Stanza art

Title "Worlds of Knowledge"

How do we decide what we are influenced by and what is important to us? How do we acquire knowledge and process the texts we read. The starting point and process for this open ended digital artwork commissioned for The Digitalis Programme sited at Milton Keynes Library was to initiate a workshop based on the way readers use, choose and interact with books inside the library space. Ten participants in turn went off in search of a book to bring it back then after choosing some texts this was processed into the artwork.

The books selected by the group are referred to in the software system; so that the final output contains our own personal Worlds of Knowledge. This artwork evolves and generates over time creating a poetic visualisation based on texts from selected books. The artwork becomes a morphing, moving archive.

Over one hundred texts where chosen and read out by the group.

The work is made using custom software techniques and presented on three 46 inch screens.

Commissioned by Milton Keynes Libraries and funded by Arts Council England as part of The Digitalis Programme.

Keywords: artwork, system, generative.

Stanza art

Stanza art

Stanza art



1.   What Are You Hungry For? By Deepak Chopra

Exercise: How to be Mindful

Find a room where you can be quiet and alone

2. D-DAY by Stephen Ambrose

Everybody seemed to feel that this was one night you wanted your own thoughts in your own chair

3. Messiah Vocal Score by George Frideric Handel

And the glory of the lord (chorus)

4. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

What is the nature of time?

5. Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 by Tim Hamilton

He walked thinking little at all about nothing in particular

6. New Poems on the Underground 2006 by Charles Benson et al.

Mornings the streets are full of people hurrying without daggers in their hands quite equally after milk or radishes

7. The Rough Guide to Evolution by Mark Pallen

A question is where did life originate

8. Art Deco Fashion: The Dawn of Modern Dress by Gordon Kerr

The term 'the media' was first used in the 1920s to describe the variety of ways of communicating directly with people.

9. Space: 50 Years of Space Exploration by Piers Bizony

One day we will not travel in spaceships. We will be spaceships.

10. Bridges that Changed the World by Graff

The designing of machinery has now reached such a high standard of excellence of function, form and expression that one is justified in saying that these things are entitled to rank as works of art as much as a painting, a piece of sculpture or a building.

11. British Wildlife by Paul Sterry

As predators, spiders' most valuable assets are their paired fangs, sited on either side of their mouths.

12. The Recruit by Robert Muchamore (first book every read)

The pill had him dull his jaw felt stiff and there was a weird ached in his forehead.

13. Mrs Hemingway by Noami Wood

Hadley said she would commit to a divorce if they agreed to one hundred days of separation.

14. The Quantum Universe: Everything That Can Happen Does Happen by Brian Cox et al.

Atoms are vast and empty that means the full size you is vast and empty too

15. Leonardo Da Vinci: The Flight of the Mind by Charles Nicholl

The common sense is the seat of the soul

16. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

My murderer believed in old fashioned things like eggshells and coffee grounds, which he said his own mother used.

17. Peepo! Janet & Allan Ahlberg

Janet & Allen Ahlberg

He sees the landing mirror with its rainbow rim

and a mother with a baby

just like him

18. Inner Happiness – Positive Steps to Feeling Complete: Vera Peiffer

Any life will affect us where we are most vulnerable.

19. Auden: Richard Davenport-Hines

People will be rarely be what we most thought of them and what we subsequently think of as the disappointing reality the person obscured by the staleness of our senses.

20. Surrealism by Patrick Waldberg

There is no freedom for the enemies of freedom

21. Film Directing Shot by Shot by Steven D Katz

Placing a frame around the actors changes the way a scene plays so the director will discover problems and opportunities that were not apparent before.

22. Geography: An Integrated Approach by David Waugh

Even the earliest civilisations were the crust of the earth is not rigid and immobile.

23. Teach Yourself Gaelic


24. GULAG: a History of the Soviet Camps by Anne Applebaum

If the prisoners lodged official complaints about their treatments he ordered his men to continue in the same spirit.

25. Techniques of the Modern Artists by Judith Collins et al.

A Chinese brush was used to create calligraphic brushstroke with thinned black paint

26 . Der Siebte Tode: Paul Kleeve

immer noch sieben Verdaechtige. Seven more suspects

27. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

and into the night of his very own room where he found his supper waiting for him.

28 . Poems on the Underground by Charles Benson et al.

And yet the books will be on the shelves, separate beams, that appeared once, still wet

29. Grunge by Kyle Anderson

Nirvana inspired the same sort of anti authoritarian that punk rockers but it was absolutely more an intellectual sort of damn the man stance...

30. Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andrew Hodges

They were so luscious, and so well mannered, with a little dash of pertness, and Sherbourne itself quite unspoilt

31 Appreciations of the movement have often tended to stress its withdrawal from western societies are delineated worlds of consumption, in to the planet of dream, imagination and the unconscious.

33. Michelangelo: the Complete Sculpture Painting Architecture by William E Wallace

In the beginning God created heaven, and earth

And the earth was void and empty

34. Homer’s Odyssey by Simon Armitage

Rest the oars a moment while I talk

35. The Good Sleeper by Dr Janet Kennedy

While everything might make sense to you now, you still have trouble figuring out how to make all of these strategies work in your life

36. Dr Who: The Last Dodo by Jacqueline Rayner

Notice anything interesting about this room?

37. Crooked House by Agatha Christie

I was to wonder afterwards that I could have been so blind the truth had stuck out so clearly all along

38. Annie’s Choice by Catherine MacPhail

If only I could make friends with Alex” Karem said to himself

39. The Essential Salvador Dali by Robert Goff

It is perhaps with Dali that for the first time the windows of the mind are fully opened wide

40. The Secret Life of Words by Henry Hitchings

One word for it was hubbub, a Gaelic term formerly associated with the shrill wail of bagpipes

41. Robots v Humans by Johnny Zucker

But the fire was real” Said Ella. “We felt it”

42. Pablo Picasso 1881-1973 by Anatoli Podoksik

These waves of passion so contradictory would sometimes overlap

43. I was a Child of Holocaust Survivors by Bernice Eisenstein

Everyone was made to stand for hours outside in the cold until they finally left Auschwitz on the death march

44. Andy Warhol: Portraits

At their most ambitious, artists prepare the world for a way to be

45. El Dia De Manana by Ignacio Martinez De Pison

En septiembre del 70 decidi cumplir la promesa que me habia hecho a mi misma en el cemeneterio de Tarrasa, dice Carme Roman.

46. Across the Mystic Shore by Suroopa Mukherjee

It turned out to be a perfect day, the rivers translucent gaze as though it reposed in some grand malevolence

47. La Hora Azul by Alonso Cueto

Yo estaba tratando de mantener la calmer. I was trying to keep calm, I put my hands on the table and I looked at her.

48. Understanding Organisations by Charles Handy

For learning to occur the individual must want to learn.

49. Mad Dogs and Englishmen by Ranulph Fiennes

Charles built up his regime on a broad base with power sharing at every governmental level

50. Build You Own Electric Guitar by Paul Balmer

The vintage style of three single coils, built from individual components, offers the most flexibility, as you can choose each pickup, port and switch just as like them.

51. WH Auden: Poems Selected by John Fuller

About suffering they were never wrong; how well they understood the human position

52. An Inspector Calls: JB Priestley

We are members of one body

53. Albert Einstein: Relativity

If the principle of relativity (in the restricted sense) does hold, then the Galilean coordinate systems K, K1, K2, etc, which are moving uniformly relative to each other, will not be equivalent for the description of natural phenomena

54. Matisse by Volkmar Essers

One note is simply a colour, two notes make a chord in life

55. Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life by TJ Clarke & Ann M Wagner

Lowry is rarity in his century

56. Between the Eyes by Ralph Steadman

One might not agree with police methods all other people’s beliefs and find police methods difficult to forgive and other people’s beliefs difficult to understand, but I think they will find other people’s methods far more difficult to stomach and certainly police beliefs more incomprehensible.

57. The Big Earth Book by James Bruges

Once a community activity, fishing is now a big business

58. Shoes: the Ultimate Accessory by Tessa Paul

The stacked heel and the broad crossbar cancel the little girl look and make the style in to something for grown ups to wear.

59. Fundamentals of Nursing by Barbara Kozier et al.

Mature adults usually require smaller dosages of drugs especially the sedatives and other central nervous systems depressants

60. Tamara De Lempicka by Stefanie Penck

I live life on the fringes of society and the rules of normal society don't apply on the fringes

61. The Cloudspotter’s Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney

The beautiful glittering diamond dust of the poles conform the most dramatic and extensive halo phenomena of anywhere in the world