollution data recorded via sensors in the street, to create audio acoustic files expressing the pain and suffering of the air as it pollutes. Weather and forecast data, acquired via weather station equipment, this can be used and can create ambient soundscapes and morphing visualizations 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.

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. I take the sounds and images of live web streams and re-represent them thus creating new interpretations of the city in the process.

Third Great Revolution

The State doesn’t allow access to certain data because of the data protection act, but what happens when things change? Walls do fall down, governments change, ideologies become overtaken. The data explosion will be immense, but only an open sourced egalitarian system will allow transparency and sharing of wealth and information. Many networks protect the entry and their content and too many have all content loaded to these database which belongs to dot dot dot ..(not you)

Uses of this information and data should allow rich new interpretations on the way our world is built, used, and designed.  Real new media landscapes or mediascapacities.

Text:  Stanza 2007

 

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