Countdown to The End Of Time
This responsive artwork stands six foot tall and engages the audiences to think about events being played out in the spaces we occupy and how our actions can have an impact on these spaces. The sculpture acts as a countdown system, a babel tower measuring data at the heart of issues around climate change and environmental monitoring.
The large sculptural tower is made of digital computer components with custom made sensors measuring the environment and local activity in the space. The real time sensor system measures data to do with the environment and pollution. The system by measuring the climate around it in real time and acts to mediate a response, its a provocation for your own agency. Hidden surveillance cameras on the artwork present the audience on mini displays also on the artwork, in order works you become part of the artwork and are incorporated into the dystopian vision of A Countdown To The End Of Time. The audience is left to speculate on when that might be and what we can do about it.
The special data modifying system has been designed to captures and monitor the data in real time and series of custom made components are triggered in real time as environmental events change in the surroundings. The artwork re frames issues around the meaning of data and space to question audiences' experiences of real time events to create an experience of life as it unfolds.
The installation represents the complexities of the real time space as a complex system.The data and their interactions – that is, the events occurring in the environment that surrounds and envelops the installation – are translated into the force that brings the artwork to life by causing movement and change – that is, new events and actions – to occur. In this way the environment also performs itself in real time through its own physical avatar or electronic double. Cause and effect become apparent in a discreet, intuitive manner, when certain events that occur in the real time cause certain other events to occur in its completely different, but seamlessly incorporated, double. The avatar artwork is not only controlled by the space in terms of its function and operation, but also utterly dependent upon it for its existence.
Over the surface of the artworks are six mini screens and hidden micro cameras that act like a surveillance system while also embedding the audience into the experience of the artwork. Likewise the sensor system that collects the data affects all the led lights (blue,yellow and green) that are on the surface of the piece.
At the heart of Stanza’s work lies his interest in the urban environment, the networks of cameras and sensors to be found there, and the associated issue of privacy and alienation. He is particularly interested in the patterns we leave all over the place and n how we consciously or unconsciously influence each other, and also the degree to which technology may in future take over control of our own bodies and our presence in the city.
What I’am doing, which is sort of new ground, is that I’am hacking access to a network and re-appropriating the data and information, and I’am re-contextualizing it to give it a wider meaning. I want to show that you can do something positive with this data. And as I say data is the medium of the age and I use this data to 'paint' with ”
- Likewise the NO2 module (nitrogen dioxide analyzer) is used to to detect pollutant nitrogen dioxide gas in the air. (this module would be most affect if someone was smoking in the building.
- There is a carbon dioxide sensor or CO2 sensor for the measurement of carbon dioxide gas in monitoring indoor air quality and O2 sensor that measures the proportion of oxygen (O2) in the air. There is also a temperature sensor and light sensor.
- An alcohol sensor can tell if you have been drinking and relative changes in the display system are affected accordingly if any change In the alcohol concentration in the atmosphere is detected.
"From Big Brother to the Mother of Big Brother."
Commissioned by Milton Keynes Libraries and funded by Arts Council England as part of The Digitalis Programme.