Soul 2004 -06. By Stanza (2006)


Soul is an artwork viewable to a local audience visualizing real time aspects of the city space. Soul is an artwork created to represent the 'soul' of the city that captures live data and visualizes the results as a piece of sculpture in a constantly evolving data sculpture. It is presented on a unique display technology, this is a 3 meter globe. Soul is a site specific work placed in urban space. Real time images are fed into a software system where a series of specialized channels rework these images to create unique visuals. The channels are always on, and always changing, a constant view evolving around the clock. The data is never the same, it is always changing. The changing light and ephemeral qualities of the city urban landscape are morphed (using CCTV cameras set up in the public domain) to create real time blended collages.

  • Soul uses CCTV camera networks and environmemental data from sensors to re-imagine, to re visualize the urban environment.

  • The idea is to capture the soul of the city and represent these images/ data as a piece of sculpture in a constantly evolving data sculpture.

-This data sculpture is a live real time evolving or generative artwork. It re-contextualizes the way we experience the city and turn up its head the concept of observation.

  • The data is captured and merged into a data visualization representing its 'soul'.

  • The result is a space or installation with unique patterns and output to the displays and online.

  • A software system for capturing images from CCTV live in real time.

-The sculpture will utilize specialized materials and display technologies that will have to be adapted to create this work.

-Soul is a public sculpture embedded with the emotional charge of city experience.

Keywords. Live date, emergent city, art experience, unique 3d display, public engagement.

Soul by stanza....2004 -06. An artwork using data in the city and involving the public. Stanza hangs giant 3 m globe display in the city. The interactive City.Wireless sensor networks. Sensing the soul of the city, new display technologies . Globe display in the city. Stanza artwork


Stanza soul cctv. Soul by stanza....2004 -06. An artwork using data in the city and involving the public. Stanza hangs giant 3 m globe display in the city. The interactive City.Wireless sensor networks. Sensing the soul of the city, new display technologies . Uk artist Stanza hangs giant 3 m globe display in the city.Stanza artwork

Image show live data on globe display hung over city. 2005

Full Description


The final installation represents real time interactions of the city onto the display.

The public can also be involved in the process.

The CCTV cameras can be given to members of the public who will then select views to point the cameras at. The public will be sourced from adverts and from networks of contacts. Once the cameras are set up the images will be transferred to my database. I have written some software and I am working on more that manipulates the images over time. The result can be controlled and viewable online, ie, the installation can be controlled via an online interface. The software can choose for example one image a second, or choose bits of images over and hour or day..each image created online by any one in the world will make a finished picture over time using the lighting condition from the cameras, and will also be viewable online. These images will all be stored and then used to be presented onto the globe. The images will be channeled into my other online software that can be displayed onto the installation in the real space.

There is an interesting experience is in the unique way the public user and online interface can be bought together across networks to engage and create a cultural artifact ie, the output to the globe 'Soul'.

The metaphor is the search for the soul, and in this case one could also describe the process as painting with camera, ie, using the cameras to take semblances of images which add to this visualization.

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Artist Statement

What does it mean?

As technologies evolve so must the way in which we disseminate them. This stretches the digital arts to also evolve at an equal pace, while also raising the deeper issues which ride beneath the wave of our data driven existence. Through my research I explore another dimension, investigating directly and in real time the dynamic of the social space. The artworks relate to current data flows in the environments I monitor. My research utilizes systems that can be used to gather information via sensors or CCTV cameras in the field. This data is harnessed to visualize the urban environments and spatial representations as a dynamic real time experience rather than as a recorded 'photograph' of the city space.

I am attempting to move on towards a point where the landscape is a hybridized audio visual representation of the space. ie, an audio visual experience based on the sounds and sights of the city pollution, noise, traffic data , that are captured via these sensor networks.

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. By adopting visual and poetic metaphors for gathered data this enables a perspective which Masayuki Fujihata calls a 'parallel reality', a multi point perspective. (Reference: In conversation with Stanza in Tokyo November 2003 as part of his presentation). He achieved this by using multiple participants walking with field devices and recording the outdoor spaces. His result can be compared to a film of an event, a history.

I want to make my work eternally current. It will allow a real time multiple perspective of an identified space.

In terms of artworks online I would actually cite my own work as being a leading exponent in audio visual interfaces. I have made a number works that address issues of real time data and what I call the emergent properties of city space. ( This new work involves embedding data in real time so that the works become dynamic, and I stress again this is much more than a simulation but is a real time experience

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