Posts Tagged ‘tracking’

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

Stanza Installation Of Real City Data at Gogbot Festival Enshcede Holland. Sept 2011

September 1st, 2011

Off  to Holland for an exhibition of Capacities by Stanza at Gogbot Festival Enshcede Holland.

Gogbot is an art music technology festival in Enschede, the Netherlands. Sept 2011. Decided to drive the work in a car.

This was a great fun event.

Stanza at Gogbot Festival Enshcede Holland

Stanza at Gogbot Festival Enshcede Holland

The artwork  is a responsive installation with embedded interactive elements. It is responsive to the environment via sensors and interactive with its embedded CCTV system. The artwork gathers data from the city (environment) a custom made wirless sensor network. This is then represented virtually and then this virtual city is represented as this electronic city. The work becomes a manipulation of data, that ‘powers’ all the ‘events’ ‘actions’ and ‘processes’ in the installation. The changing data in the city creates all the changes one experiences in the gallery space. The moving objects, fans, changing lights, motors, noises, that you encounter in the gallery are all responding to changes in temperature, light, pressure, noise, and the sound of the city outside.

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.

The real world is made virtual and the virtual is made real again and exposed in the process. This whole piece us a living and breathing artwork. The project focuses on the micro-incidents of change, the vibrations and sounds of the environment using wireless sensor based technologies.

We understand the 20th century in terms of atoms, molecules and gases that move. Our world is now a world of numbers and changing data and information. This art installation manipulates these numbers from the real world and affects the installation in the gallery space in real time. Capacities does this by capturing the change over time of the environment using customized sensors that collect the real time data. See website for more

stanza artworks

 

The City Experience.

November 30th, 2010

The City Experience.

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The city experience is a web of connected networks and multi layered threaded paths that condition us to the emotional state of the city space. In essence, the city fabric is a giant multi user multi data sphere. To take part you really have to put something back in, that’s like life. In this case, to take part you have to input data so others ‘may’ see the output of the data response.

The city has a history of stories relative to time and place, stories from the street. Love stories personal and extreme, crime stories, stories that are small or that can affect global parameters. All of these spheres can be represented by media and therefore by data within the digital realm and 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 would support many projects. As such it can be interpreted as history via one sort of interface or as a game via another sort of interface. A possible objective is to ‘mediate’ data into an artwork. With this perspective there are many unimagined threads of data and connections that describe our world that can be explored within which we can create artistic interpretations.

CCTV systems are everywhere in the public domain. We are all actors, bit part actors, in a giant movie called life. Except we cannot watch, it is not on public display and the results are monitored, filtered and distributed without our permission. 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. 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 my software systems where a series of specialized 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 uses specially created software and technology to randomly engage the cameras.

The increase of technology infrastructure in the daily existence of a city means that technology will, more than ever be everywhere in our environment. Everything is or will be tracked.

UK artist Stanza wins VIDA 6.0, 2003

May 31st, 2010

UK artist Stanza wins VIDA 6.0, 2003

http://www.fundacion.telefonica.com/es/at/vida/vida10/paginas/v6.html

El Jurado de la Competición de Arte y Vida Artificial Vida 6.0 – Daniel Canogar, Chris Csikszentmihalyi, Machiko Kusahara, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Jane Prophet y Nell Tenhaaf – examinó un número récord de propuestas: 71 obras de arte que utilizan conceptos y técnicas de vida artificial. Estas piezas fueron preseleccionadas de un grupo de 89 recibidas de 21 países. La Fundación Telefónica de España, organizadora del concurso desde hace cinco años, concederá los siguientes premios

 

Stanza Generative software map maker.


THE CENTRAL CITY AND INNER CITY

INTRODUCCIÓN

La idea es ahondar en las analogías de la identidad orgánica de la ciudad. La microciudad se convierte en una red orgánica de cuadrículas y diagramas. La forma y el contenido de este trabajo es un mundo visual de la ciudad y su estructura. Redes de tecnología de la información se ponen en contraste con redes orgánicas y redes urbanas. El proyecto fusiona los sonidos de los diferentes espacios. Los sonidos del lenguaje imponen un ritmo con el que la narración visual puede interactuar. ‘The central city’ es una experiencia de arte por Internet, interactiva y audiovisual. Está formada por trozos de texto con sonidos incorporados, todo ello realizado para Internet. La ciudad se convierte en una red orgánica de cuadrículas y diagramas en la que se yuxtaponen imágenes y sonidos urbanos.

En este proyecto he querido desarrollar analogías para la identidad orgánica de la ciudad como comunidad urbana y establecer enlaces con redes electrónicas y comunidades virtuales. Esta interacción orgánica se pone en contraste con las estructuras realizadas por el ser humano, así como con las formas del diseño urbanístico. Los espacios en la red son para soñar, pensar, meditar y la transitoriedad. La forma y el contenido de este trabajo es un mundo visual de la ciudad y su estructura. Un laberinto visual, un dédalo de circunstancias. La propia ciudad está siempre en transformación, siempre fluyendo. Cada aspecto de la vida ciudadana parece mostrar unas características específicas que pueden transformarse en las diferentes partes del laberinto, componiendo las imágenes que se van a utilizar. La experiencia urbana consiste en pequeños bloques y celdas unitarios que se relacionan y unen entre sí para componer la identidad urbana. La ciudad ha pasado de metrópolis a megalópolis y, finalmente, a ecumenópolis. La ciudad está en todas partes, propagando su diseño inerte hacia el cielo y formando un guirigay de objetos físicos en el espacio. Las ciudades se convierten en “colonias de insectos”, proyectadas hacia arriba como gigantescas torres acechantes ante cualquier solar sin construir, cualquier espacio vacío.

HACIA LA MATRIZ. CIUDAD CUADRICULADA

Mi intervención artística mira fragmentos de nuestra experiencia de ciudades, componedores de la ciudad completa. La ciudad central es un lugar que parece fuera de control, pero que pretendemos controlar a través del diseño. La ciudad como cuadrícula, como repetición, puede parecer sublime o puede resultar confusa y carcelaria. Las macrociudades nos ofrecen un espectáculo desolador de propagación urbana masificada; la megalópolis se extiende hacia arriba y a todos lados para albergar a ese 70%-80% de la población mundial que actualmente vive en las ciudades.

Este trabajo en la red representa espacios, espacios idealizados. No veo la “ciudad central” como una simulación. De hecho, no me interesa especialmente la simulación. Veo la evolución final del proyecto como una experiencia, una experiencia online en Internet, que puede contemplarse desde dentro del cubo blanco que es el ordenador. El marco, la cuadrícula que contiene este trabajo, es el ordenador e Internet. Imágenes de mapas que vuelven a dibujarse y procesarse, para lograr una ciudad en evolución perpetua. No es necesario recorrer caminos iguales.

LA CIUDAD COMO SONIDO

Me interesan los sonidos de lugares concretos y la forma en que los sonidos reflejan su identidad y restablecen las características de cada espacio o entorno. Cada ciudad tiene una identidad determinada y los sonidos que escuchamos en ella nos puede dar pistas sobre las personas que la habitan, además de provocar y estimular nuestros sentidos de una forma musical. Los sonidos del lenguaje imponen un ritmo con el que puede interactuar la narración visual. La intención dentro de las secciones más modernas de la ciudad central es crear una experiencia audiovisual que evoque el espacio, tanto en forma de descripción literal como de composición musical desarrollada. Estas son las ideas que conforman mi nueva serie de “mapas sonoros” y la “ciudad sonora”. La ciudad se codifica en formas crecientes basadas en patrones algorítmicos. La experiencia de la ciudad digital. Una experiencia lúdica no lejana a la propuesta por la crítica situacionista. Y como los situacionistas, también se pretende construir ciudades. Mi respuesta inicial en el proyecto de ciudad central, por ejemplo, fue deconstruir un lenguaje del entorno urbano y ciudadano y volver a construirlo como imagen artística para tratar de constituir una forma y un contenido nuevos. Si te colocas en el medio de esta estructura concreta, sólo encuentras el significado de la experiencia estética cuando decides pasar de un lugar al siguiente. Utilizo estos pequeños fragmentos como ritmos que interactúan con la parte siguiente y evolucionan en algo totalmente nuevo. Esas partes son células, elementos de un todo que se genera a sí mismo. La naturaleza de los sonidos y el ruido de las ciudades en tono y lenguaje. Un ritmo que antes era de fondo puede dejarse oír en primer plano. Se mezcla y evoluciona. La ciudad es su propia música, en constante transformación, una hermosa combinación de chirridos, martilleos y percusiones. La conocemos de sobra, pero no somos consciente de ella mientras nos bombardea. Sin embargo, los sonidos evolucionan, se generan, se mueven, mueren, languidecen y cambian. Los sonidos de la ciudad están ahí constantemente, no hay silencio, el código no se detiene. Los niños, los trenes, los taladros, los animales, los microsonidos, los sonidos de nuestros cuerpos, los sonidos de la calle, el interior de nuestras almas. Formas conocidas, identidades y sonidos que son comunes a todas las ciudades y, sin embargo, cada una tiene sus formas especiales que individualizan y distinguen cada lugar, cada espacio.

Todos los sonidos están grabados en minidisc de sus fuentes originales, para luego ser incorporados a la ciudad central. Los archivos de sonido tienen distintos funcionamientos: unos tienen forma de bucle, otros están mezclados y otros son generativos. Hay incluso una sección de máquina de discos en la que los sonidos salen de la jukebox desde el servidor y en casa uno puede organizar su propio karaoke, recitando las palabras sobre la banda sonora de la ciudad industrial.

LA CIUDAD INTERACTIVA

‘The central city’ se aparta del concepto de pieza “lineal”, optando más por una experiencia no lineal e interactiva que entrega al público parte del control sobre la obra. La ciudad te permite experimentar obras diferentes, dependiendo de la forma seleccionada para navegar. También se puede elegir un sistema aleatorio. Al igual que esta no linealidad, algunas de las piezas cambian con el tiempo, y el usuario puede controlar su funcionamiento e introducir cambios de sonido e imagen. Se podría decir que esta transformación de la relación entre el público y el artista modifica nuestra percepción de la obra artística. Presento una situación en que el público puede no sólo participar sino también decidir, contribuir a la forma y el contenido. La obra explora esta nueva relación entre el público y el artista. El usuario decide si quiere modificar sonidos e imágenes, dónde ir, qué ver, qué escuchar. Puede hacerlo mediante movimientos dentro de la cuadrícula. En definitiva, el usuario puede elegir la experiencia que desea tener, sintetizando medios, sistemas y fenómenos convergentes en el proceso.

LA CIUDAD COMO CÓDIGO

La ciudad se codifica en un número creciente de formas basadas en patrones algorítmicos. Es la ciudad digital, con un carácter lúdico no alejado del de la crítica situacionista. Y como los situacionistas, también se quiere construir ciudades. La ciudad central se ha convertido en una amalgama de ideas del campo del arte, la arquitectura, el diseño y el urbanismo, unidas dentro del espíritu y el genio del movimiento situacionista.

EL REINO DIGITAL

Mediante el ratón se introducen sonidos diferentes y el usuario puede tener cierto control sobre la experiencia. Además, en las secciones generativas las imágenes adquieren formas distintas y se mueven por la pantalla en un espacio tridimensional. Las secciones se controlan por posición o por ratón. Unos pequeños botones incorporan sonidos generativos a imágenes que van evolucionando y desapareciendo con el tiempo.

El proyecto de Central City se pensó específicamente para Internet, como pieza de arte en la red. Las restricciones técnicas y de diseño que impone el medio al que va destinado determinan el sonido y la imagen resultantes. Este trabajo se pensó esencialmente para Internet por el potencial que ofrece de llegar a un público mucho mayor. Mi idea del arte en la red es el que utiliza los protocolos de la red como medio. La obra ha de ser específica para la red, diseñada para Internet, debe utilizar elementos de html, javascript e incorporar también flash, shockwave y java. El arte en la red es comunicación global, interactiva. Es también relativamente barato y no tiene las limitaciones económicas que se encuentran en otras manifestaciones artísticas. La naturaleza de la web permite una mayor libertad frente a la censura actual y, debido a que sigue desarrollando su lenguaje, ofrece también una mayor libertad de expresión.

Muchas de estas obras están controladas principalmente por el ratón. Cuando el usuario lo mueve cambia la luz y la imagen. Se puede encontrar una copia de todo el proyecto en CD-Rom y también existen versiones que se pueden exhibir como instalación para espacios de mayores dimensiones. El proyecto ha evolucionado desde su nacimiento en 1997, hasta la forma que tiene en la actualidad, que es la versión 5 de 2003.

También se está desarrollando una versión que permite que el sitio web pueda verse en diversos ordenadores. El sitio web se proyecta utilizando varios proyectores, y al mismo tiempo los sonidos se envían a un software nuevo, especialmente escrito en max msp. Este software remezcla y fusiona los sonidos. El trabajo en este formato se ha exhibido en directo en varias ocasiones.

HISTORIA DE MIS IDEAS. OTROS PROYECTOS

‘The central city’ es una amalgama de ideas del campo del arte, la arquitectura, el diseño y el urbanismo. Sobre urbanismo han tratado también otros trabajos anteriores, como el LP “Conundrum” y obras en vídeo. En estos trabajos se entra en una región llena de sonidos construidos con precisión, creadores de atmósferas sombrías que evocan en quien los oye paisajes urbanos. “Conundrum”, de 1987, es un disco y vídeo conceptual sobre la naturaleza del entorno urbanístico de Londres. El vídeo está rodado en la zona sur de Londres y editado en estudios de televisión con un trabajo exhaustivo de post producción. El LP utiliza sonidos que se pueden oír en el entorno mezclados con un pesado paisaje industrial. De esta época es también “Artitextures” construido en un panel de pantallas de vídeo y que muestra temas del diseño urbano deconstruidos y repetidos en una cuadrícula. Se trata de una serie de imágenes y formas urbanas, continuamente editadas y reprocesadas que contienen fragmentos aislados de la vida en la ciudad. También es interesante la serie completa de pinturas de gran formato y obras basadas en fotografías. La serie “Control” está formada por pinturas al óleo en blanco y negro sobre lienzo del período 1990-1992 y la serie “New Decayed” de 1989 (ver www.stanza.co.uk).

La ciudad central recibe la influencia de estos trabajos sobre el entorno urbano realizados en otros medios, y como obra interactiva en la red ha evolucionado a lo largo de varios años hasta su actual forma y versión. El trabajo se inició en 1997 y la primera versión se puso en la red en 1997. Actualmente está en la versión cuarta e incluye obras como soundcities e inner city.

Cuestiones técnicas. Se necesita shockwave para algunas áreas y no se podrá escuchar mi música o los sonidos si no está instalado shockwave. Se puede descargar este plug-in del sitio web macromedia. Deseo agradecer a todos los que me han prestado su ayuda en las diferentes partes del proyecto, en especial a los arquitectos, urbanistas y habitantes urbanos. Gracias a todos los que me han ayudado con el código cuando lo he necesitado. Gracias a todos los buscadores que permiten el acceso a este trabajo, a las compañías de software y, en especial, a Adam Hoyle, director online, Atty, Toxi, Danny Brown, Vicky Forrester, Andy Wilson, Pelado, Crab, Dug Group, los códigos abiertos, la red y todo el freeware.

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El sitio web 2003 (Versión 5) consta de los siguientes trabajos:

INTRODUCCIÓN

La forma y el contenido de este trabajo es un mundo visual de la ciudad y su estructura. Redes de tecnología de la información se ponen en contraste con redes orgánicas y redes urbanas. La ciudad se convierte en una red orgánica de cuadrículas y diagramas. He querido desarrollar analogías para la identidad orgánica de la ciudad como comunidad urbana y establecer enlaces con redes electrónicas y comunidades virtuales. Esta interacción orgánica se pone en contraste con las estructuras realizadas por el ser humano, así como con las formas del diseño urbanístico. Cada aspecto de la vida en la ciudad parece mostrar características específicas que pueden transformarse en las diferentes partes del laberinto, componiendo las imágenes que se van a utilizar. La ciudad ha pasado de metrópolis a megalópolis y, finalmente, a ecumenópolis.

Central City

La ciudad central. Las más de treinta secciones que contiene incluyen: Transportron, maprouter, evolver, cuboid, univercity, transportron, textor, matrixity, fostexity, videotron, small worlds, etc. Cada una incluye además bandas sonoras y distintas opciones de imágenes, entornos tridimensionales y sonidos generativos. Central City es una pieza de arte en Internet, interactiva y audiovisual. Está formada por fragmentos de texto, con sonidos incorporados, especialmente concebida para Internet. La ciudad se convierte en una red orgánica de cuadrículas y diagramas en la que se yuxtaponen imágenes y sonidos urbanos.

Inner City

Inner City es una experiencia audiovisual e interactiva de arte en Internet que continúa la búsqueda del “alma de la ciudad”. En sus diversas áreas se encuentran entornos de sonido e imagen generativos construidos en espacios tridimensionales. La microciudad se convierte en una red orgánica de cuadrículas y diagramas. La forma y el contenido de este trabajo es un mundo visual de la ciudad y su estructura. Inner City es un laberinto interactivo que se desarrolla íntegramente en la red. Está formada por veinte secciones que incluyen virosity, artitexture, blackstar, complicity, cuboxis, intoxcity, megalopolis, organicity, phyletcity, revolver, utopias. También se han desarrollado ediciones con pantalla táctil, disponibles para su exhibición.

Soundcities

Composiciones sonoras de la interfaz urbana y audio del nuevo CD. El proyecto “soundcities” está íntegramente formado por sonidos existentes y paisajes sonoros extraídos de los miles de muestras recogidos por mí. Me interesan los sonidos de cada lugar concreto y la forma en que los sonidos reflejan su identidad y restablecen las características de cada espacio o entorno. He recogido y grabado los sonidos de las siguientes ciudades: Sao Paulo, Londres, París, Dresden, Amsterdam, Saltburg, Graz, Rotterdam, Barcelona, San Sebastián, Manchester, Liverpool, Ljubiana, Frankfurt, Oporto, Estambul, México, Chicago. Estos sonidos constituyen la base del nuevo CD soundcities. También realizo una performance en la que utilizo las aplicaciones de Central City y los sitios web en dos ordenadores portátiles para generar estos datos de sonido e imagen.

CCITYV

Monitorización constante de las ciudades del mundo. El estado emocional de la “metropolicía”. Proyecto sobre la subvergencia de la vigilancia. Unas webcams recogen imágenes de ciudades de todo el mundo en tiempo real. Estas imágenes son trasladadas a u sistema de software donde son reelaboradas por una serie de canales especializados. Estos canales están siempre en marcha y siempre transformándose, ofreciendo una vista constante de las ciudades del mundo evolucionando con el tiempo. Utiliza software y tecnología a medida para viajar aleatoriamente por el mundo e integrar las imágenes captadas por las cámaras. Personas que miran a personas que miran las ciudades. Incluye las siguientes secciones: tormented, bleeding, earthquakes.

Biocity

18 espacios virales emergentes generativos que ahondan en las analogías de la identidad orgánica de la ciudad. La ciudad como código, conocimiento emergente y estructuración de memoria. La ciudad se codifica en una serie de formas crecientes basadas en patrones algorítmicos. Mediante sistemas generativos las imágenes adquieren forma, se transforman y se mueven por la pantalla. El sistema lleva integrado un procesador de sonido generativo. Todos los sonidos proceden de la ciudad, y son reprocesados en tiempo real. Los sonidos de la ciudad no se detienen; no hay silencio, el código no para. Incluye 18 secciones diferentes. Requiere como mínimo G4 o Pentium 4.

Soundscraper

Seis instalaciones generativas audiovisuales que fusionan imágenes y sonidos en un espacio lúdico en la red. Las imágenes están controladas principalmente por movimientos de ratón y posición. Cuando el usuario mueve el ratón, la luz y la imagen cambian. Se pueden montar como instalaciones en las que los visitantes mueven las imágenes al moverse ellos por el espacio.

Photocity

Entorno online de imágenes basadas en fotografías tomadas en ciudades de todo el mundo y procesadas en una fusión modernista de imagen y sonido. Una selección de imágenes diferentes de diversas ciudades del mundo, en las que he tomado miles de fotografías. Esta primera serie reúne sonidos e imágenes de Dresden desde 2001. Fusiona también los sonidos que se escuchan en lugares determinados. La ciudad ha pasado de metrópolis a megalópolis y, finalmente, a ecumenópolis. La forma y el contenido de este trabajo es un mundo visual de la ciudad y su estructura. Fragmentos artísticos de nuestra experiencia de las ciudades y que componen toda la ciudad.

Sonicity

La webcam recoge sonidos en directo y los traslada a mi base de datos, al tiempo que los recompone. La interfaz online te permite conectar directamente con este sistema y realizar tus propias mezclas urbanas generativas. Un código generativo especial reorganiza estos sonidos naturales de las calles, el sonido de lo urbano. Incluye un sistema que permite el uso de sistemas audio generativos en la red. Los sonidos de la ciudad son trasladados a un espacio emergente continuo con el que se puede interactuar.

Soundmaps

Soundmaps toma los sonidos del lugar en que se pueden escuchar. Es un conjunto de mapas sonoros interactivos que se pueden adaptar para cualquier ciudad del mundo y crecen hasta crear un laberinto de multitud de mapas basados en los sonidos de la calle. Las primeras versiones se utilizaron en mi proyecto de Central City en 1998. En las nuevas versiones se exploran las relaciones entre los sonidos de la ciudad y su estructura urbana. Dependiendo de dónde estés en un momento determinado, los sonidos de la ciudad son otra vez recogidos por la red de cuadrículas y diagramas.

Estos trabajos pueden exhibirse en forma de instalaciones. Algunos de ellos pueden mostrarse en pantallas táctiles especiales y también se ha desarrollado una performance que incorpora Central City y Soundcities.

Three exhibitions currently featuring my work. April 2010

March 30th, 2010

Three exhibitions currently featuring my work using data, and ideas connected with surveillance space, mapping, landscape and networked spaces. April 2010

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Image: Stanza live real time city data visualisation. 2007

1. ”Map Marking” features five works by artists and designers who employ digital technology to create maps, annotate them or intervene in the mapping process. Taken as a whole this exhibition represents a personalized cartography that endows maps and the spaces to which they are linked with the ephemera of life, from the fleeting sensations of the environment to the transitory movements of people and their emotions.
Apr. 6 – May 7, 2010, tue – fri, 12 – 6 pm, with a reception on Apr. 21st at 6:00 pm. The PDG show description (http://csis.pace.edu/digitalgallery/ ).

2. 2. “Park” Towneley Park Burnely as part of AND festival. April 2010 Looking towards the window in the gallery you can see a digital virtual landscape of the view through the window. The artist has embedded an image of the real world inside the artwork and using a network of multiple wireless sensors in Towneley Park he has recorded light, temperature, noise, humidity using customised environmental technologies. The painterly squiggles on the image show the data and the sounds you can hear are streams of data which the artist has turned into sound. http://www.stanza.co.uk/possibilities/index.html

3. Decode at V & A. Until 11 th April.  Sensing the gallery and the environment to make art. The results are the visualisation and sonification of real time spaces. Using custom made sensors in the V & A Porter gallery and around the city. 20 custom environmental sensors units measure, light, noise, sound, humidity, and temperature….this data is turned into a online real time visualisation of the space. Stanza’s work “Sensity V & A” uses environmental sensors scattered all over the museum and the city to make visualisation and sonifications. Literally painting with data these works open up a discourse about networks and surveillance technologies. The ownership and interrogation of public domain space is opened out where anyone can view all the data in these networks. This is used by stanza to make artworks but it is of equal interest to urban designers, city planners, and architects. Stanza’s main point is to question the social political fabric of the landscape around us. This work aim to reclaim the city which is remade as a real time virtualised space belonging to all. The work is interactive, real time and responsive; it is also available online. http://www.soundcities.com/va/

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Image: Stanza Sensity V@A Decode Show.

“Visitors to a Gallery”- Exhibition. Plymouth Arts Centre.

March 4th, 2010
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Image: Stanza. Title "Visitors To A Gallery" - 2007

This artwork uses the live CCTV system inside an art gallery to create a responsive mediated architecture.  This project continues where Publicity version one (2004) left off, ie hacking or utitlizing existing real time CCTV networks.

This version is made inside the Plymouth arts centre where I was artist in residence for a month (feb 2008).

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.

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Image: Stanza. Title "Visitors To A Gallery" - 2007

Stanza real Time Smart City featured at Decode at V & A. Sensing the gallery and the environment to make art.

March 4th, 2010
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Stanza: Decode at V & A. Sensors all Over The Gallery

Last few days to  see decode at the V & A. London.This is what it looked like in 2008.

Its been quite a success despite the difficulty in keeping my  live sensor network running for a month. Sensing the gallery and the environment to make art. The results are the visualisation and sonification of real time spaces. Using custom made sensors in the V & A Porter gallery and around the city. 20 custom environmental sensors units measure, light, noise, sound, humidity, and temperature….this data is turned into a online real time visualisation of the space.

Stanza Sensors On Google Maps

Stanza Sensors On Google Maps

 

 

Stanza exhibits real time data network at Decode: Digital Design Sensations. V & A Porter gallery

November 22nd, 2009

Stanza is in this show…Digital Design Sensations. 8 December 2009 – 11 April 2010.

Using custom made sensors in the V & A Porter gallery and around the city. 20 custom environmental sensors units measure, light, noise, sound, humidity, and temperature….this data is turned into a online real time visualisation of the space.

Stanza’s work “Sensity V & A” uses environmental sensors scattered all over the museum and the city to make visualisation and sonifications. Literally painting with data these works open up a discourse about networks and surveillance technologies. The ownership and interrogation of public domain space is opened out where anyone can view all the data in these networks. This is used by stanza to make artworks but it is of equal interest to urban designers, city planners, and architects. Stanza’s main point is to question the social political fabric of the landscape around us. This work aim to reclaim the city which is remade as a real time virtualised space belonging to all. The work is interactive, real time and responsive; it is also available online.

The Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition will be centred in the Porter Gallery. The exhibition will explore three themes. Code as a Raw Material will present pieces that use computer code to create new designs in the same way a sculptor works with materials such as clay or wood. This section will look at how code can be programmed to create constantly fluid and ever changing objects. The second theme, Interactivity, will look at designs where the viewer directly influences the work. Visitors will be invited to interact with and contribute to the development of the works, many of which show designers playing with the boundaries of design and performance. The final theme, The Network, will focus on works that comment on and utilise the digital traces left behind by everyday communications, from blogs in social media communities to mobile communications or satellite tracked GPS systems.

http://feeds.vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/future_exhibs/Decode/index.html

Sensity by Stanza as part of Decode: Digital Design Sensations at the V and A. I wont be showing the globe but I will be showing live data visualisation of London and the V @ A.

Drones and Surveillance

February 27th, 2009

Image of new Police CCTV gear.

Remote-controlled drones are already used widely by the military. And they are coming to a city near you.

Now ministers believe they are likely to become ‘increasingly useful’ for police work. Armed with heat-seeking cameras, the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles would hover hundreds of feet in the air, gathering intelligence and watching suspects.In theory, their advantages are clear. They are cheaper and quieter than conventional helicopters, can circle their target for hours without refuelling – and they don’t get bored on long surveillance missions. The plan to deploy ‘spy in the sky’ planes is outlined in the Home Office’s latest Science and Innovation Strategy. It says: ‘Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are likely to be an increasingly useful tool for police in the future, potentially reducing the number of dangerous situations the police may have to enter and also providing evidence for prosecutions and support police operations in “real time”.Two years ago, Tony McNulty, then a Home Office minister, acknowledged that scientists were exploring the use of UAV technology for a ‘range of policing and security applications’. But the document cautions: ‘We need to investigate how such vehicles could be used, and their ability to provide high-quality evidence for convictions.’ There are also safety concerns surrounding the planes. Those used by the military are prone to crashes on takeoff and landing. Many have been lost over battlefields.

A trial by Merseyside police, of £30,000 ( not inc training costs)  remote-controlled miniature helicopters with still, video or infra-red cameras, highlighted more mundane problems related to battery life and the effects of bad weather on flights. Mark Wallace, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘I think a lot of people would be concerned at the Home Office looking to use technology more generally associated with the tribal borders of Pakistan and the fight against terror over British towns to watch the British public. The flying robo-constable is also “almost silent” in use, and “allows entirely covert operation”.The distributor spokesman said the aircraft are “military derived…obviously I can’t talk too much about that particular use…they are essentially reconnaissance tools.” Since the microdrone isn’t listed among those used by the regular military, this might indicate that the British special forces have taken an interest in the diminutive stealth-chopper, perhaps in a counter-terrorism role.

This would fit in with the Merseyside police reported plans to test it in firearms operations, as well as for more mundane tasks such as monitoring traffic congestion and crowds. So the CCTV revolution continues unabated. Liverpool has gone from Jamie Bulger ( CCTV abduction)  to aerial surveillance and still big brother and the mother of big brother uses money that  could be better spent elsewhere.

Still, as with all things wireless there are workarounds and if you have to  find one lying on the concrete in Bootle its sure to fetch a nice price on Ebay.

Interactive LEDS…say something please.

February 22nd, 2009

Sometimes I get all excited about leds, responsive architecture and sometimes I just think where is the depth of thinking in the current crop of publicly funded artworks. Maybe architecture need to shout and scream to be heard, maybe we need to re-discover the hidden parts of the city….. but, this isn’t art….it something else….

In an age of environmental and economic uncertainty, why is it there is just so many flashing eye candy architectural projects. We have Lab AU, Jason Bruges, Cinomod Studios, United Visual Artists…even Soda…..come on guys say something real about the world with some cultural relevance; or say anything beyond; hey it a playspace and you can control the lights by moving about……I  think Martin Creed did this one the best already)…

Parting shot: Graffiti is better in an underpass than this sort of thing….http://dobpler.com./images/front.jpg. The work appears seductive, technology does that all by itself, but where is the depth in this work. But maybe it will make the kids put the spray cans away….so it pleases the funding bodies. I personally hope its ‘sorted’ out at street level within the week.

I like the sentence about no “intrusive surveillance” involved (from  their website) , maybe thats fence sitting Scandinavian speak to get the commission in the bag, but if your going down this route don’t be afraid to ask the questions.

How to  make more than just flashing lights. The image below shows a proposal to use the CCTV images inside the building on the outside of the building. Presented to Colston Hall 2005.

Copyright Image by Stanza CCTV feeds 2005.

Stanza artwork, a proposal to use the CCTV images inside the building on the outside of the building. Presented to Colston Hall 2005.

Image above copyright Stanza. Live data tracked from CCTV system.

Tracking Robots

February 15th, 2009
Copyright Image by Stanza

Copyright Image by Stanza.Tracking robots over time in my studio. 2006

I have twelve robots now with gps. Here is a camera tracking experiment using max to  following the traces of the robots.  I am now using gps on the robots  via the motes to  track them in real time outside.

CCTV in the UK. Stanza 2006

February 6th, 2009
Copyright Image by Stanza

Copyright Image by Stanza 2007. Monument CCTV artwork.

Copyright Image by Stanza

We are becoming obsessed with spying on each and in the extreme maybe we have to be extreme. My Monument above is a sculpture, a robotic CCTV system for spying on us except its right in the middle of the city.

It’s interesting that CCTV in the UK has become so prevalent; however it’s strange it’s taken until now for the press to realize there is something to be concerned about.  [“Surveillance is Really Getting Under my Skin”…by Henry Porter 19.11.2006]  Up until recently this technology was mediocre at best.  The concepts that fuelled this infrastructure seemed to lean to Orwell and the deployment of all CCTV has been paid for by and large using public money which could have been spent elsewhere (housing hospitals schools etc)

We are becoming obsessed with spying on each and in the extreme maybe we have to be extreme. My monument above is a sculpture, a robotic CCTV system for spying on us except its right in the middle of the city.etc).

The question is, how are these new technologies being sold to government? Ie the hugely costly National Health database or ID cards schemes.  In both cases new technologies sold largely untested. In so many cases new technologies are bought by ministers who don’t understand the technology.  How could they understand these implications of these technologies?  They couldn’t understand that in the early days of CCTV most cameras would run out of tape and all of the rest would probably have such bad lenses that you couldn’t see anything anyway. However, it is their duty to understand the conceptual unpinning of the tech rather than how it works.  And the conceptual underpinning seems to have been ignored, or if it hasn’t been ignored then this has gone on unchecked and un-monitored.  Rather like a bush fire, once one system had been put in place by one council; they all followed suite. None of them really checked to see how these systems actually worked or where evaluated.  Plenty of people here have spent plenty of other peoples money fuelling a whole industry to watch us moving about just to spot a few criminals.) or has there always been a bigger picture , a master plan)

Despite ten years of poor CCTV and stories of people  getting attacked only to find  CCTV systems  not  working, the powers  that be,  have stuck  with this  agenda  and  now  the tech (  after  huge development and investment)  can read the time off your  wristwatch.  So know we have men sit in kiosks watching our movement through city space and software that can detect patterns on the flow, where you are going.

Now the technology has got interesting there are other considerations.  The patterns we weave through our urban infrastructure can inform us about our urban and rural environment.  But these systems should be used to watch people, we should trust our people.  The premise of all this current deployment is mistrust.  Ie these systems have been put in for the wrong reasons.

As  much  as people  watch and vet  criminal activity  for employment in schools  etc  who is  watching  these  people  watching  and monitoring  these systems.

Certainly data bases of information are growing and expanding and in theory the public think there are hackers out there using sophisticated techniques to get access to data.  By and large back doors  are like  all doors,  most  entry is  done because the doors  aren’t closed ie they  are  left  open . The idea of thinking about back doors is to  suggest that criminals are looking to  leverage there way in (  although this my be the case ) it its  too focused  of the criminal misuse  of collective  data and not focused enough on what value the data give the collective.

There is  far  worse  response  it  the collective  abuse  by  the owners  of these  systems, this is what needs to  be monitored  Take the  national  DNA  database  which is owned by the forensic science department. Who owns this data, could it ever be sold. How else is the data being exploited?  Who owns each individuals data, surely we each and all own the copyright to our own DNA.  Why is the state taking our possessions, our DNA and re appropriating our data like another tax. Although they say they seek to protect us (ie the reason for collecting the data)   how are they actually protecting my data? How do they seek to exploit ‘ property’ which is mine that has a value?  Why do I feel abused?

More importantly in the systems data can be mined in ways that we cannot conceive. The development of new algorithms, data mining, and computer techniques can leverage and present new meaning from these systems in ways that we haven’t come close to guessing at.  These new  data  sets  can be  exploited  for  corporate  gain, even though  the  data  belongs to the individual.

This  data  can  also  be exploited to   track   patterns  that  we  have  spent  the  best  part  of the  20th C  trying  to   avoid, ie  totalitarian,  iron curtains,  Bentham observation  systems where everyone  is  spying on everyone.

Stanza London Art

Stanza London Art. Live CCTV visualisation. 2005

For example lets  get  complicated  and mix  your  tax  records  with  patterns  of spending  from your credit cards, and  your DNA type,  mix  this  up   with you  mobile phone  records  and  we  can probably  find  for  example  any man of Irish decent  who is married that might have bought a  condom….or  Muslim who travels regularly  or….

The  issue  with most  of  this  vulnerability  of new  technology is  that most  people who  want to  use  it have  no  idea  how  to   use  it,  or  no idea  that  thing  can always  be  used  for  others  reasons.  Example  mobile  phone  for speech communication  is  now  widely  used  as  typewriter text  editor for sending tested messages.  This is just an example of a ubiquitous technology that goes to market and the people that brought it to market aren’t even aware what it might be used for. (I mean who would have guessed it)

Now  with  CCTV  and chips and  data mining  of  databases  things  are  getting complex, without  some  ethical  monitoring  we  will have no   idea  what  is  being sourced  here  and how  its  is  being  used and  abused.  Nor will we have any idea how this data is being shifted around, cross referenced and exploited by companies and governments never mind terrorists and criminals.

Maybe the world is indeed full  of  criminals but  by and large we shouldn’t baton  down the hatches Let  the data be  made  public, open it up…..not  just one  gate  keeper. Everyone whose data is on the system should have access. Lets try another approach lets trust one another.

stanza

CCTV images are being recorded

I believe we should remove the passwords. What is the point of just trusting a select few people we don’t know we should trust everyone. It’s surely better to trust everyone than to mistrust everyone which is the road we have taken.

The Emergent City. Online visualizations, the networked city.

November 11th, 2008
stanza city

Stanza City: Generative Software System.

This text is a transcript of one of my talk about my work The Emergent City.

My current work remains focused on the creative use of technology integrated into urban space.My areas of interest include investigating new concepts for the relationship of the physical body, emergent data and real space in the built environment.

As an artist I am trying to create artistic metaphors for new creativity using new technologies and integrating new media artworks into the public domain. As an artist I am trying to create artistic metaphors for new creativity using new technologies and integrating new media artworks into the public domain. There are three strands of my working process; these involve; collecting the data, visualizing the data, and then displaying the data. The outputs from the online interfaces and online visualizations can be realized as real time dynamic artworks as diverse as installations, and real objects, made out of new display materials back in physical space. In all my work I try to exploit the changing dynamics of city life as a source for creativity and create meaningful artistic metaphors. I utilize new technologies and integrate new media artworks into the public domain as part of this ongoing research into the visualization of city space.

In essence I am researching data as a medium for creativity and how meaningful experiences of our cities may result. From a technological peprspective, I am researching sensors , motes, new display technologies and interactive architectures. This research includes investigations into…..Concepts for the relationship of mobile computing within urban space and the built environment.

The Emergent city is to be a group, a body of artworks that I am working on 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 retrieved 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 is to ‘mediate’ data into conceptual artifacts. With this perspective 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. So under this umbrella of ‘the emergent city’ project I have made a number of works that have move beyond the process of research, beyond what I term as asset gathering, into what might be alpha beta projects. An example of this is my URBAN GENERATION project. I have also made the online database for soundcities which now has 2000 sounds online line in it. So other artists can interface to it. Memory mapping. About traces and memories of urban space. Multiple viewpoints of data cities. 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 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 and id card movement tracking in the guise of anti- terror activity. The patterns we make, the forces we weave, are all being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and sourced for information. These patterns all disclose new ways of seeing the world. The value of information will be a new currency as power change. The central issue that will develop will be the privilege and access to these data sources. 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 Currently a research fellow at Goldsmiths Digital Studios.

datacity

Datacity: Sensors In The City. Stanza Visualisation.

I am scattering the city with sensors. Hundreds of them, some fixed, and some embedded, to access these data structures and to claim them for the public domain within the realm of social sculptures.I am trying to make smart networks that have data open to all, and not closed off spy surveillance oriented systems. The networks could be thought of as open social sculptures that can inform the world and create new meaningful experiences. Thousands of motes can be deployed across the city for gathering data in wireless sensor networks. Used in large numbers they can communicate with one another via radio signals across the network. They can reconfigure themselves, so that the network stays stable. The data is chanelled through a system to a point where it can then be interpreted. So the concept is to embed the city with thousands of motes to gather data for the creation of artistic artifacts. The motes can monitor sensors such as temperature, sounds, light, position, acceleration, vibration, stress, weight, pressure, humidity, and GPS. Motes and sensor boards can 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. 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 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.

So this is where I am at..scattering thousands sensors across the city and trying to figure this out.Sensity artworks are made from the data that is collected across the urban and environment infrastructure. I have a network of sensors which collects 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 will be used to create installations and sculptural artifacts.These artworks represent the movement of people, pollution in the air, the vibrations and sounds of buildings, they are 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 an open social sculpture that informs the world and creates new meaningful experiences. Sensity is also a highly technical project that will give 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 enable new artistic metaphors within city space. The sensors are positioned across the city. Custom made software enables these sensors to communicate will one another in a network over a proxy server in real time. The data can also be used to create visualizations in an open source environment. Other online users can also re- interpret the data and interrogate the various sensors in the network as this is open sourced as well (see xml streams)l. Representations of these datasets will allow unique understanding of the urban environment and environment in real time. Motes are used to collect the data.

stanza

Datacity: Sensors In The City. Stanza Visualisation.

The ‘motes’ are tiny wireless sensor boards that gather data and communicate to the central server. The real world is monitored and the data stored in my archive retrieval system. Motes and sensor boards sense the micro incidents of change in the weather, the noise traffic flows and people flows. The interactions of all this data, controlled via interfaces that can re-form and re-contextualize experiences in real time. Sensity incorporates the 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. The archives of this data can be controlled via mixed up interfaces that can re-form and re-contextualize experiences in real time; to make emergent sculptures visualizations and sculptures. 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. Future cities will be merged real time connected up data cities. Sensity connects up networks of real time information flows. The results are mashed up cities and real time performative city mashings. The shared data space can overlap and there is a new space the space in between that only two nodes share. The aetheticization of the shared city space. I have merged collected data from various cities. The images below show an integrated architecture the space where the cities overlap and create a new architectural space. Technology. I now have several sensor kits both twenty nodes that can be placed up to 300 meters apart with GPS. I have made two versions of the Sensity interface software. One works with recorded data (ie recorded data) and one that works with the real time data, which means the sensors are switched on always and working through a router. The changing data is what affects what you see and experience. The sensors can monitor temperature, sounds, noise, light, acceleration, vibration, pressure, humidity, and gps. The sensors take a constant stream of data which is published onto an online environment where different interface can make representations of the XML and from this lots of artistic interpretations can be imagined.

Other artworks made:- HOUSE AND GALLERY:

see stanza.co.uk stanza (04 – 08)

ddc

Datacity: Sensors In The City. Stanza Visualisation.

Stanza at V&A: Robotica – Control Inside the Panopticon. Robot paintings 2008

November 11th, 2008

V&A Presents Cold War Modern Friday 31 October 2008 Join us for an evening to celebrate the exhibition, Cold War Modern: Design 1945–1970. Cybersonica and Cybersalon showcase an evening of progressive electronic music and audiovisual performance, accessible interactive and digital art, thought-provoking screenings and classic and contemporary gaming.

In more detail:Stanza: Robotica – Control Inside the Panopticon. Gallery 47f or Sackler. 18.30-21.45

Stanza: Robotica – Control Inside the Panopticon

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.

Twelve robots – each identified with a prison inmate number – roam freely on a canvas on the floor. These robotic prisoners are sent out across the canvas with small tasks to complete. Police “barrier tape” keeps the robots inside their controlled space. The robots are tracked – everything is watched and recorded since each robot wears a wireless CCTV camera – and shown on a monitor as a record of the event.

Like people, robots have common ‘modes’ and can be programmed to demonstrate social behaviour. The robots mimic and trace the patterns people make based on algorithms – but 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. Their “wanderings” over the evening are captured onto the canvas. They create their own robotic generative paintings in their own little prison.

Stanza robot paintings 2008

Stanza robot paintings 2008

Theory Of Evolution Of Cities Links Science, Fractal Geometry

May 27th, 2008

Theory Of Evolution Of Cities Links Science, Fractal Geometry

All from this link:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080215211940.htm

ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2008) — A paper by Professor Michael Batty (UCL CASA) published in ‘Science’ and the video that accompanies this highlights a new way of looking at cities that has emerged during the last 20 years that could revolutionise planning and ultimately benefit city dwellers.

‘The Size, Scale and Shape of Cities’ advocates an integrated approach to the theory of how cities evolve by linking urban economics and transportation behaviour with developments in network science, allometric growth and fractal geometry.

Professor Batty argues that planning’s reliance on the imposition of idealised geometric plans upon cities is rooted in the nineteenth century attitude which viewed cities as chaotic, sprawling and dirty. Instead, he reports research that suggests beneath the apparent chaos, there is a strong order: “Cities are the example par excellence of complex systems: emergent, far from equilibrium, requiring enormous energies to maintain themselves, displaying patterns of inequality spawned through agglomeration and intense competition for space, and saturated flow systems that use capacity in what appear to be barely sustainable but paradoxically resilient networks.”

These geometrical plans, such as Ebenezer Howard’s ‘Garden City of Tomorrow’, propose an ideal city size and structure, which according to Professor Batty, ignores the way in which real cities develop: “Idealised cities are simply too naïve with respect to the workings of the development process, and competition for the use of space that characterises the contemporary city and the degree of diversity and heterogeneity that the most vibrant cities manifest.”

Instead, according to Professor Batty, cities grow through allometry – growth at different rates – resulting in a change of proportion – and this changes the energy balance used to sustain them. “Network science provides a way of linking size to the network forms that enable cities to function in different ways. The impacts of climate change, the quest for better performance, and the seemingly intractable problems of ethnic segregation and deprivation due to failures in job and housing markets can all be informed by a science that links size to scale and shape through information and material and social networks that constitute the essential functioning of cities.”

While Professor Batty is quick to point out that the method of looking at how cities function as complex systems is still in its infancy, he is confident that the past and continuing practice of imposing an idealised geometric system on them won’t resolve current urban ills. “This new science makes us much more aware of the limits of planning. It is likely to lead to a view that as we learn more about the functioning of such complex systems, we will interfere less but in more appropriate ways

stanza_kaleidoscopic_robots

stanza kaleidoscopic robots software 2007

Stanza artwork….2007

Participatory Urbanism

May 23rd, 2008
Stanza Image.

Amber stanza with CCTV data globe (no reproduction rights allowed) 2005

Copyright Image by Stanza 2004

We argue there are two indisputable facts about our future mobile devices:

(1) that they will be equipped with more sensing and processing capabilities and (2) that they will also be driven by an architecture of participation and democracy that encourages users to add value to their tools and applications as they use them.

What happens when individual mobile devices are augmented with novel sensing technologies such as noise pollution, air quality, UV levels, water quality, etc? We claim that it will shatter our understanding of these devices as simply communication tools (a.k.a. phones) and celebrates them in their new role as measurement instruments. We envision a wide range of novel physical sensors attached to mobile devices, empowering everyday non-experts with new “super-senses” and abilities. All quoted from the website. Participatory Urbanism

stanza_softwarepeople_trails

Stanza image tracking people from CCTV 2004.