Posts Tagged ‘maps’

The City Re-imagined. Residency at FACT Liverpool. 2010

March 11th, 2011

A series of artworks centered in Liverpool by Stanza from a residency at FACT. These artworks are about the city and how we react to the changing space around us. They are focused on our relationship to urban space and how by incorporating live data and CCTV images, different representations of Liverpool and as a living breathing entity can emerge. The works are provocations that relate to our hopes and aspirations for the spaces around us.

In these artworks I set out to explore public domain space in innovative ways following on from my first Ropewalks Square proposal to FACT(http://www.stanza.co.uk/portal/) and to make artworks exploring the use of live data CCTV in public space. The works are located between art, urbanism, and surveillance culture and they focus on the ethics and ownership of public spaces and how they are used.  The work includes ten interventions and artworks which  are all online (see below). I have tried to create narratives that demonstrate innovation and ethics of space and in several projects used an audience or local people to be involved in the works.

Included in the body of artwork are sensors that monitors spaces for environmental change. Another artwork proposes to extend the building at FACT virtually by projecting CCTV into Ropewalks Square and across the city. Another is a spy frog that talks, and a series of new public squares have been made across the city with minimal aesthetic were one can go to contemplate just what is going on.

These projects like are like seeds. They have been planted and now they need watering.

I hope you enjoy the work.

Public Domain: Series III.

Stanza Artwork Live CCTV

Live CCTV across the city. 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

We have nothing to hide only to loose.

 

Stanza Artwork

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.htm

Regeneration Squares.

 

Stanza Artwork

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

Re-animating and remapping the city. This project involves making new public squares in the city to make a regeneration of the city. Here area selection of these new squares in Liverpool. In addition I invite the public to find these squares and present situations to intervene and to regenerate these new public spaces.

Fortuna.

Stanza Artwork

Stanza Artwork

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

This is an online artwork using images from across the city, representing the struggle for change. The street was known as the Bond Street of the North, it was in the past a toll road. The working classes would go to work under the road in tunnels and enter via back doors of the expensive shops; never to be seen by the rich, thus kept separate. The city has a new “Bond Street” the L1 area. It is a cathedral of commerce separate from the issues that exist everywhere else in the city.

Binary Graffiti Club.

 

Stanza Artwork

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

Inspiring young people to see the city as canvas to create change. This is a selection of images that represents the hopes and aspirations of young people set in various contexts in especially made binary hoodies.

Data data data

 

stanza Artwork. Live sensor data. 2010

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

A live projection of environmental changes. Sensors scattered over the building respond to changes in space in real time. They are turned into an event space projected into ropewalks square. This artwork is networked, its real time, and its takes data from a wireless sensor network that is placed in the real space.

Mental Memes.

 

Stanza Artwork.  2010

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

The idea is to create a visual regeneration with the mind. I want to use space and time at a football match for an artistic intervention. The idea is to see the mind as a public domain space for this intervention; and to make an artwork using this space.  This project is about giving some time back to a collective entity, a visualisation for a common good to empower the space around us. In this case the city. It might be a simple mind map or it could be a complex linking of all the heartbeats of the audience.

Soundcities

 

Stanza Artwork.  2010

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

From the first UK soundmap project, here are 200 sounds from all over Liverpool, Gathering assets for mediated visualisations across Liverpool. (http://www.soundcities.com/)

an online artwork using images from across the city, representing the struggle for change.

Spy

 

Stanza Artwork.  2010

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

Robotic sculpture frogs see people and tell them what to do. The programmed frogs can talk and as you walk passed them they tell you what they think.

In God We Trust.

 

Stanza Artwork.  2010

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

The idea was to collect data in the house of god to monitors His presence. Sensing God with environmental monitors. The data is turned into sounds and visuals. ie a sonification of God space and a visualization thus questioning our belief systems.

Portal.

http://www.stanza.co.uk/ropewalks%20square/index.html

A proposal to cover Ropewalks and to create a unique arcade. Moving away from old metaphors of Liverpool’s imperial history, to create a newer global image, digital and creative, a vibrant risk taking culture that is  independent, free thinking and global.

All artwork Stanza. 2010

Stanza making things that occupy space.

November 30th, 2010

Much if not most of his work over the last twenty five years has been concerned with the city and with real-time technologies of surveillance and information and has often involved using and even making electronic devices.  In 2009 he did a residency at Lanternhouse in Cumbria,  near to the Lake District,  in which he applied some of the same techniques as he has used in relation to city life to more rural contexts. Yet this bucolic interlude was an exception to the normal location of his artistic practice.

Yet I would like to claim that Stanza presents an exemplary form of art as craft, in the sense that he takes the materials of our current technologised culture and materially engages with their possibilities in order to reflect upon what it means to be living in that culture. What is particularly interesting about Stanza’s work is that he understands how to use in creative and novel ways a whole range of tools and technologies, which, along with his prodigious rate of production, means that his output is a kind of map of shifting technological realities and possibilities. He groups many of his artworks over the last twenty five years under the rubric The Emergent City Projects.

stanza_music-_performance

Image: Stanza Music Performance with touchscreens: 2004

Stanza artwork above 2004

In the mid-1980s he was making music videos about ‘cities, networks and urban situations’ using ‘VJ decks and experimental TV techniques’.  In 1989 he started a series of monochrome paintings of cityscapes, based on his own photographs, entitled Control… In 1997 he started Central City…….

In a situation where the virtual realm becomes more and more the place where we, in the so-called developed world at least, work and socialise, the material, lived environment of the city becomes a locus of greater authenticity, much as the rural landscape did during the period of industrialisation. Yet, much as representations of the countryside in the 19th century were often made with much more awareness of the social and ecological issues than we now imagine,

Stanza’s work does not romanticise the city. He portrays it as a complex, informational space, networked by different complex systems, some visible and some invisible. He also makes the work in the most direct sense; he is a maker, a craftsperson, who knows how to program, how to use live video feed, and how to build robots, and sensing devices.

Above all he knows how to use and to work with the technologies of real-time computing and visualisation that have become an increasingly important part of our technologised culture.

To a certain extent Stanza’s practice and that of others like him, embodies the idea of ‘immaterial labour’ and the ‘social worker’ as discussed by, among others, Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt.

In the context of a capitalism increasingly dominated by information technology Hardt and Negri distinguish between two forms of the ‘immaterial labor of analytical and symbolic tasks’, on one hand ‘routine symbolic tasks’, and ‘creative and intelligent manipulation’ on the other (293). They claim that, inasmuch as such labour necessarily involves cooperation prior to its subsumption by capital, it seems to ‘provide the potential for a kind of spontaneous and elementary communism’ (294). Hardt and Negri have been widely criticised for the naivety of this statement. What might be claimed is that immaterial labour does offer a new model of craft production as opposed to the dehumanising mass production of industrial capitalism.It seems to me that the work of Stanza offers us a model of not just an artistic but also an ethical engagement with technology, at a time when such a thing is, I believe, increasingly needed. His work does not comment on, for example, surveillance technologies or sensing technologies, or other public manifestations, in a political or polemic manner. Rather it engages in what they might be for, how they might be used, in ways that explore their meaning and potential beyond the obvious kinds of use. As such he works against the cool aesthetic of much work made with such technologies.

By contrast with the reticent of such stuff, Stanza produces an abundance of vivid, complex, often baroque work that is unashamedly aesthetic in the sense of being concerned with the sensually beautiful. In this he is like Ruskin’s gothic builder, whose love of variety and for beauty for its own sake was, for Ruskin, evidence of his freedom, as compared to the ‘enslaved’ worker, endeavouring to produce regular perfection. The modern equivalent to such an enslaved worker might be an artist committed to a conceptual programme of work as much as it might be a computer programmer endeavouring to find the most economical and ‘elegant’ solution to a logical problem. That said Richard Sennett’s book on The Craftsman explicitly claims that programming can be a craft and offers the example of Linux programmers.

stanza artist

Image: Detail from live CCTV software system by Stanza 2005.

Stanza artwork above 2005

The difference between Stanza and the Gothic craftsman discussed by Ruskin is that the latter works spatially, making things that occupy space and endure, unchanged over time.

Stanza works in time, in the sense that he manipulates real-time and time-based  technologies such as CCTV cameras.  He does not so much ‘sculpt time’ as Andrei Tarkovski described the process of film making, as ‘craft time’. In the context of a culture in which time has increasingly become a commodity, this crafting of time takes on a more pressing and even political dimension.

Charlie Gere

Head of Department

Institute for Cultural Research

“Robotica­- Control inside the panopticon” by Stanza

November 11th, 2008
Copyright Image by Stanza

Copyright Image by Stanza: Robots making paintings. 2008.

A world premier of Stanza’s Robotica: Control inside the panopticon playful robot installation – with performative and interactive aspects – that questions ideas of surveillance and tracking in popular culture using, robots, CCTV and sensor technologies.

Twelve robots – each named after prison inmate numbers – roam freely on a canvas on the floor of the Gallery. These robotic prisoners are sent out across the canvas with small tasks to complete. This robotic “wandering” is captured over the evening onto the canvas. They create their own painting in their own little prison. The idea of the Panopticon originated with the English utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham as a prison design that would allow an observer to monitor all the prisoners at all times, without any prisoner being aware of whether he was being monitored or not.Like people, robots have common behaviours and can be programmed accordingly i.e. robots can follow a path (path following mode), the can avoid obstacles (avoidance mode) and they can operate in wander mode. They all try to avoid one another – depending on their proximity to one another – while searching the space. In doing so they demonstrate social behaviour.

In moving through the gallery people create a ‘memory space’- a reference to a past created by the traces and paths left behind. The patterns we make, the forces we weave, reveal different ways of moving through the space. These patterns disclose new ways of seeing the world. All the robots are recorded via CCTV and each is made to wear CCTV which is shown on a monitor which also records the event. Police “tape” keeps the robots inside their controlled space. The robots mimic and trace the patterns people make – but based on algorithms. The robots are tracked – everything is watched and recorded – and unlike people their movements can be networked into retrievable data structures that it can be re-imagined and sourced for information. The digital patterns of the robots are re-made as analogue patterns. The robot path is in effect replaced with a series of ‘brushes’ – and it is these that are wandering around the canvas. A series of actions are applied to the movement of the digital brush across the rectangular canvas to create these robotic generative paintings.

This artwork investigates the relationship between the analogue and the digital aesthetic. The robots wander over the canvas to make the image – and this also protects the floor. The suggested canvas size 2.5 by 5m – and therefore a reasonable floor space is needed. All the robots will see the edges of the canvas and turn around automatically) i.e. they are roped off and will not go wandering off on their own!