awards and prizes exhibitions

stanza data art stanza stanza

Stanza creates visual artworks informed by critical analysis of city spaces.

Stanza is creating new metaphors relevant to the experience of the city and the environment. The patterns we make, the visual and imaginative interpretations we give to real world events, are already being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and source for information. These patterns disclose new ways of seeing the world. The value of gathering and re-presenting this data in artistic form, and then analyzing its impact and influence, lies in making meaning accessible to a wider audience.

Stanza’s art is about the patterns and hidden values within systems and networks that can be disclosed through artistic practice. Interlocking environments and variables in these systems create other lenses and create difference in given situations. Stanza focuses on the things that change, the flow and interlocking systems by using data that describes our experience of real space. Data is made malleable by Stanza in systems that can be mediated by all, with varying visualizations communicated over the internet and represented onto different display systems.

What are the question this art asks of the world? Underpinning these artworks and research, are a whole series of potential problems about observation, surveillance, and the ethics of the control space. Imagine walking out the door, and knowing every single action, movement, sound, micro movement, pulse, and thread of information is being tracked, monitored, stored, analyzed, interpreted and logged. Stanza often works with small unit blocks that are simplified then re built , re-cored re-formed into an understanding that can re-communicate the complexity of the larger system.

Stanza researches data within cities and how this can be represented, visualized and interpreted as artworks. Data from security tracking, traffic, and environmental monitoring has been used to make artworks. These investigations have created new ways of comparing, conceptualizing and then visualizing complex concepts related to the relationship of emergent data and real space in the built environment.

Stanza is working towards creating a new social space that exists in between these independent online networks where future cities will be merged into real time connected up data cities now known as the internet of things (IOT). The landscape will become an observable connection of monitored networks of real time information flows. The results created from this giant mesh network will lead to mashed up cities and real time performative city experiences. This conclusion led from earlier artworks using wireless sensors in a project called Sensity (2004-09)

Over thirty years he has made a series of artworks that express the possibilities for our data-mediated future. There are three strands to his working process; this involves collecting the data, visualizing the data, and then displaying the data. Artistic outputs that have been realized include online interfaces and online visualizations, as well as data driven dynamic artworks in the form of installations, and sculptural objects. In all this artwork Stanza tries to exploit the changing dynamics of city life and the environment as a source for creativity to create meaningful artistic metaphors.

Stanza utilizes new technologies and integrates new media artworks into the public domain as part of his ongoing research into the visualization of city space. In essence he is researching data as a medium for creativity and how new experiences of our cities may result. His work has focused on new technologies and their relationship to urban space. The body of work, 'The Emergent City' incorporates investigations into movements of people, the pollution in the air, the vibrations and sounds of city spaces. The archives of these data are controlled via bespoke online interfaces which have been re-formed and recounted into real time experiences, making emergent art works.'The Emergent City' has become a large series of works that are affecting and effecting incorporating unique patterns that move around as you move around that are based on your data.

Some of his most well known projects include: - "The Emergent City", "The Intelligent City" visual artworks informed by critical analysis of city spaces. Genomixer is a series of online artworks made using the artists DNA sequence. Soundcities an online database system of thousands of city sounds and city maps. Sensity where Stanza has scattered hundreds of sensors across London to collect data about the environment. Urban Generation uses live CCTV and making online representations of the real time city.

As outputs to his artistic research over the last thirty years Stanza has made installations, videos, paintings, software and public artworks. Stanza has also made numerous net artwork and internet specific projects such as and

Stanza: "data is used expressively on a broad network based canvas to create art about the age we live in right now.”

Selected Exhibitions: Bruges Museum: La Biennale di Venezia ie Venice Biennale: Victoria Albert Museum: Tate Britain: Mundo Urbano Madrid: State Museum, Novorsibirsk: Centre des Arts d'Enghien-les-Bains France: Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo Mexico: Plymouth Arts Centre: ICA London: Sao Paulo Biennale: Trøndelag Senter for Samtidskunst Norway: Pace Gallery USA:

Philosophical position.

Professor Charlie Gere

"Stanza’s art is consonant with a new philosophical position, or rather set of positions, that has recently emerged, that seeks to develop just such a complex understanding. There are a number of names associated with this, including Speculative Realism, Object-Oriented Ontology, and the New Materialism. Among its major figures are Quentin Meillassoux, Graham Harman, Levi Bryant, Ian Bogost, Jane Bennett, Vickie Kirby, and Timothy Morton, though it must be said that there are many others also working in the same are, and also that this is not to ascribe any overly unified character or set of beliefs to these thinkers. Nevertheless they offer a new way of thinking about the world, one that does not reduce it to what is available to human consciousness.

Art does not, indeed cannot tell us about things in the way that science or philosophy does, but it can tell us something about how we can come to know and understand the world into which we are flung. To put it another way it offers us an insight into the act of knowing and the way that that knowing is structured and determined. Works of art set us up us as observers of different sorts, according to the dominant epistemologies of the context in which they are made. Thus to look at a work of art made in a context different to that in which we find ourselves is to be given a potential insight, however partial, into a different way of thinking about and representing the world

Stanza’s work not only performs the way in which non-human actants now appear to talk to each other, especially in relation to the so-called ‘internet of things’, but moreover how these conversations take place in literal black boxes, in other words the computers and networks whose operation is both largely hidden from us, and at the same time vital for our everyday existence. But this must not be seen merely as a comment on network technologies. Rather it should be understood as reflecting a more complex and widespread aspect of our existence, in short the degree to which we can now recognize that everything can and does communicate everything else. Much of this communication is not easily available to human subjects. Thus the opacity of Stanza’s and other new media work can be understood as the most profound artistic response to both our current mediated condition and to the new ontologies and philosophies it has engendered."

Professor Graham Harman

"The London-based artist Stanza has been exhibiting for over three decades, and has been drawn consistently to themes of surveillance technologies, as in the “panopticon” addressed by Michel Foucault but later treated more skeptically by Bruno Latour and Emilie Hermant.
The theme of surveillance has been a central concern in the social sciences in recent decades. Much of the credit for this obviously must go to Foucault, due to his well- known passages in Discipline and Punish on Jeremy Bentham’s “Panopticon,” an institution whose inhabitants (prisoners, students, patients, or otherwise) might be watched at any moment from a central observation point. As Foucault puts it: “The Panopticon is a marvelous machine which, whatever use one may wish to put it to, produces homogeneous effects of power.”

Another of Stanza’s themes is multi-point perspectives, though rather than give this topic the expected relativist spin, he stresses the notion that the varying perspectives amount to parallel realities thereby suggesting that these realities are partly cut off from one another for the same reason that Euclidean parallel lines never make contact."

stanza data art stanza data art stanza data art

Selected Interviews Online with Stanza

I make artworks that arise from my research into ‘control space’ , ‘surveillance space’ and issues with privacy.

The noise is the city, the noise is the music, the city is the orchestra and we are just conductors whose interactive actions compose this music as we walk around.

The patterns we make, the visual and imaginative interpretations we give to real world events, are being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and used as a source for information. These patterns disclose new ways of seeing the world.

Can we use new technologies to imagine a world where we are liberated and empowered, where finally all of the technology becomes more than gimmick and starts to actually work for us.


"Mark Cosgrove, director of programme at Watershed, the Bristol venue where Stanza has recently shown work, has claimed that ‘Stanza may well be the Picasso of the Internet’. This may be a little tongue-in-cheek, as well as an acknowledgement of Stanza’s protean workrate and capacity for experimentation within his chosen media, and indeed his technical virtuosity. But it also suggests something else, equally, if not more important. Picasso was perhaps the artist who first understood the implications of radical developments in science and philosophy at the beginning of the twentieth century, and found consonant forms of visual expression. Working at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries, Stanza is developing an artistic language that can reflect the new ways of thinking about the world that are currently being proposed and debated. "
From an essay by Professor Charlie Gere.


"Stanza started creating and presenting work in the mid-1980s with pieces such as Artitextures, a multi-monitor video art installation presented at the V2_ Institute in Den Bosch, Holland (1986); and the Conundrum video, shot in the grey cemented mazes of South London and heavily aesthetisized in postproduction (1987). Both works use city images and sounds to reflect upon fractured urbanity, communicating a sense of cultural discontinuity and emotional isolation within a post-industrial urban landscape. The City: urban landscapes and soundscapes, along with their complex social functions and dynamic networks of interconnections, have been central to his artistic practice. Influenced by the Situationist International since the early stages of his career, Stanza undertakes a critique of contemporary urbanism that is not defined primarily by restrictive architectures but by surveillance networks and connective data flows. Stanza’s cybercities and data cities might not directly constitute a terrain of participatory games, but they are playful ‘dérives’ to fragments of urbanism that gesture beyond the functional and into ‘daydreams’ – or urban nightmares.

The artistic outcome of Stanza’s work is an ‘unobject’ that becomes manifest as a complex system, interconnected to and dependent upon other complex systems, both organic (human bodies, nature) and inorganic (man-made structures). What is important here, and in the development of Stanza’s practice from works like The Central City to the more recent Capacities and Sonicity, is the turn towards the performative due to the liveness of the installations, which all depend on ‘real’ (i.e. collected from the environment rather than randomly generated) and real-time data. Stanza’s current practice does not simulate the city, nor does it represent the city: it is the city. Even more poignantly, it is the city not as it has been, but as it is right now.
From an essay by Maria X


I’ve followed Stanza’s work closely since 2001, and I’ve been repeatedly impressed by his environmentally responsive, participatory projects, as well as by his critically informed use of media and tools. In 2004–2005, he designed a series of limited edition digital folios loaded on stand-alone touchscreen modules, which appeared in a solo exhibit of his work I curated for the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles (Spring 2005). As part of his ongoing effort to complicate the relationship between information and experience, these touchscreen works created an idiosyncratic domain where machinic data were made tangible, and bodily sensations became quantifiable. With his considerable talent for locating and exploring what I take to be unusual modes of perception, Stanza engages in groundbreaking aesthetic research, in which electronic networks are deeply enmeshed with human sensory experiences in challenging and artistically interesting ways.
David S. Mather  Assistant Professor, Stony Brook University, New York


As I wrote in my book "Future Frequencies" back in 2004, it was Stanza's incredible work that got me hooked on the power of interactive digital art, particularly as a thinking tool that helped me explore the infinite possibilities of our future. I quickly realized that his creations go way beyond art and performance and the concepts can be applied to real-life issues such as urban development, solving environmental issues, the human condition, even the development of complex worldviews. Not surprisingly, as a futurist, creator and curator of "living the future' events I have integrated Stanza's work into areas as diverse as live performance and the future of education. He is a treat to work with. Stanza is as much a philosopher as a creator of amazing interactive, immersive experiences. In being ahead of the curve in his knowledge of emerging technologies together with his unique sense of aesthetics Stanza his able to leverage these technologies in order to create fresh visions of our future potential."
Derek Woodgate, President, The Futures Lab, Inc.


Stanzas work for Liverpool was a playful provocation and re-invention of Ropewalks Square in front of FACT, in effect, ‘reclaiming the streets’ through a fascination with data aesthetics in its purest form as information. Linking these interests is a strong personal motivation to reveal structure driven through a strong sense of social justice reflecting working class roots, ‘re-claiming the streets’. Perhaps now as hegemonies and hierarchies appear on the edge of collapse, the recent work is a timely navigation with young people in considering our re-instatement as individuals in a landscape both virtual and material. A re-clamation of rights, public space and identity.
Mike Stubbs, Director of FACT


Stanza at the Pace Digital Gallery. Over the past decade the Pace Digital Gallery (Pace University, New York City) has had the unique experience and pleasure of exhibiting the work of Stanza, the internationally recognized award winning artist whose innovative artwork has been at the forefront of expanding digital art into the Internet and now the Internet of Things. His works, which measure, extract and transform real-time sensor and CCTV data streams have afforded new ways of visualizing the multifaceted constituents that comprise the pulse of the city and its bond to the outside world. Through his exhibited works, Global (2003), Sensity Brixton London (2004-2009), and Syncronicity (2013), Stanza continues to challenge our perceptions and understanding of the nature of cities, and raises significant questions about how its inhabitants must continually contend with the sociopolitical issues engendered by their increasing size, density and complexity.
Dr. Francis T. Marchese. Professor at Pace University New York


Working with Stanza is both joy and constant experiment – prolifically creative and irreverent he pushes boundaries to sculpt and paint in whatever digital and physical media he can access. He worked with Watershed in an extended residency which delivered wondrous works and seeded new explorations – he constantly opened doors to new possibilities while simultaneously delivering engaging and challenging experiences. From sculpting CCTV into beautiful triptychs to re-imagining the city with semi autonomous robots his work is always aesthetically engaging, technically challenging and politically aware – he literally turned us inside out.
Dick Penny. Director Watershed Bristol UK


Youths dressed in black hoodies swarmed the historic city streets of Lincoln during Frequency Festival 2013, their backs emblazoned with bold white digits, the zeros and ones. Their ominous presence was marked with a series of binary code graff-tags on official buildings throughout the city; messages of insurrection for a digital cult now active among us or analogue reminders of the digital soup of signals we wade through on a daily basis?  There's an engaging playfulness and an aesthetic pleasure to Stanza's work that pays rewards on deeper investigation.  His urban interventions remind us of the invisible occupation of the cyberspace around us and encourages us to ask whose hand manipulates these systems of control.
Barry Hale, Frequency Festival Director


Rich work that contributed to the shows and symposium. Stanza's intervention into the Internet of Cars show / project was valuable on a number of levels. Firstly it is important to understand where it appeared. The installation took an important place at the Winchester Science Centre and attracted a great deal of attention between the many science and interactive exhibits that engaged kids and parents. Whilst many exhibits are interactive on a physical and intellectual level, Stanza's work offered a cultural and critical dimension that recast the city and it's many 'smart' technologies. Secondly this thought provoking intervention asked a community that we're playing with technology to think about their complicity and role within it. Sometime technology doesn't always offer the solution out of a problem and looking down, across or seeing yourself in the installation evoked interesting questions of the viewer"
Professor Chris Speed


In Visitors to a Gallery, Referential Self, Embedded, the artist is therefore fully aware of the tendency for ubiquitous technologies to be those of surveillance and control. The audiences here are making their own damn art and have the freedom to make the content of the work itself, but because the CCTV cameras are capturing their image when they might not have been aware of it, they of course are not fully in control. The artwork Gallery, Invisible Agency and Cultural Behaviours from 2008 marks a more conceptual approach to a similar theme, and Stanza asks what happens during the process of visiting the gallery as a dataspace - what does the visitor actually do?
Professor Beryl Graham


If I read this piece correctly, it marks the final stage in Stanza’s gradual internal subversion of the surveillance-concept. Though ostensibly our movements are being converted into numbers, the ultimate prime matter of surveillant bureaucracy, it is we ourselves who survey the numbers. As far beyond self-reflexivity as it beyond Foucault’s disturbing vision orŽižek’s “we have only ourselves to blame” take on the problem, this work turns us into the primary agents of surveillance, even while reducing the data of that surveillance to projected graffiti.
Professor Graham Harman


(C) Stanza