Complexity: Endless Subdivision in Landscapes Of Labour Love and Learning. By Stanza 2006
Generative artworks made in 2006.
The custom art software is available in an edition of three each is signed by Stanza and numbered.
Washington. Endless Subdivision in Landscapes Of Labour Love and Learning. Edition of 3
Bagdad. Endless Subdivision in Landscapes Of Labour Love and Learning. Edition of 3
Unique C Prints. A series of 120cm by 100cm C prints artworks are available each is signed and unique.
Exhibited at Vida. A special retrospective exhibition Madrid, Spain 2012 as part of The Central City project.
Stanza By Maria Chatzichristodoulou excerpt from In Search of a Digital Masterpiece (or Two):
Stanza started creating and presenting work in the mid-1980s with pieces such as Artitextures , a multi-monitor video art installation (originally made as video wallpaper) presented at the V2_ Institute in Den Bosch, Holland (1986); and the Conundrum video, shot in the grey cemented mazes of South London and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. Though the thematic strands, aesthetics, and affective impact of Stanza's work have remained remarkably consistent over the years, dealing with issues such as urbanism, solitude and surveillance culture, his practice has undergone significant shifts: he has moved from creating linear, object-based works such as prints and videos, to (often grand-scale) compositions of (a)live, open-ended, permeable, and unpredictable systems characterized by a state of flux.
The Situationist International (or IS) movement (formed 1957), 'a revolutionary alliance of European avant-garde artists' (Tate Glossary Online) ideologically rooted in Marxism and Surrealism, advocated the construction of 'situations' as a means of fulfilling human desires suppressed by capitalist consumerism. Through their two main fields of experimental study, Unitary Urbanism (UU) and psychogeography, IS were concerned with a critique of urbanism and a re-envisaging of ways to structure and relate to this geographical, architectural and social space. U nitary U rbanism, a 'synthesis of art and technology' (Wolman, 1956), envisaged ' a terrain of experience for the social space of the cities of the future ' (International Situationniste, 1959) . According to the Situationists, UU was a move past functionalism in an attempt to reach beyond the immediately useful to ' the scenery of daydreams ' : ' In light of the fact that today cities themselves are presented as lamentable spectacles, a supplement to the museums for tourists driven around in glass-in buses, UU envisages the urban environment as the terrain of participatory games. ' (ibid)
Stanza also deals with cities: 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 'd é rives' to fragments of urbanism that gesture beyond the functional and into 'daydreams' - or urban nightmares .
The net art piece The Central City (1997-2001), which won an accolade of awards ( VIDA 6.0 2004, Videobrasil 2001, among others) and was exhibited internationally in every venue/ festival that presents net art, is an interactive audiovisual work made for the internet, which offers 30 different versions of urban experience. Stanza's intention in this work is to explore the notion of an 'organic identity' of the city and highlight the tensions that compose this: the natural versus the man-made; the attempts at organisation and control versus the uncontrollable and unexpected movements of the crowd; the organic versus the superimposed; structure versus chaos; one versus many; collectivity versus individualism; networks of information technology versus networks of organisms and urban sites; urban and virtual communities. Net.art w orks like Central City and its 'sister project' Inner City (2002) visualize the city as an 'organic network of grids and diagrams' (Stanza, 2001) that is both alive in its own 'organicity' and emotionally detached from human ardour. Stanza's cities are their own organisms, but they are not there (not visibly, at least) to be inhabited by the organisms of other - human, animal or cyborg - beings. Those are urban experiences of seductive data flows, aesthetically pleasing but emotionally detached, beautiful but bloodless.
The Situationist movement criticized the use of technology ' to further multiply the pseudo-games of passivity and social disintegration (television) ' , while pointing out that ' new forms of playful participation that are made possible by this same technology are regulated and policed ' (International Situationniste, 1959). Stanza is also questioning the way technology is used to log and control peoples' movements. Through Inner City he warn s against the ubiquity of technology within modern cities. He highlights the precariousness of contemporary urbanism as our own cities are turning into menacing totalitarian superstructure s : ' Data mining will be part of the fabric of the landscape. Everything is or will be tracked. [ . ] The patterns we make, the forces we weave, are all being networked into retrievable data structures ' (Stanza, 2004) .
As Stanza delves deeper into creating abstracted audiovisual experiences of urbanism, his works, like physical cities, become interactive. The earlier 'city' pieces are self-generative artworks, which respond to the user's move of the mouse-grid structures. As Michael Gibbs observes: 'What both worlds [.] have in common is the grid, a cellular structure that inevitably proliferates through arterial streets and cables into urban sprawl or information overload.' (2002).
(c) Stanza 2006
KEYWORDS: software , generative, installation , city, system,