Posts Tagged ‘surveillance’

Dundee Contemporary Arts NEon 2016

November 13th, 2016

The artwork reforms this information and data creating parallel realities. At the heart of this work lies an interest in the urban environment, the networks of cameras and sensors to be found there, and the associated issue of privacy and alienation. The work sits in the middle of concepts for smart cities, The Internet of Things( IOT) and the new technologies that monitors the real time environment. In appearance, the Nemesis Machine is like Big Brother parsed through the lens of the Internet of things. It gives visitors a bird’s eye view of a cybernetic cityscape, where skyscrapers are constructed of silicon and circuit boards.

stanza_neon 284-web The Nemesis Machine stanza_neon-299-web

The Nemesis Machine

 

Exhibition in Canada at New Media Gallery Vancouver.

October 15th, 2016
Surveillance based artworkThe Agency at the End of CIvilization

A sprawling collection of daisy-chained monitors, watchful orbs and speakers give voice to circulating, machinic narratives. The Agency at the End of Civilization, by British artist Stanza, presents a parallel future-present that combines real-time data with false narratives. In this world we are under constant surveillance; we are watched in precise detail, our movements are interpreted by machines. Yet the interpretation of what we are seeing and hearing becomes increasingly uncertain. The work links real video and information from hundreds of CCTV cameras in the south of England . Aligned to this are millions of car number plates from the UK car number plate recognition system (The Internet of Cars Project). Using predictive software the machine collects what it is seeing in real time, then begins to insert false narratives to create its own version of reality. The work speaks to our control of public space and our trust in technology.

 

WITNESS

Originally the word Witness meant knowledge, in the sense that you must see, observe or know by personal presence. Over time it became understood as a means of establishing identity and thus the notion of the eye-witness was established: one who testifies to what they have perceived through their senses; tasting, touching, hearing…and seeing. The seeing, witnessing machine, is something that has been imagined and alluded to for centuries. This exhibition contemplates the seeing machine.

Surveillance based artwork

There are five works of art in this exhibition. Each sets up an interplay between the perceiving machine, the world that is perceived by the machine and we, who are both perceiving + perceived bodies. A symbiotic relationship is formed between organic and non-organic systems. There are many ways of seeing. One process of controlled watching is surveillance; a monitoring of behavior for the purposes of influence, discipline, protection or control. It has been said that surveillance is as old as civilization itself. In this exhibition we encounter deeply coded, multi-layered processes of seeing, recognition and surveillance.

Machine vision can often outperform humans. Like humans, machines can distinguish light from dark. They form visual images. They understand their surroundings and have knowledge of the world. They follow our movements, predict our behavior, captivate us and bond with us. Perhaps more importantly we bond and enable them. This exhibition allows us to imagine futures and recall why sight developed.

Surveillance based artwork

Hacking Habitat In Utrecht

March 3rd, 2016

Curated by Ine Gevers, Hacking Habitat witnesses  “the rise of a ‘remote control society’ colonizing and infiltrating increasing realms of daily life for the sake of safety and risk- management. Monitoring cameras and smart gateways are installed everywhere, while we are classified and atomized by automatic face recognition. Software and algorithms define who deviates or contributes too little to our economy. ”

Featuring Joseph Beuys (DE), Melanie Bonajo (NL), James Bridle (UK), Felix Burger (DE), Centre for Political Beauty (DE), Johan Grimonprez (BE), Susan Hiller (USA), Samson Kambalu (MW), William Kentridge (SA), Laura Kurgan (USA), Cristina Lucas (ESP), Metahaven (NL), Pedro Reyes (MX),  Stanza (UK), Timo Arnall (NO),  and many others.

 

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The Nemesis Machine is a miniature city, made up of wires, chips, computer parts, switches and specially designed electronics. The installation shows the current data flow of Smart City London, complete with environmental sensors and surveillance cameras, as well as data from traffic information and environmental monitoring systems. The work responds to the temperature, light, pressure and sound of the simulated city. If something changes in London, it’s registered directly in motion, sound and light in the miniature city of Utrecht. The Nemesis Machine is like the avatar of London and is not only driven by the real city, it is entirely dependent on it.15-STANZA-0414b-mj9m0abah8kt7ms5qmn5wpy6cqlj20tpijnm1zlokg

The Nemesis Machine is een miniatuurstad, opgebouwd uit kabels, chips, computeronderdelen, schakelaars en speciaal ontworpen elektronica. De installatie toont de actuele dataflow van Smart City Londen, gemeten met omgevingssensoren, bewakingscamera´s, verkeersinformatie- en milieumonitoringsystemen. Het werk reageert op o.a. temperatuur, licht, luchtdruk en geluid van de nagebootste stad. Als iets wijzigt in Londen, zie je dat direct terug in beweging, geluid en licht in de miniatuurstad in Utrecht. Nemesis Machine is als het ware de avatar van Londen en wordt niet alleen real time bestuurd door de echte stad, maar is er volledig van afhankelijk.

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Exhibition Titled. Herd Above The Noise. Installation of city sounds on 170 speakers

September 9th, 2015

Soundcities – Herd Above The Noise. Installation of city sounds on 170 speakers.

The installation can play thousands of sounds from around the world and is arranged like a map of the city the artwork is installed in. What you see and experience is a map of wires and cables including over 170 speakers, a custom made amplifier that are all used to make the installation. The installation can be changed to just focus on any given city ie London , Paris, Rome or the whole world. The installation features the use of soundcities.com database and live feeds with a new software system. The system works in auto mode if no one uses it or can users can interact and choose the sounds that get played on the speakers. (Its both interactive and generative)

Soundcities was the first online open source database of city sounds and soundmaps from around the world, using found sounds and field recording. The concept started in 1995 with various interactions. Stanza’s soundmaps have been online since 2000 and the Soundcities database since 2004.

French Text:

Le projet d’installation Soundcities s’inscrit dans le prolongement de la base de données interactive éponyme initiée par Stanza en 1995, pour apparaître sur le web en 2004 dans sa version actuelle, renouvelée en permanence. http://www.soundcities.com/ est la première base de données en open source rassemblant les sons des villes grâce à des captations sur le terrain, à des compilations de sources existantes, et ouverte aux contributions en ligne.

Soundcities By Stanza

Stanza Paintings

The Intelligent City. Data, Privacy, Surveillance. Exhibition at Bruges Museum May 2015

March 19th, 2015

The Nememis Machine By StanzaStanza The Intelligent City Arentshuis Bruges Museum 17 March to 10 May 2015

In the run-up to the 2015 Bruges Triennale (20 May to 18 October), the Arentshuis . The work of this internationally esteemed artist has been shown in about fifty exhibitions since 1984, from Tate Britain, the ICA and Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Plymouth Arts Centre to Mundo Urbano in Madrid, the Venice Biennale, the Sydney Biennale, the Sao Paulo Biennale, the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico and the State Art Museum in Novosibirsk.

At the heart of Stanza’s work lies his interest in the urban environment, the networks of cameras and sensors to be found there, and the associated issue of privacy and alienation. He is particularly interested in the patterns we leave all over the place. In how we consciously or unconsciously influence each other, and also the degree to which technology may in future take over control of our own bodies and our presence in the city.

Stanza studied at Goldsmiths College, Greenwich University and Central Saint Martins College of Art in London.

At the Arentshuis he will be showing an installation, a series of paintings and a sculpture.

The Nemesis Machine – From metropolis to megalopolis to ecumenopolis

The Nemesis Machine is a large installation (adapted to each place where it is displayed) that is a miniature city. It visualises life in the metropolis on the basis of data transmitted from London. So the city constructed in Bruges using electronic components reflects in real time what is happening on the other side of the Channel. Small cameras show pictures of the visitors so that they become part of the city.

The Nememis Machine By Stanza

Complexities. Surface Scars and Cuts – paintings

Stanza’s paintings show the complexity of the city. When they are scaled down, roads and rivers are reduced to an inextricable tangle of lines, curves and scratches. In this way, the grids and patterns make every city into something universal. Cities look like each other, cities grow towards each other, cities become one: the metropolis becomes a megalopolis and then an ecumenopolis. Cities look like colonies of insects with gigantic towers that look down ominously on wasteland and empty spaces. In his paintings, Stanza combines existing and imaginary cities to form a new ensemble of structures.

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New Commission For Wolverhampton Art Gallery using networked cameras feeds

September 22nd, 2014

Title: Parallel Realities: Entropy Through Black Matter: By Stanza 2014. Commissioned by Wolverhampton Art Gallery to celebrate the Black Country Echoes Festival.

The artwork creates what the artist Stanza calls a “Parallel Reality”, merging multiple experience of the same place into one fused experience. What you see and experience is a constantly changing, ongoing series of images moving forward in time. The artwork creates what the artist Stanza calls a “Parallel Reality”, merging multiple experience of the same place into one fused experience.http://stanza.co.uk/blackcountry/index.html

Parallel Realities: Entropy Through Black Matter: By Stanza 2014.

 

 

 

New Commission At Winchester Science Centre using transport data and surveillance cameras

August 22nd, 2014

The artwork “The Agency At The End Of Civilisation” is a real time interpretation of the data of the Internet of Cars project using the UK car number plate recognition system aligned with real time images from one hundred CCTV cameras in the region of South of England. The installation presents all this as a spatialised audio experience of spoken texts and generative visuals. The audience engages with the work as observer (of the surveillance and recorded space) looking at 24 screens, a dozen speakers, and a labyrinth of CCTV cameras built as an art installation presented on a plinth. http://stanza.co.uk/agency/index.

The Agency At The End Of Civilisation. By Stanza

The Agency At The End Of Civilisation. By Stanza

The Emergent City. Data from the city as hybrid artwork. Centre des Arts d’Enghien-les-Bains. Paris. France. 2014

July 22nd, 2014
The Emergent City. By Stanza

The Emergent City. A Life From Complexity to The City of Bits. By Stanza

The Emergent City. A Life From Complexity to The City of Bits. By Stanza

The Emergent City. A Life From Complexity to The City of Bits. By Stanza

The Emergent City. A Life From Complexity to The City of Bits. By Stanza

The Emergent City. A Life From Complexity to The City of Bits. By Stanza

The Emergent City. A Life From Complexity to The City of Bits.

The Emergent City. A Life From Complexity to The City of Bits.

New Commission – Software system manipulates the real time transport data in London

May 6th, 2014
Syncronicity: Layers of Infinite Possibilities In A World Of Closing Borders

Syncronicity: Layers of Infinite Possibilities In A World Of Closing Borders

Syncronicity: Layers of Infinite Possibilities In A World Of Closing Borders.” manipulates the real time transport data to re-interpret the city fabric as an organic pattern based system. Synchronicity becomes a hybridized maze, a cellular and organic system which is presented to the screen. The artwork uses real time bus and tube data from real time transport data London. 3d portrait of Stanza  inside live London data.How will big data empower the system and does this added value allow more freedom or does it seek a more subversive form of control?

http://stanza.co.uk/sycronicity1/index.htm

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Syncronicity: Layers of Infinite Possibilities In A World Of Closing Borders

Syncronicity: Layers of Infinite Possibilities In A World Of Closing Borders

Stanza opens the Frequency Festival of Digital Culture festival hosted in the city of Lincoln.

November 4th, 2013

The Binary Graffiti Club by Stanza. Stanza opens the Frequency Festival of Digital Culture festival hosted in the city of Lincoln, with his participatory artwork The Binary Graffiti Club. On 18th October 2013 hooded youths in specially designed hoodies took to the streets of Lincoln. Moving around the city in groups The Binary Graffiti Club encoded the city with messages in binary code. The walls, pavements, and empty spaces were covered in over 101 unique and different artworks. An extension of the “flaneur” who wanders without aim The Binary Graffiti Club create new sense of urgency and agency as the city is reclaimed for cultural change.

The Binary Graffiti Club

The Binary Graffiti Club provides a platform to celebrate the pioneering spirit of digital innovation and culture through creative collision and socially engaged artistic practise. The Binary Graffiti Club inspires young people to see the city as canvas to create change. The artwork created represents the hopes and aspirations of young people set in various contexts.

The people have sense of agency—– people who can oppose systems—–free and uninhibited—– they are protective —– live in a melting pot of mixed social composition——– strong independent minds —— prepared to challenge. The participants are  engaged in this spirit of challenge, independence, and global connectivity and leverage this into a future vision.

A selection of artwork represents subliminal messages to reclaim the city and public space as a shared environment which places our youth at the focus of future development.

You can also Commission – The Binary Graffiti Club.

 Graffiti from the 101 Artworks made In The City of Lincoln

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

 

 

 

Stanza On The Front Row BBC radio 4 Talking about Big Data

September 4th, 2013

Stanza On The Front Row BBC radio 4 Talking about Big Data.

Thu, 29 Aug 13 Big Data art– the artists who find inspiration in big data….on the front row bbc radio 4.

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/radio4/frontrow/frontrow_20130829-2000a.mp3

Artwork By STanza

Stanza surveillance based installation exhibited at Alter?na?tiva? In Poland

August 8th, 2013

An installation by British artist Stanza using live CCTV will be on show in Poland for five months in 2013.

Urban Generation is a data artwork using real time networked cameras. The networked channels are always on, and therefore, the artwork is always changing. It depicts a constant and evolving view of the urban landscape and its inhabitants exploring the emotional state of the metropolis. The artwork considers a world of universal surveillance. The artwork collects live feeds from 200 cameras in London in real time and reworks these video streams into multi-layered visual structures.

www?.wyspa?.art?.pl www?.alter?na?tiva?.org?.pl
Pro­fes­sio­nal pre­view May 23, 2013
Offi­cial ope­ning May 24 at 7pm – November 2013

A city is never fini­shed they say. The making of a city is always con­nec­ted to a futu­ri­stic appro­ach. The metro­po­lis we envi­sion won’t per­haps be the one we are to inha­bit. The plan­ned future of the city impli­ca­tes all aspects of dwel­ling, enco­un­ters, poli­tics, leisure and access to know­ledge.

The Alter­na­tiva 2013 cura­tors have taken on the urgent sub­ject of city plan­ning and its ide­olo­gies as well as the eve­ry­day tac­tics of dwel­ling and inha­bi­ta­tion in it. Loca­ting its prac­tice in the heart of the Gdansk Shi­py­ard, Alter­na­tiva 2013 is both a result of rese­arch as much as a mat­ter of con­cern for us.

Taking Gdansk as a point of depar­ture but not limi­ting the project’s reach to just one loca­tion, „Till Tomor­row!” appro­aches the sub­ject of city plan­ning as an ide­olo­gi­cal one. The XIX cen­tury defor­ti­fi­ca­tion of Gdansk was the first of seve­ral sub­se­qu­ent demo­li­tions for both poli­ti­cal and eco­no­mi­cal cau­ses, reali­zed and unre­ali­zed moder­ni­za­tion plans, which have mir­ro­red the often-??turbulent poli­ti­cal shi­fts. This very par­ti­cu­lar case study is thus an oppor­tu­nity to begin a bro­ader debate on the question:

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Stanza exhibits: Urban Generation; trying to imagine the world from everyone else’s perspective, all at once”. by Stanza 2002 – 5.

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

Urban Generation; trying to imagine the world from everyone else’s perspective, all at once”. by Stanza

Artwork By Stanza Using CCTV

 

 

Art that explores questions raised by modern society – about privacy, surveillance culture….

September 23rd, 2012

STANZA’s art explores questions raised by modern society – about privacy, surveillance culture, and who owns the data that is regularly collected about all of us – often using modern technologies to create his pieces. Since he first started exhibiting his works in 1984, STANZA has strived to create cutting edge art that deals with current issues. In the process he has won several impressive awards, including an AHRC arts fellowship, and has seen his work featured in over 50 different exhibitions globally.

Ahead of a installation of one of his works “Capacities” in Ghent, Belgium in September, Solomon Radley met with him, in front on a computer monitor at his studio in South London, to talk in depth about what he does over coffee.

Hey, how’s it going? Would you begin by telling me a bit about what you do?

STANZA: The things that I’m interested in are ‘surveillance space’, which is the idea of the city as having become a panopticon – this idea that we’re in a prison and we can be observed at all times, from all perspectives, all at once, and particularly in real time.

I use various technologies to do that, like CCTV and wireless sensor networks. Over the years, firstly I’ve developed a strong understanding of what these technologies can do in terms of learning about them, but also I’m having to develop for them, so I’ve learned how to develop hardware and software. You may think I’m a technologist – I see myself as a creative technologist, and I also see that artists are engineers, so they have to understand the technologies that they use, and the mediums that they use in order to get output.

To bring that into perspective, we can look at some artworks…

Sure thing. Would you expand on your thought that the city is a sort of prison?

STANZA: Urban Generation is a piece I did in relation to this idea of the city being a panopticon. Let’s say, in modernist terms, an artist would go out and collect assets – he might use a recording device or a camera – it would be a still, linear asset, and it would never change. It’s possible to actually conceive of the city as a moving physical entity, moving forward in time all the time. How is it possible to use new technologies to actually gain a representation of this, and use it in a culturally meaningful way?

Urban Generation attempts to imagine the world from everyone else’s perspective all at once. If I’m giving a talk, what I try and do is – to illustrate the conceptual shift – I say: “I’d like you to close your eyes, and I’d like you to imagine yourself in a place in London. I’m going to do the same and I’m going to take a single mental snapshot, and I’d like you all in the room to take your single snapshot. Now, I’d like you to imagine the view of the people sitting next to you to your left and to your right, so you have three images multiplied together. There’s 300 people in the room; I’d like you to merge all of these 300 images together. And now not like a film, (because if we used a film we’d be recording the same images) what I’d like you to do is to move these images forward in real time.”

This is the idea I’m trying to capture with this piece of work.

A lot of your work is concerned with the question of who owns the information that is regularly collected about people, and with re-claiming that information. Tell me about this idea.

STANZA: I make artworks that arise from my research into these themes – the themes being ‘control space’ and ‘surveillance space’ and issues with privacy. What I’m doing, which is sort of new ground, is that I’m hacking access to a network and re-appropriating the data and information, and I’m re-contextualizing to give it a wider meaning. I want to show that you can do something positive with this data.

Other works where I’m interested in the control and ownership of data include this website called GenoMixer, where I fully sequenced my blood. In a sense this looks like artist self-portraiture, but I was interested in thedomain space – the public domain space – that’s inside our bodies.

We have this huge line of code – 3.3 billion letters – and it basically has an economic value. The proposal here is to IPO (Initial Public Offering) the project on the stock market, and to give everyone a share of the derivable intellectual royalties. For example, if somebody else wanted to investigate your DNA in a medical program they’d have to pay you. If some other company discovered the cancer gene because you were on the police forensic database you could say “No it’s copyrighted – it’s on the GenoMixer database”.

It just so happens that I also made a series of self-portraits with them…

One of the most obvious types of information that is commonly collected about the general public is video images gathered by CCTV, and this is something you often look at. What are your thoughts about CCTV?

STANZA: Let’s look at “Urban Generation – trying to imagine the world from everyone else’s perspective, all at once“. What we’ve got here is: each square on this four-by-four grid is making calls to over 100 cameras in London in real time. This is a parallel reality, using live network data to re-appropriate it over the network and use it for something else. For example, this could be used as an extension on landscape painting.

Why this has become quite interesting, and the reason I mention these modernist aspects that are fixed, is that this work is never the same. You could look at it even now, on a different monitor, and it would be different: It’s not the Mona Lisa – where every time you look at the work you experience the same thing – there’s an added problem here.

Another interesting question here is: Is what we’re looking at the artwork? On July 7th in 2005 they switched this entire network off because of the terrorist attacks. Well my system still worked, it’s just that the output – which is what connects a viewer to the system – is shifted.

This [Public Domain Responsive Architecture Facade] is the same concept using CCTV, observing the whole of the city but making it transparent. Why would you want to make your movements open and transparent? Why would you want to let CCTV be seen by everybody? This is a building with its outer surfaces displaying images that are embedded in the city – all the stuff on the outside of the building is shifting in terms of the real time properties of that city. In a sense, you (as the observed individual) become part of the building and part of the city, and this opens up the idea of transparent architecture and transparent space.

Public Domain is another work along the same theme, where I gave CCTV cameras away to members of the public, to open up this idea of CCTV networks. People sometimes say that they’ve got nothing to hide, and to nothing to fear…I think that’s a problematic statement. I’m not coming down on a particular side of the fence here, but it seems to me that we’ve opened Pandora’s box, and there’s a whole series of legislative and ethical issues that aren’t being addressed.

Hopefully what I’m doing in these artworks is to draw attention to the fact that there’s a whole series of potential problems that we’re walking in to.

You also play with collected data, which you use to create interactive works or installations where real-time changes are caused by environmental factors…

STANZA: We’ve already looked at my CCTV system. There’s another one, which uses wireless sensors/wireless nodes. You scatter them across the city, and they talk to each other in a network grid.

This research started in 2004 as a result of an AHRC grant that I was awarded, and I was trying to find a system I could use as open source hardware and software, that would monitor the whole city space. I’ve scattered these sensors around a city to generate visualisations and sonifications in various cities. For my first project [Sensity] they were output onto a visual globe.

So, now what I was interested in doing is looking at this real time data, that’s now everywhere, and seeing if I could do something else with it – if I could make art with it.

Equally, in Sonicity I deliberately put a whole load of speakers on the floor and connected them all up to make it look like a map, and somewhere else (in another part of the world) that data is being collected from my network and being spat out onto the internet via an XML stream. In arty terms, maybe I’m “painting with data” – the data has become the medium. With this data I’m painting a sonification of the real time landscape.

The second thing I was trying to think about, as part of this thinking process, was all the stuff that’s being collected about us – not just my data, but tax data and medical records – which could be used because of the way it changes and shifts from one thing to the next to power other events:

With CapacitiesI made…let’s call it a sculpture…a sculpture of computer parts that looks like a city, and would be powered by events changing somewhere else in real time. In this version of Capacities, all the lights and fans, and all the parts that change, do so because of other things happening in the world in real time.

The reason I’m trying to do that is that there seem to be other values that people are missing in terms of the things that are happening to us, and the world, in real time. We’ve become bodies residing in a ‘data space’. Everything around us is the data space and by default we interact with it – even small movements displace millions of atoms.

I conceive of this post-modern world in which movements are just moving a series of 0s and 1s. I can measure the 0s and 1s that I’m displacing by moving around. This interactive process is embedded in the work by default.

Visitors to a Gallery… is quite an important work, in that it opens up the gallery space as an artwork. For example, these two people that are pictured aren’t actually in this room – they’re in another room in another part of the gallery, so they’re embedded in the artwork that you’re viewing. Everybody in the architectural space becomes part of the artwork, and this happens in real time – it’s not recorded, and it’s not a film. So I utilize the technology in the space (the CCTV system).

Secondly, what’s happening here is that there are a series of proximity sensors that affect this as an algorithm – as you walk around this space all of these images oscillate/vibrate slightly.

So when you’re in the room, viewing this artwork, you’re at the same time generating an artwork for someone else in another room?

STANZA: And you’re in the work you’re viewing yourself, through your interaction with the sensors.

That’s also happening in Seeing Through Walls, where there are little cameras and monitors, so you become embedded in the same artwork as it’s being broadcast live, or in this piece where you can see through to people on the other side of the wall.

I was actually in a Greek club where they had something like that – the mirrors in the toilet let you see yourself, but also the women doing their makeup in the adjacent toilets…

STANZA: Ha! No wonder their ecomony’s gone down the pan…

Moving on from that, my work splits into this idea of using real time networks and investigating different ways of interacting with public space.

Here’s a strange project called The Binary Graffiti Club, where I got a load of people to dress up in hoodies with 0s and 1s on their backs, and they go round the city making binary graffiti – painting little coded messages onto the city.

Anything in particular?

STANZA: Well…no. I don’t want to be too specific about this, because… Well here’s a piece going back to the DNA project (the open source bit). If you sit in the gallery for…this has been online for seven years: If it was exhibited in a gallery you could get my open source DNA, and you could go off and replicate me, but it changes a letter once every second so you’d have to sit there for 104 years with a pen and paper. The same is true of the binary graffiti club – if you want to know what the message is, you have to sit there and transcribe it and translate it.

One letter from STANZA’s DNA code – the letters are shown in order, one per second for the 104 year project

This led from another piece of work – A City of Bits – as well as this performance that was laid down in the form of this sushi: I invited 12 people, after the disciples, and asked them to come and eat this coded sushi message. So, this is a coded message that they eat, and then they all put their own message back into a jar which I’ve now destroyed. I’ve transcribed those messages here…

You have a performance coming up in Texas soon – tell me a bit about what you’ll be doing.

STANZA: In Soundcities, using a recording device, I’ve been to all these different cities, recording sounds which are attached to Google Maps, and you can visit lots of cities in the world…

The key to this is the database; you can see the sounds, arranged in different categories, and you can create a performance by picking a selection of them and building up rhythms. This is what I do with my performances, except I have the same thing on a couple of machines, and I might mix it with sounds from churches, etc. It’s basically a live world tour of city sounds as music: the machines are connected to a mixing desk, images are coming from the website projects.

During the eight years I’ve been doing these performances, they’ve been heavily focused on the sounds of cities, the database live and soundmaps.

So this database can be used in performances, but the key here is that the database is open source, and other people can contribute to this community of sounds. There’s lots of other projects that have come from this, but the most important bit is this. This XML feed shows the sound, and its longitude/latitude, and although this is just a line of code it basically means that anyone else can use this to write their own apps.

What I’m doing that’s unique here is: it’s like an artist of the past allowing someone into their studio to work in parallel with them.

www.stanza.co.uk

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

 

 

 

 

The Internet of Things. PART II. A City of Data Sculptures.

June 11th, 2012

The Art of Environmental Data. The Internet of Things. Visualisations and sonifications of the real time city.

British artist Stanza In ItalyIn 2004 I layered the city with sensors for my Sensity projects. Dozens of them to access the “data” and make it public. I wanted to claim this space as a public domain, and to create a series of social sculptures affected in real time by the changes in the city. The aim is to make smart networks that have data open to all, and not closed off spy surveillance oriented systems. These networks could be thought of as open social sculptures that inform the world and create new meaningful experiences. Thousands of motes could be deployed across the city for gathering data in wireless sensor networks. Used in large numbers they communicate with one another via radio signals across the network. They can reconfigure themselves, so that the network stays stable. The data is funelled through a system to a point where it can then be interpreted. The motes monitor the the environment for changes in temperature, sounds, light, position, acceleration, vibration, stress, weight, pressure, humidity, and gps. Motes and sensor boards monitor the micro incidents of change in the city, the noise, traffic flows and people flows. The interactions of all this data, controlled via mixed up interfaces that can re-form and re-contextualise experiences in real time as social sculpture.

 

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, analysed, interpreted, and logged. The world we will live in seems to be a much bigger brother, than first realised. Its the mother of big brother. Its a world full of data that can help understand the fundamentals of our outside environment, and monitor the micro codes of our DNA, a world where we are liberated and empowered by data, where finally all of the technology becomes more than gimmick and starts to actually  work for us. This is where these projects and artworks start. In addition to this, the artwork allude to a more socially engaged practise, based on critical reflection of notions of privacy, surveillance space, and control space, speculating on the interactive city and meaning of real time space.

Towards The Emergent City

Stanza Art

The “Sensity” artworks were made from the data that is collected from urban environment locations. The networks of sensors collected data, which is then published online. The sensors interpret the micro-data of the interactive city. The output from the sensors displays the “emotional” state of the city online and the information is used to create installations and sculptural artifacts. I believe them to be in effect emergent social sculptures visualizing the emotional state of the city. The sensor network can be moved from urban to rural setting and different types of visualization can be made depending on the environment.
Sensity is also a highly technical project that can output vast amounts of information about the fabric of our cities. By embedding the sensors like this we can re-engage with the urban fabric and waeve new artistic metaphors within city space. Custom made software enables these sensors to communicate will one another in a network over a proxy server in real time.  The data is also available for others and can be used to create visualizations in the open source environment that is online. (see xml streams).

Representations of these datasets allows unique understanding of the urban environment from this real time perspective. The interactions of all this data, controlled via interfaces that can re-form and re-contextualize experiences in real time. Sensity becomes a holistic city system. The sense city is a city of, accumulated incidents of love, abuse and death. The micro incidents of change in the weather, the noise traffic flows and people flows. Sensity leverages the real time data city and represents it online showing the life of the system and the emerging changing bahaviours of the space.

The data is the Medium.

stanza

stanza

In artworks such as Sensity, Facade, House, Sonicity, Capacities  etc I  connect up networks of real time information flows. The shared data space can overlap and there is a new space the space in between that only two nodes share. I have merged collected data from various cities and created an aestheticization of the shared city space.

I now 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 lead to mashed up cities and real time performative city experiences.

These systems re–employ our perception creating new understanding of how this mixed city behaviour unfolds. There is an opportunity to influence this process and the system and we can also create variables into the networks that will allow greater understanding of the data and the resulting information. Data has become the medium of the age.

A City of Sculptures

In one of my experiments “Capacities” I have made a new city of ‘sculptures’ re-presenting real time spaces and data environments. I investigated the loop from the real to the virtual and back to the real space. This notion of playing or manipulating with a malleable form (data) is made possible as each stream, each node, each sensor, or even the entire network can be communicated with using XML online gateways. The project was instigated by setting up my own wireless sensors networks across London to collect environmental data which was then published online in real time for an extended period of time. The output from the sensors display an interpretation of the real time city online, while that same information was evaluated and then re-visualized in the creation of numerous artworks, back in the public domain.  The resulting artworks represent the real time conditions of the city.

The artistic aim is 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 allows 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. ..stanza 2010

The Emergent City. The City Of Data. 2004 – 2012.

June 11th, 2012

The Emergent City. 2004 – 2012. From Fixed Assets to open Systems and Media visualisations.

The Centrtal City for Madrid Vida

This artwork has moved from fixed assets to interactive systems to open generative systems.  In 2002 Stanza started to develop less fixed systems that culled data and media from other sources. These mash-ups or interactive collage systems include “Subfusion”, “CITYV” etc. In these systems there is no fixed tangible lists of assets (ie they are not databases) they are drawn or harvested via software from spaces. Stanza also moved away from real world studio practise to a online studio space for experimentation and output of ideas, and finished artworks. From artist as author to system as author….whose does the output being to?

The City Of Data.

The Emergent city has become a body of all connected by a central theme. As you know a city is a web of  connected networks.  In essence, the city fabric is a giant multi-user, multi-data sphere. The city is made up of traffic patterns,  pedestrian patterns,  bird flocking patterns. Patterns can be seen in the architecture, patterns in the buildings, patterns in the architectural fabric of the urban design network.  All of  these spheres can be represented by media and therefore by data within the digital realm. And all of this data can be interpreted and mediated. It becomes a matter of choice. Collections of data can be stored to be retrived 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 can support  many projects.  As such it can be interpreted via a variety of interfaces.

Cities offer the opportunity for unique types of data gathering experiences via a  variety  of sources.  My objective has been  to ‘mediate’ data into conceptual and cultural artifacts. With this perspsective 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.

There are various types of data can be re-imagined. This includes pollution data recorded via sensors in the street, to create audio files. Weather and forecast data, acquired via weather station equipment, this can be used and can create ambient soundscapes and morphing visualisations 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.

Under this umberella title of ‘The Emergent City’ project I have made a number of artworks, installations, sonifications and visualisations between 2004 and 2012  that have move beyond the process of research, beyond what I  term as asset gathering, into softwares, installations and prototypes.

Parrallel Realities

An example is the artwork ” Urban Generation; trying to imagine the world from everyone else’s perspective, all at once”. 2002- 5.

Multiple CCTV cameras are accessed randomly in real time to make this 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.

This online artwork represents many realities that exist in city space. The observed real time surveillance society is re worked into a series of grids. This presents London to a global online audience. The data that you see is protected by the data protection act. Here it is re mixed into what you see, which is this online artwork that look like a filmic experience, but sits not a film. Its a real time experience of the city from multiple perspectives I cal it a parrellel reality.

The online version now runs as a series of twelve real time perspectives of the emergent city experience . This ‘film’ is constantly evolving and will never be the same again, the images are not recorded. Each screen is a live real time image from a camera in the city of London. The artwork seeks to explores the rhizomatic multi nodal networked experience. Urban Generation draws on images across the networked city, the artwork creates a unique interpretation of a multi point perspective that exists in time always in the present.

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

Data cities and control spaces

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. 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 city already has a recorded source of data, cctv is everywhere. Using data from CCTV, you can bring the outside inside. Selected feeds are collected from around the world in real time. These real time images are fed into a software system  where a  series of specialised channels rework these images. The channels are always on, and  always changing, a constant  view  of  the world changing  and evolving around  the  clock. This artwork uses  specially created software and technology  to  randomly find images in real time from anywhere in the network, in this case anywhere in the world.

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 ID cards. Everything is or will be tracked. CCTV, car sensors, tracking inside our phones, ID card movement, and 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. Uses of this information and data should allow rich new interpretations on the way our world is built, used, and designed.

So we need to imagine the city at a different scale. The possibility is to extend our imagination and enable that perception of the city as a dynamic network. We can now put systems in place that can re–employ our perception and thus create new understanding of how this behaviour unfolds. There are patterns, they are connected and the systems that evolve, can be simulated and acted upon.

We can influence the process and the system and we can also create variables into this system that allows understanding of the bi-products of the system, the data and the resulting information..stanza 2009