Posts Tagged ‘Internet’

The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF)

May 25th, 2017

Stanza at The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF.  Stanza big data, Smart cities, IOT , internet of things , art, software Stanza at The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWFStanza artwork on show at the The Internet of Things World Forum (IoTWF) is an exclusive industry event, hosted by Cisco. The IoTWF is widely recognized as the premier thought leadership forum designed to Evangelize and Energize IoT. Known as a must-attend event for key stakeholders and innovators in business, government, and academia, IoTWF brings industry leaders together to collaborate, network, partner, and solve the challenges facing IoT.

Previously held in Barcelona, Chicago, and Dubai, in 2017, IoTWF moves to London, Europe’s fastest growing technology capital. The 2017 IoTWF will explore the impact of IoT on business, technology and society and define a clear sense of the major priorities and challenges facing business as the world migrates towards IoT.

 Stanza big data, Smart cities, IOT , internet of things , art, software

Stanza big data, Smart cities, IOT , internet of things , art, software at the internet of Things World Forum thanks to Cisco Systems.

The Internet of Things. PART III The Third Space. Connecting Data Spaces To Make Artworks.

June 11th, 2012

The Internet of Things. PART  III The Third Space.

Future Avatar Cities.

I proposed in a recent interview for The Internet of Things Council  (http://tinyurl.com/3trotzq) that future cities will be merged into real time connected up data cities. Not just one space, but a connection of networks and of real time information flows. The results created will lead to mashed-up cities and real time performative city experiences.

Stanza Generative software map maker.

I am now interested in how this shared dataspace can overlap,  creating a new space in between, which only two nodes share, a future avatar city.  The aim here is to give tangible form to this new space, the space where the cities overlap, presenting an alternative urban virtual environment. In the prototype the audience sees the data  and will be able to mix data from cities; they can even mix the data to make music with it.  This novel approach allows a critical reflection on the real time city.

The Third Space speculates that social sensing might lead to a new social space and eventually a new business enterprises which can be exploited.  What is possible is that significant breakthroughs in knowledge about the shared data experience can be achieved through user-based interfaces online, on mobiles , media facades and other platform (multi distrubution will spawn micro businness.

In the last few years several systems have been deployed to monitor city environments. Mostly they exist as isolated networks.  My plan is to ask them to link up. This takes a step towards the “City of Bits” that Bill Mitchell talks about.

Future cities will be merged into real time connected up data cities.  A connection of networks of real time information flows as demonstrated in trials for Stanza’s earlier AHRC funded project (Sensity). The Third Space works impacts on how data flows overlap in live streams, demonstrating the possibilities for novel artistic experiences and technical outputs, including sonifications, visualizations, and sculptural objects.

Dewayne Hendricks says: “We’ve connected more people, but we haven’t connected more things yet;  we’re getting a convergence now, but what’s missing are the people that are advocates of this intelligent device stuff.”  The Third Space joins the dots and offers this vision thereby creating the potential for maximum impact.

The Third Space creates outputs that directly show how networks can be connected and data harvested for creative uses. In the last few years several cities have started to use motes sensors to create data spaces as test beds including Newcastle and soon Santander. The Third Space also impacts on Connected Environments, Smart Places, Smart Cities, Wireless Sensor Networks.

By using the standardized XML data streams that were developed  previously  to make the data / city available in the public domain. The aim is to improve this availability and connect up multiple data spaces (cities) to show the impact on our experience of the city, and thus create an ecosystem prototype. The data environment becomes a virtual data map of the real events.  What is demonstrated is that the collected data can be re-made reconstituted to be real again enabling physical objects to interpret the virtualised city data. The analogue is made digital and the digital can be re-formed into a variety of output devices.

One has to experiment with the technology and understand how to get under the bonnet, and then new  outcomes will shed light on how data flows overlap in live streams demonstrating what are the possibilities for novel artistic experiences and outputs as well as new business models which will benefit from sonifications, visualizations, and sculptural objects; as well as apps, and feedback into other networks and intergrated systems.

Image: Stanza. These are Our Children.

Problems inside the Emergent City

Can we use new technologies to imagine a world where we are liberated and empowered, where finally all of the technology becomes more than gimmick and starts to actually work for us or are these technologies going to control up, separate us, divide us, create more borders. Will the securitization of city space create digital borders that monitor our movement and charge us for our own micro movements inside the system?

The result will be used to test the main hypothysis which is I believe there is a new social space that exists in between these independent networks. What happens when future cities are merged into real time connected up data cities. The results created will lead mashed up cities and real time performative city experiences.  For example how can we  merge collected data from various real time cities to visualise this new space, the space where the cities overlap. This could allude to a new architectural and urban virtual space.

This might also allow for a greater community of interpreters and beneficiaries to see, and to come to their own understandings arising from this data about our socially-networked environment.  (as the data in this projects is open source via XML.

Will the securitization of city space create digital borders that monitor our movement and charge us for our own micro movements inside the system? Imagine walking out the door, and knowing every single action, movement, sound, micro movement, pulse, and thread of information is being tracked, monitored, stored, analyzed, interpreted and logged.

The conceptual ambition of the project is to answer this question.

The Mother Of Big Brother

Can we use new technologies to imagine a world where we are liberated and empowered, where finally all of the technology becomes more than gimmick and starts to actually work for us or are these technologies going to control up, separate us, divide us, create more borders. The world we will live in seems to be a much bigger brother than the Orwellian vision, it’s the mother of big brother.

Social Spaces.

Underpinning this research, are a whole series of potential problems about observation, surveillance, and the ethics of the control space.  By researching current surveillance systems, tracking software, and pattern recognition software one can  come to an understanding about the social and ethical implications of such technologies both in artworks as well as public domain space and to speculate where these technologies could lead us in the future.

By building my own art systems and tools using custom made software, I try to raise further questions about the ethics of the control space and surveillance space

Alongside this technology research I have focused on the aesthetic development of the systems outputs by investigating different ways to represent the data and different ways to question the meaning of the system.  

Cultural Contexts.

How we understand and value information is of great importance. It seems reasonable to suggest that visual metaphors might simplify our understanding of data in space. I want to make my work eternally current. It will allow a real time multiple perspective of an identified space.

Stanza 2010

 

 

 

 

Artworks by Stanza about Surveillance art and privacy.

June 9th, 2011

Artworks by Stanza that in some way deal with surveillance and privacy.

Over the last ten years I have a made of  twenty artworks and large installations that survey my interest in privacy , control space, and surveillance. This also  overlap with my interest in cities, environmental monitoring and the building as display space. It seems to make a nice online exhibition. ( see below)

Main artworks using CCTV surveillance and notion of control space.

stanza_art_installation

Urban Generation; trying to imagine the world from everyone elses perspective, all at once 2002. Multiple CCTV cameras are accessed randomly in real time to make an urban tapestry. What you see is an evolving, generative artwork. These images are from taken London, and they happen as you see them, in real time. The installation versions of this work can be presented in art galleries using projectors or plasma displays. http://www.stanza.co.uk/urban_tapestry/index.html

Baa Ram Ewe…to your clan be true. 2008 This artwork performance focuses on local environmental concerns using ad hoc wireless networked devices for environmental monitoring. In this case the dozen sheep collect and send data about the environment, and respond to the space as a collective as they move about. The sheep monitor the environment in real time, generate sound, and send data to a server (online or offline) where this data is interpreted  visualized and sonified in situ using custom made software. http://www.stanza.co.uk/sheep/index.html

Public  Domain 2010. This project investigates the real time gallery space and the experience of the gallery visitor as they interact with artworks and with each other. The artwork explores new ways of thinking about interaction within public space using data gathered from new technologies. The visitors are “performers” whose movements can be tracked.  The patterns, movement, and exchanges of data in the real space, can be measured and interpreted as an emergent social space and used to make new artworks.  http://www.stanza.co.uk/public_domain_outside/index.html

“Visitors to a Gallery- referential self, embedded”. 2008 The gallery surveillance system embeds the visitors to the gallery inside the artwork. CCTV in public spaces. This artwork uses the live CCTV system inside an art gallery or any public space to create a responsive mediated architecture. Custom made electronics and sonar sensors are placed to create an installation in the gallery space. Visitors to the main upper gallery control the CCTV feeds by their own movement in the space. The piece becomes a semi performative controlled system. The proximity to the main ultrasound sensors affects the aesthetic of the image. http://www.stanza.co.uk/cctv_web/index.html

Public Domain 2005. Is an artwork using live CCTV cameras given away to members of the public. The project places real time CCTV feeds online, creating a randomised narrative of the city landscape and its population. The images are grabbed and placed online and mixed in a unique and custom built software surveillance suite. This first version used ten cameras in Nottingham in 2005. http://www.stanza.co.uk/publicdomain/index.html

Sonicity. 2010. This artwork explores new ways of thinking about interaction within public space and how this affects the socialization of space. The project uses environmental monitoring technologies and security based technologies, to question audiences experiences of the event and space and gather data inside the space. The project also focuses on the micro-incidents of change, the vibrations and sounds of the gallery using wireless sensor based technologies. http://www.stanza.co.uk/sonicity/index.html

Capacities. 2010. This project leverages the real time gallery space and the experience of the gallery visitor, using data gathered using these new technologies. The objective is to explore new ways of thinking about interaction within public space and how this affects the socialization of space. The project uses environmental monitoring technologies and security based technologies, to question audiences experiences of the event and space and gather data inside the space. http://www.stanza.co.uk/capacities/index.html

Public Domain: III. 2010. Continuing the series of investigations into the uses of CCTV to extend space and invoke impressions of transparency with architectural space. Here to extend the architecture of the building and extend it into the city. The artwork includes the performative aspect of those being watched as can be displayed inside the work. http://www.stanza.co.uk/CCTV_publicdomain/index.html

Stanza Artwork Live CCTYV

Stanza Artwork Live CCTYV

DATA DATA DATA  II. 2010 Made from the data that is collected from the sensors (usually across the city) or inside a building or a gallery. I have two networks of sensors which collect this data, all this is then published online. This is an art project that gives information about the fabric of our cities. By embedding the sensors like this we can re-engage with the urban fabric.  http://www.stanza.co.uk/data/index.html

“We have nothing to hide only to lose”. 2010 A performative piece using CCTV systems. The CCTV follows the artist around the building in the depths of the night and the result is projected outside in the city. http://www.stanza.co.uk/CCTV_performance/index.html

Stars of CCTV.  2007

These are the Stars of CCTV.  These images represent a portrait of England since the start of the CCTV imaging revolution.This image represented the start of the CCTV revolution. Since then we have seen CCTV cameras placed all over the United Kingdom for our “safety”, without any real debate about the ethic and accountability of surveillance in public domain space.

http://www.stanza.co.uk/stars_of_cctv/index.html

YOU ARE MY SUBJECTS. 2005. This online networked artwork uses live real time data from a camera in NYC . What you are seeing on the screen is happening in New York as you see it in real time.  Someone is always watching you in a world of total surveillance culture. This artwork deals with the aesthetics of CCTV and the voyeuristic notion of who controls the data and who has access to the data. Millions of hours of CCTV are watched in private in closed off networks. “You Are My Subjects”, turns CCTV images into artworks. http://www.stanza.co.uk/i_spy/index.htm

The World Is Watching, The World is Waiting. 2005 This artwork is networked, its real time, and its taking images in the present and representing them to you online as a media visualisation of the whole world. The software system uses over five hundred cameras are take the information and arranges the present time in a continuous flow.http://www.stanza.co.uk/watching_world/index.html

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

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

Timescapes 2004 -5.

Artworks from live media visualisations. Most of these are now large original artworks on canvas available for sale and exhibition. These images or mediascape are made from my software system that gathers images live from any webcam in the world. At your descretion it cuts them up them up to make time shift mediated artworks.

Artworks by Stanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.stanza.co.uk/timescapes_web/Public_Domain_Event_Space/index.html

http://www.stanza.co.uk/timescraper/index.html

‘america is bleeding’ – 2005 The computer manipulates the real time experiences and life of NYC as it unfolds. The city and its population are all actors in this real time play. Keywords: Visualisation, data, mediascape, net art, real time, CCTV, http://www.stanza.co.uk/new_york_stories/index.html

 

Syncronicity By Stanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Urban Rhythms. Searching for the soul of the city. 2004 A networked real time experience of a city. The artwork collects cctv feeds from around city in real time. These real time images are fed into a software system where a series of specialized channels rework these images. The channels are always on, and always changing, a constant view of world cities changing and evolving around the clock. http://www.stanza.co.uk/spain_cctv/index.html

“Global…Never the same again always different….forever.”2004. A 3d web sculpture being transformed in real time with live data from around the world. This is being updated from webcams around the globe in real time. ‘Never the same again always different….Forever’, uses CCTV and web cams which offer readily available sources of continuous visual data from our environment and world cities. This work turns the notion of surveillance upside down, since in this work we are all watching everybody and opens up a question about the legality of the imagery. http://www.stanza.co.uk/global/index.htm

‘Blue Skies’, 2005 Uses CCTV cameras on the roof of the Watershed Media Centre in Bristol England. This is an online surveillance system using three cameras to monitor the sky above. Blue skies acts as a metaphor using new networked technologies that are generally used to observe people in society that might be engaged in criminal activity. http://www.stanza.co.uk/blue_skies/index.html

“The World Turned Upside Down”: 2007 This artwork was online from 24.9.2007 until the leaves fell in my garden on 12.12.2007.After that only documentation will exist, which is below.  This artwork is available as an installation for exhibitions.  http://www.stanza.co.uk/cam/trees_web/index.html

Seeing Through Walls. 2007. This installation using CCTV to open up the space to  play tricks and to  see through walls Commission idea for the Olympics 2012. This installation uses CCTV to open up the space to play tricks and to see through walls. http://www.stanza.co.uk/fake/index.html

“Monument” 2007. Robotic sculpture and CCTV systems to replace Eros in Picadilly London.The CCTV captured get replayed onto all the giant screens all over London. The robotic arms move and the CCTV cameras come down and say hello. They capture your image and relay the image to banks of screens across the city and online. http://www.stanza.co.uk/monumnent/index.html

DATA DATA DATA by Stanza 2008. This artwork is networked, its real time, and its takes data from a wireless sensor network that is placed in the real space. The old world of modernism was a world of fluids and gases atoms and molecules. This world is now a world of numbers. As we move about our interactivity affects the environment and this change is captured by a wireless sensor network. Real time artwork.  Technical note this can work in a gallery ( online over the internet) to represent the space (gallery or city) as numbers. http://www.stanza.co.uk/datacity/index.html

Soul 2004 -06. Soul is an artwork created to represent the ‘soul’ of the city that captures live data and visualizes the results as a piece of sculpture in a constantly evolving data sculpture. It is presented on a unique display technology, this is a 3 meter globe. Soul is a site specific work placed in urban space.The results of the installation are also viewable to a global audience as an online networked generative experience. Real time images are fed into a software system where a series of specialized channels rework these images to create unique visuals. The channels are always on, and always changing, a constant view evolving around the clock. The data is never the same, it is always changing. http://www.stanza.co.uk/soul_globe/index.html

“This England: A Green and Pleasant Land”, 2005. These pastoral landscapes and seascapes are real time paintings. Instead of CCTV watching our movement in urban space these cameras point out to the landscape or towards the sea. Typically this subject matter was the focus of the ‘Old Masters’. The digital landscape is fused with an ever changing present. http://www.stanza.co.uk/thisengland/index.html

Alpha to Omega 2006. Gathering images live from any webcam in the world that happens to be pointed or focused at the weather. The images are updating from around the globe in real time. http://www.stanza.co.uk/weather_another/index.html

Syncronicity 2008. This work developed out of my research fellowship at goldsmiths college.This is a live visualisation of a hand drawn city. Dozens of hand drawings are being walk on by small robots. The real space made as a visualisation. A special camera system, makes these digital images in the gallery space. Prototype was tested in Plymouth arts centre 2008. http://www.stanza.co.uk/syncronicity/index.html

 

FREEZONE 2005 Is a unique global company offering short holidays.  All bio chips, ID cards, GPS, will be neutralized at the door for the duration of the stay. Obviously “they” will know you are in Feezone, but what you do is up to you. FREEZONE The global “mother of big brother” will create a giant sensor net. The virtual world of databases will be connected via our electronic gadgetry. The giant sensor net of embedded chips, CCTV, bio tech and the internet will all be available to all via Earth pro version 10.2.  http://www.stanza.co.uk/ideasrus/freezone.html

Artworks by Stanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publicity. 2004 Publicity is an artwork about the Surveillance of public domain space utilzing the CCTV systems in place and manipulating the CCTV feeds. A series of codes manipulates the CCTV of the building and created a new relationship with public domain space. This artworks questions who owns the data and who is watching us in these spaces. Most buildings have CCTV and they use it to observe the people inside the space, ie the public. http://www.stanza.co.uk/publicity/index.html

Stanza asks:- Can we use new technologies to imagine a world where we are liberated and empowered…

April 4th, 2011

RvK: Stanza, you were among the first internet artists. What would you say is the most important philosophical step (if we can think in terms of ‘progress’, or ‘going somewhere’) that you have taken in this period?

“In the last twenty years there has been a significant shift in audio visual artists’ practise from linear expressions, to interactive (user controlled) mediations, to generative (evolving) and then network-based (real time) systems. Online, this space  also expands the whole notion of the artist’s studio.  My focus is on the things that change, the flow, the data that describes our experience of the city as space. Data from all sides in systems that can be mediated by all, with varying visualizations communicated over the internet and represented onto different display systems.

There are many  theoretical aspects to my work, but primarily I am a practice-based artist……in other words I make stuff.

My work has covered experiments in these areas and traced a shift in practise from modernist approaches of asset gathering (linear construction) to arrangements of datasets in fixed lists or databases (interactivity) to new approaches of mining information across networks in real time.( generative and real time systems)……culling data off CCTV networks, making visualizations of cities from my wireless sensor networks.”

Stanza Live City Data

RvK: How do feel about the current actualizations of the ‘in between’ space that you felt, saw or heard coming some time ago?

“I believe there is a new social space that exists in between these independent networks. Future cities will be merged into real time connected up data cities.  A connection of networks of real time information flows. The results created will lead mashed up cities and real time performative city experiences.  This conclusion although led from my earlier trails using wireless sensors in a project called Sensity.

I am interested in how this shared data space can overlap creating a new space in between which only two nodes or spaces share. For example in one of my artistic experiments I have  merged collected data from various real time cities to visualise this new space, the space where the cities overlap and which allude to a new architectural and urban virtual space. Uses of such information might allow rich new interpretative visualisations about the way our world is built, used, and designed.

The resulting artworks represent the real time conditions of the city.  Works like “Sensity”, create real time interpretations of social spaces that inform the world (online), and hopefully create new meaningful experiences allowing critical reflection on the real time city and the social political undercurrent embedded in the search for the real time city.

This might also allow for a greater community of interpreters and beneficiaries to see, and to come to their own understandings arising from this data about our socially-networked environment.  (as the data in these projects is open via XML)

Underpinning these artworks and research, are a whole series of potential problems about observation, surveillance, and the ethics of the control space.  Imagine walking out the door, and knowing every single action, movement, sound, micro movement, pulse, and thread of information is being tracked, monitored, stored, analyzed, interpreted and logged.

The world we will live in seems to be a much bigger brother than the Orwellian vision, it’s the mother of big brother.

Can we use new technologies to imagine a world where we are liberated and empowered, where finally all of the technology becomes more than gimmick and starts to actually work for us or are these technologies going to control up, separate us, divide us, create more borders. Will the securitization of city space create digital borders that monitor our movement and charge us for our own micro movements inside the system?”

RvK: The data is the medium, you state. Can you explain this a little bit?

“Just  that… the data is the medium of the age….”

RVK: Can you find connections to the FB generation? Do you want to?

“It has a useful API as do all these new big sites; however there are restrictions entering the domains and boundaries of others especially when they  try to cross over and get monitised.”

RvK: The key  (or one of the keys) is  the granularity of input for these ‘smart’ systems. How do you see this?

“Yes, small unit blocks, simplified then re built , re-cored re-formed into an understanding that can re-communicate the complexity of the larger system. Strip the city down and re- configure it as a real-time visualization and plug it into other cities.”.

RvK: Your work is filled with wonder? Do you feel that this wonder is facilitated somehow in what is now termed Internet of Things?

“I have tried to encompass this “wonder” about real time connectivity and networked space  in my  latest three works, they are about the “internet of things”, but equally  they  are about real  time experiences of the environment and the spaces that change around us.”

Works by stanza
Façade.

I have been comissoned to make a responsive architectural façade. The facade is a live dynamic interface, an artwork that changes its behavior as a result of the changing condition in the environment. This works by sensing the city and the environment to make art. The results become representations of the real time spaces and environment of Trondheim in Norway. The environmental data is collected across the urban and environment infrastructure to make the artwork; using custom made sensors in the building and around the city. (30 custom environmental sensors units measure, light, noise, sound, humidity, and temperature). This data is turned into a online real time visualization of the space. The output from the sensors display the real time environmental and emotional state of the city online in real time and the information will be used on the façade and online interface to control it.
‘Capacities’ by Stanza.

I am planning a much larger version of Capacities and I am looking for an exhibition for it. In Capacities the whole gallery space becomes one large artwork made from real time city information and data. The aesthetic and feel of the space looks like an electronic city.  The city is made of units, grids, repetition, building blocks. In the gallery city called ‘Capacities’ the leads, the wires, and cables are incorporated into the artwork to look like a city map.’ Capacities’ looks “designed” like a piece of urban design, a city surveyed and controlled.  The whole space becomes a map to wander through. ??Sonicity by Stanza

Sonicity

I am working on the next version of Sonicity for a space in South London.  This artwork is a responsive installation, a sonification of the real space and environment. The sounds you hear are the sounds of the changing environment, ie the changes of noise, light, temperature of the space is turned into a real time sound stream using dozens of wireless sensors presented as an installation on 170 speakers.

This artwork focuses on the real time space and the experience of the gallery visitor as they interact with the space, using data gathered from these new technologies. My system monitors the space (the building) and the environment (the city) and captures live real time data (light , temperature, noise, humidity, position) to create an ambient sonification, an acoustic responsive environment, literally the sound of the micro incidents of change that occur over time.

Stanza was interviewed byRob van Kranenburg from The Internet Of Things.eu

Stanza data data data

The Internet is Just a bunch of links. Digest 2004 – Stanza.

January 9th, 2008
stanza image

stanza image 2002.The Internet is Just a bunch of links.


Digest 2004 – stanza. Just a bunch of links

It could be argued that any submission to an exhibition about net art should just be the link to the work. The link is the work – its address, its location in the virtual world, its place within the system. The net itself can be interpreted as just a long list of links. As the net has become such a long list then maybe there’s a role for some curation after all. I didn’t believe this initially. Now I’ve come to believe that at least some focus on issues such as what may or may not be net art is surely a good thing. It seems too obvious to suggest this. But why not, when the burgeoning of net art has led to the proliferation of organised lists of links which are called online exhibitions.

The development of types of experience called net art has expanded to such a degree that there are now many genres of art on the net. In so much as seeking an absolute definition is futile, it could be said that net art is or has become a combination of many things incorporating some new technologies (ie. html , java, shockwave etc.), but also other disciplines such as music, programming, design, fine art and many more. And depending on which discipline you’re coming from, you might prefer conceptually led works or video based works or whatever.

Is there any good net art?

For some time now I’ve felt the proliferation of different net art linked shows has detracted from this issue. Although we should focus on the nature of specific works there is a problem when the works then become subsumed by the politics of the curation process. The beauty of art on the net, networked art and net art itself is that it is art for everybody. You can engage with the work at whatever level you want. But when the major curatorial institutions start to engage with the work, they bring their baggage to the party. And who are they to say what is good and bad net art?

Stanza. Networked and connected systems. Map Software.

Stanza. Networked and connected systems. Map Software.

Rather than read pages of text (like this) let’s just look at the work and engage with it. When we go to a gallery, do we read and study text before experiencing the work? But net art shows are increasingly text driven in order to explain away the concept or process. Maybe this isn’t a bad thing, but it occurs to me that rather than lots of curators in many different museums pitching to arrange shows on this theme or that, would it not better serve the artists’ needs if these museums considered a different approach. Maybe they should first find out what it is the artists need.

A national virtual new media (data) centre. {developed art techology assembly}

What is needed is a stronger virtual infrastructure, not for net art to be presented in a physical manner. Imagine a virtually networked national new media centre with a solid technical backbone, back end systems, fast delivery, and capable of running whatever one wanted. This would be like building a new Tate Modern except for the virtual world. Maybe we could call it ‘Tate Virtual’, maybe the netart museum. Such a system would allow the curator to come in and re-interpret the works, to redesign from a back end and arrange and re-arrange at will. They could recommend work, and archive and re-contextualise it.

The new media centres and museums could team up, dare I say it collaborate, in order to represent the new work that exists online within a larger umbrella structure. This approach would be better, cheaper and offer the artists more scope. I’m not just talking about a virtual museum but a real delivery system through which curators can mobilise the artworks. Certainly in terms of any arts funded project this would be a very good way to collate, archive and reference the work from an art historical point of view. It would also be useful in terms of accountability. Sooner or later someone is going to ask what the return has been on all the investment of public funds into new media art.

A good idea. Memes

I’ve spoken before about the need for collaboration within the convergent media process. With the phenomenal rise in the number of artists using computers to make art, this is self-evident. But what’s far less obvious is what’s happens to all the work. And whether it’s graphic, music or emergent interactive works we’re talking about, there’s lots more of it on the way. Well curated online art spaces allow artists to show their work in online communities relevant to the work itself. Such sites can provide a specific platform, for example, for a streaming service for digital video, internet art specific projects, or java networked projects etc etc. My idea was/is to create a media arts portal under the name, ‘The Armchair Universe’. I started this back in 1997 but it proved too large an undertaking without funding.

The most succesful of the sites I’ve developed is soundtoys.net. It now has over one hundred artists’ works exhibited online, and specialises in audio visual work. The idea has been to develop these projects and link them together in a media arts portal. Not just for delivery but as a virtual community on the net.

Imagine a situation where artists that use computers make works and share these works online with other users and artists within a global network. Artworks can be posted up, and other people can vote for their favourite works. The most visited works can be highlighted and users can write up reviews and comments.

An environment like this, if funded and developed properly, could have a very significant impact on the art and culture online. Online users making digital TV could create their own schedules for an online community to watch. Generative music systems could be deployed online to play across networks. The promised new media revolution could become a reality rather than a disparate network of links that are variously alive and dead.

My existing sites are already attracting thousands of new users and tens of thousands of hits per month. With funding, a major online media portal such as this would also provide invaluable information. It would be a research and development resource revealing what people are actually creating with the computers of today. This information would enable us to better know what artists and creatives want from the technologies of tomorrow.

Everyone as artist

A media environment such as the one I am proposing would change the way people use their computers – and the users would become artists by exhibiting the work they create. This new media network would enable that process. Any company advertising or building such an environment would be making artists out of users/consumers. So let’s have some corporate involvement from the computer industry itself!

A national virtual new media data centre

I’ve attempted a few times to curate and show ‘exhibitons’ which explore the diversity of net art. (See links below). My idea was and still is to form a network of new media situations that represents the variety of artwork available online.

Soundtoys.net is a space for artists at the forefront of the audiovisual field, where they can show work which focuses on a developing artform area. Soundtoys can be described as “new audio visual experiences”, or multimedia experiments, which explore the parameters of our new media world. They might be described as the fusion of audio and visual output through new technologies available on the internet.

The site looks at issues around interactive arts, audio visual synthesis, generative art, and the history of interactivity. It looks at how artists are exploring, researching and playing within the parameters of online art. The site attracts a diverse and convergent range of practitioners including designers, fine artists, programmers and musicians who are all expanding their creativity within the online audio visual domain.

The convergence of hardware and software has further encouraged convergence between different creative disciplines. Perhaps now some curation and critical perspective is needed. And the constantly changing and developing nature of technologies also allows for nature of the artwork itself to change. We’re starting to see a greater emphasis on works that generate and evolve. Formal relationships within art will change as the artist’s relationship to the process changes.

Online we have net art – artists who are specifically addressing the uses and abuses of the Internet as a medium for creative expression. Within this context artists are exploring many technologies including shockwave, flash, vrml and java. Offline we see more application driven interface experiments using technologies such as max, super collider, and exploiting multi user systems, generative audio, and graphics displays. Soundtoys.net addresses the blurring of these boundaries and presents artists working at the edge of software development and at the interface between art and new music.

However this is just one site amongst many that are dedicated to various forms of net art and new media. Rhizome,Turbulence, Futherfield – there is now a growing list that exists in the virtual world. And in the physical world in the UK we have Watershed, Fact, Hull Time Based Arts, Lighthouse Media Centre..etc etc.

Alive or Dead

My Netart museum ( Now also dead) was a links site which also attempted some chronological overview of the net art scene. To my amusement the last time I looked most of the work from 1997 is now dead links, in fact over 500 dead links. This is the true nature of the web and really the whole point of the web as an emergent system

The web as an emergent network

Image: Stanza City Souel

Image: Stanza City Souel

Cities hold a fascination for me in that the more you become familiar with navigating a city’s structure, the less likely you are to get lost. But even in a familiar city, it’s still possible to find new spaces and ones which have changed and evolved; or places that are no longer there. Buildings, estates, streets come and go – they have their own life cycle of birth, decay and death. When streets are demolished other spaces are left behind. The city is a truly emergent space. In looking at art on the web with all its convergent plurality, a similar pattern is emerging.

In the past five years alone, hundreds of thousands of artworks and websites have been created and leave their footprint of connectivity online. Occasionally these sites last, but more often they are taken down, or replaced when they become obsolete. This is the nature of the internet, of new technology and of emergent systems – things change, situations evolve. Contemporary artists working online tend to focus on connectivity and realise their work across networks, or within databases and information systems. And while artists are busily creating works as emergent systems, or to create metaphors for situations that evoke connectivity, the web by its varying defaults has created its own emergent system.

Error 404s as dead spaces, as voids, as the death or obsolescence of what was once there – representing a place for contemplation, transience and the eternal hope of renewal. These spaces are the memories of things past. You might come across them by accident, only to find on the error 404 page a description of a page that no longer exists.

But these pages make up an obsolete and emergent system of their own. Probably the most common page of information on the web is a web page that suggests it has no information. And yet these pages are all different, with different layouts, fonts and languages but the same message. Type error ‘404’ into a search engine and thousands of results are displayed. Information consigned to the cemetery of the internet

A small footprint for contemplation

The search engine displays information about the information you seek, but the information you seek is no longer there. My favourite website is this space, that has been created not by the process of artistic endeavour but by the medium of the internet itself. It’s a self-regulating body of images and texts. In the sense that it is a space to reflect, a space for memories and feelings, the 404 page creates a small footprint for contemplation.

So in an ideal world, it would be nice to customize your error404.html pages within websites(and certainly you can do this), and make artworks to go in these spaces. Then we’d have hundreds of thousands of error404 artworks. Which I guess is like putting a tombstone over the grave.

At

www.erroneous404.com

www.netartmuseum.com

www.stanza.co.uk (main stanza site)

www.soundtoys.net

(C) www.stanza.co.uk