Posts Tagged ‘visualisation’

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

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Stanza image tracking people from CCTV 2004.

Surveillance artworks: experiments with realtime images.

October 22nd, 2007

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Stanza artwork: Live CCTV online remixed in real time. 2004

Projects with tangible outcomes for the mobile infrastructures. Using CCTV to create emergent artefacts and new ways of seeing the city. In the UK there is one CCTV camera for every 14 people. If you are in London, you could be caught on camera up to 300 times a day. Westminster City Council in London have come up with a solution – CCTV cameras without wires, which broadcast their pictures back to base using the council’s new wireless network. The advantage a wi-fi network camera is the mobility.

The pilot scheme uses five discreet cameras to monitor people’s comings and goings in Soho Square. Wireless CCTV cameras make it easier for more and more cameras to be installed.

“Within the Soho Square we have a network of wireless LAN bridges providing blanket coverage throughout the square,” said Tim Hearn of Cisco Systems which is providing some of the technology. “Down the narrows streets, Greek Street and Frith Street, we have Wi-Fi pointing down those streets as well so they give us coverage down there.” So that’s a network of wireless LAN devices that we then plug into CCTV cameras, we provide access to mobile workers that will have laptops of mobiles working with them, or maybe some specialist devices. “We’re also linking into noise monitoring devices or other sensors,” he said. Sourced from the BBC website.

The city already has a recorded source of data, cctv is everywhere. Using data from cctv, artists can bring the outside inside. Selected feeds are collected from around the city in real time. These real time images can be fed into software systems where a series of specialised channels rework these images. The channels are always on, and always changing, a constant view of any city or environment evolving around the clock.

I have made a system or art project called ccityv which uses specially created software and technology to randomly engage any camera globally. The system can grab images from any source.

I have to extend this to network cameras in the Bristol area. It is now possible to go further and get everyone in Bristol to tell us where webcams and cctv systems are; we could also set up some of our own. We can then grab all this imagery and edit it rework it and manipulate it inside the software.

Using pdas we can also send users to find the cameras to be recorded and re-engage with the world of surveillance. This system can capture portraits to monitor, and we can use it to tell stories and narrative in the street that can come into the ccityv project. This allows a process to start whereby we can get the outside inside and the inside outside. Data maps can be set up using the mobile Bristol software so that users can find these cameras and put themselves in the pictures. Then when it is updated you would be updated into the archive online. So the public can have all sorts of fun with this. The public can use cameras to make narratives, take portraits, subvert the surveillance process etc.

My system is online and can be engaged with in the everyday use by anyone. Most importantly it is inside the gallery projecting onto display devices. Note this is in real time, it is also online (see urls below); see the date and time stamp on each one. Also if a camera does not load please wait and a new one will be found immediately. Sometimes cameras go offline. The first image to load is a ‘dummy’ image.

Stanza artworks using CCTV

URBAN GENERATION

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

YOU ARE MY SUBJECTS

http://www.stanza.co.uk/i_spy/index.htm

http://www.thecentralcity.co.uk/ccityv/

http://www.stanza.co.uk

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Stanza image of cctv artwork.

The results are like an online realtime vj system mixing CCTV  images from around the worlds in real time.

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Cloud of data in Bristol. 2003. Live data responsive system

The Central City by Stanza in Art Monthly

April 22nd, 2006
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Image: Stanza artwork shows live CCTV feeds. 2006

This is a review of  The Central City by Stanza in Art  Monthly 2002. Since the advent of modernity the experience of the city has been characterised by a vibrant mix of audio-visual sensations. Signs, streets, buildings, reflections, voices, traffic merge into a chaotic simultaneity that is always more than the sum of its parts. The city’s networks and rhythms are also mirrored in the virtual realm of cyberspace and data transmission. While we all know what actual, living cities look like, many attempts at representing cybercities rely on a reductionist aesthetic of simulation, glossily rendered depictions of ‘liquid architecture’ or complex exchanges of information (as in the projects of Knowbotic Research). What both worlds (as well as much art, of course) have in common is the grid, a cellular structure that inevitably proliferates through arterial streets and cables into urban sprawl or information overload. Stanza has been mining the urban environment for imagery since the early 80s, initially in the form of large, monochrome paintings of South London tower blocks, offices and architectural details, then in photographs that experimented with various darkroom techniques, followed by videos displaying a repetitive grid structure and which are also available from the artist in the form of wallpaper. Stanza’s fragmentary, immersive approach to the transient flux of urban structures reaches its apogee in The Central City, an online Internet-specific work that is now in its third version (www.the centralcity.co.uk). Each of its 30 sections, or ‘areas’, consists of several Shockwave movies that combine animated digital imagery based on urban motifs, including maps, buildings, towers and streets, with sound samples taken from the same urban environment. Much of the material is self-generating – that is, as the user mouses over different areas, different sequences are activated as overlays and replicating patterns of organic shapes. The effect is quite stunning, as the user feels empowered to use the mouse like a brush, painting a continually evolving canvas and soundscape, choosing new mixes from a palette of effects. Digital sprawl becomes a metaphor for the living organism that is urban chaos.

While the pristine sterility of the Corbusian city has given way to the dystopian reality of crumbling tower blocks, so too has cyberspace been corrupted by viral infections and rabid, self-generating organisms. This is reflected in the names that Stanza has given to the different areas of The Central City, such as ‘megalopotron’, ‘matrixity’ and ‘germix’. Other sections, like ‘small worlds’ or ‘fibrinet’, are almost painterly in a Futurist sort of way, while others exploit the computer’s well-known ability to make semi-transparent, three-dimensional cubes rotate on their axes. ‘Proser’ offers poetic meditations (appropriately formatted as stanzas) on the urban condition, some of which can also be sung along to in another section that features a jukebox (for streaming audio) and a karaoke machine.
The works are all contained within the window of the frame, itself a grid structure whose coordinates determine the position of the user’s cursor. This is the point at which Stanza’s works become interactive, since they depend on mouse movements.

Having begun as a painter, Stanza still hopes that his interactive audio-visual digital works can somehow be appreciated within the tradition of painting. His Amorphoscapes (www.amorphoscapes.com) are actually described as paintings and are designed to be shown in the form of projections or large plasma screens which would change according to movements of people in the room. It is even envisaged that multiple users would be able to control the appearance of artworks via online networks using wireless technologies.

Like the movies in The Central City, the Amorphoscapes use generative sounds and navigable images based on an ingenious programming language that offers the user plenty of surprises, although there is a danger that the form achieves more prominence than the content. Stanza has also initiated the soundtoys.net website which offers a platform and showcase for other artists working with new audiovisual media. At present it hosts more than 50 projects, many of which use Shockwave or Flash formats to present new forms of graphical interfaces offering users considerable control over mixing the audio and visual elements. Soundtoys exhibits the diversity of the Internet and the explosion as well as the convergence of new digital technologies, particularly in the area of generative and interactive programming.

Michael Gibbs.  Art Monthly. March 2002

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Sensity: The online interfacing of live real time sensors networks allows a communication with environment, with real space in the present.

January 10th, 2006

Screen-Shot-2013-08-10-at-21.43.03dSensity: Environments. The ‘environment’ in these projects is created from a wireless multi nodal multi sensor network that is in place. The analogue is made digital and the digital can be formed into a variety of output devices.The flow of the data can be set to affect the behaviour of the output environment. The data environment that is created is a mapped on top of the space, a virtual data map or the real world. The environment is intelligent its just that we don’t know how to communicate with this space yet.

Within Sensity there is now a loop from the real to the virtual and back to the real. 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 this xml online gateway.

We have seen rich shift in relational and responsive interactive works and the move away from gallery as a venue for art to the use of architecture and public domain space in the last twenty years.

In an age of global warming, so many artists are still using the architectural space as a coloured light bulb. As we burn more fossil fuels the light are flashing on and off.

Can Sensity be made more physical on output to represent of the growth of the city as an experience in the real world away from the screen. A city representation of the fabric of city space end the emerging patterns caused by these data flows.

An art city can be made where the data powers the wind turbines, the data changing the solar panels that change the lights. Loops of real time data change the meaning all the while changing the input and output which is (e)merging into a new space.

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Can Sensity be made more physical on output to represent of the growth of the city as an experience in the real world away from the screen. A city representation of the fabric of city space end the emerging patterns caused by these data flows.

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