Posts Tagged ‘art’

Stanza Body [Data as Culture] at Open Date Institutute. Extended until 2014

August 8th, 2013

Stanza Body  [Data as Culture]

http://www.theodi.org/culture/body-01000010011011110110010001111001-2012

sculpture By The artist Stanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Data as Culture’ is reflective of our time.

The body piece and exhibition extended for six more months until 2014  on show in London

Body is a sculpture which responds to the emergent properties of the environment in South London where the artist’s network is situated for the duration. It represents the changing life and complexity of urban space as a dynamic, kinetic artwork. Real-time environmental data is embodied in Stanza’s life-size sculpture assembled from computer components and acrylic slices of his own physique. In ‘Body 01000010011011110110010001111001′ the urban environment provides a dynamic flickering and clicking sentience to the otherwise inert structure, reflecting the personal level of influence data has on an individual.

Open Data Institute
3rd Floor
65 Clifton Street
London
EC2A 4JE

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The Central City by Stanza in Art Monthly

April 22nd, 2006
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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 centralcity.co.uk). 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 (www.amorphoscapes.com) 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 soundtoys.net 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

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