Posts Tagged ‘cctv’

Stanza: Surveillance and Data Visualisations.

May 9th, 2006

A further selection of artworks from the Parallel Reality Series. They depict events captured from live networked surveillance systems. These works are located within the theme of privacy and surveillance. Surveillance “involves the collection and analysis of information about populations in order to govern their activities. Stanza writes “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 artworks are made using custom made computer software using digital techniques developed by Stanza. Each picture contains thousands of surveillance based images using a system that captures and then manipulate the images over selected periods of time. Some images represent an hour of time, some are overnight and some show weeks.

Stanza London CCTV Media Visualisation 2005

Stanza London CCTV Media Visualisation 2005.

Stanza Los Angeles CCTV Media Visualisation 2005

Stanza Los Angeles CCTV Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: News feeds Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: News feeds Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV  Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV  Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV  Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The Central City by Stanza in Art Monthly

April 22nd, 2006
stanza_netart

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

stanzafron2t

 

 

Surveillance Cultures . The central issue that will develop will be the privilege and access to these data sources.

November 14th, 2005

In essence London 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 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 IDS cards. ballin-bristollaserEverything 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.