Archive for the ‘misc’ Category

The Nemesis Machine in Warsaw. Exhibition: Beyond the Seven curated by Piotr Krajewski.

November 3rd, 2017

Finally finished the lastest version The Nemesis Machine in Warsaw show opens weds night “Beyond the Seven”. Thanks to wro art center who curated moved and supported this. It’s on show then available for exhibitions. Uses live data from various sources and monitors London and Warsaw in realtime. The show is called “Beyond the Seven”. The artwork visualises life in the city on the basis of real time data transmitted from a network of wireless sensors. The artwork you see is a city of electronic components that reflect in real time what is happening elsewhere. Small screens show pictures of the visitors so that they become part of the city. Warszawie ‘za siedmioma’ – megalopolis w budowie / nemezis deweloperów ‘Za siedmioma’ at Dom S?owa Polskiego curated by Piotr Krajewski.

Stanza interviewed for Leonardo Almanac New Media Exhibition Re-Drawing Boundaries

June 12th, 2011

Stanza interviewed for Leonardo Almanac  LEA New Media Exhibition. Re-Drawing Boundaries. Focus On: Stanza Curator: Jeremy Hight Senior Curators: Lanfranco Aceti and Christiane Paul

Stanza interviewed for Leonardo Almanac New Media Exhibition Re-Drawing Boundaries

There is an interview here between Stanza and Jeremy Hight for this LEA New Media Exhibition.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo not reproduce this image without my consent….



December 8th, 2010

VIRTUAL INTERNET CITIES.  The Emergent city  The city experience is a web of connected networks and multi layered threaded paths that condition us to the emotional state of the city space. In essence, the city fabric is a giant multi user multi data sphere. To take part you really have to put something back in, that’s like life. In this case, to take part you have to input data so others ‘may’ see the output of the data response.

Stanza CCTV artwork

Image: Stanza CCTV artwork using 200 CCTV cameras over one night. 2005

Lets imagine a space in which every action, memory, thought, feeling,  has a connection to every other action. A space where all data in the system, seamlessly integrates with all others. This place exists, it’s inside our heads. The emergent metaphor of the brain has many similarities with the emergent connectivity of cities.

Panic Noise

Mobility can be seen from traffic patterns, to pedestrian patterns, to bird flocking patterns; to multi-threaded patterns along a time line. Patterns can be seen in the architecture, the buildings, the architectural fabric of the urban design network. And closer inside the micro patterns of the city, we have the life cycles of the atomized, the insects, the life of continuity all of which exist along a timeline of past present and future. The city has a history. Stories relative to time and place, stories from the street. Love stories personal and  extreme, crime stories, stories that are small or that can affect global parameters. Inside the mobile city there are future stories and future worlds to invent and discover.

All of these spheres can be represented by media and therefore by data within the digital realm. And all of this mobile data can be interpreted and mediated. It becomes a matter of choice. Collections of data can be stored to be retrieved later. The mobile data infrastructure becomes a data source so powerful so interwoven that its scale can only be imagined as metaphor.  The size and scope of such an archive, of such rich mediated data experience would support many projects.  As such it can be interpreted as history via one sort of interface or as a game via another sort of interface.

Cities offer the opportunity for unique types of data gathering experiences via a variety of sources. An emergent  process data mining from all sides, online  for  all.  People collecting data, sounds, stories, photos, that can be filtered back into such a system.

stanza art data city

A possible objective is to ‘mediate’ data into conceptual artifacts. With this perspective there are many unimagined threads of data and connections that describe our world that can be explored through wireless mobile networks within which we can create artistic interpretations.

The network that all this takes place in is the grid of the city. In Shanghai in the planning museum you can see this in one room by looking at the model of the whole city. Mobile devices, wireless, or sensor devices, can trace and track you through such a system where data impacts to unfold meaning. This data can in effect be for aesthetic purposes as well as for marketing, and delivered as any type of media.

A model of the city could be made in this case as a simulated experience. An example of this is a controlled ultrasound sensor rig which pings sound in relation to ones position in the system (used in my Robotica artwork). It will allow you to fade sounds as you move about. Another example would be GPS positioning systems within real cities spaces, or which there a number of projects in development worldwide, and I used it for example in “Sheep“.

Types of data can be re-imagined. This includes pollution data recorded via sensors in the street, to create audio acoustic files expressing the pain and suffering of the air as it pollutes. Weather and forecast data, acquired via weather station equipment, this can be used and can create ambient soundscapes and morphing visualizations as the wind shifts direction or the rain increases. Noise monitor levels, and noise maps, create a symphony of true urban sounds that can be used to make sound reactive sculptures.

The city also has millions of CCTV. In essence the city is the biggest TV station in existence. Millions of hours worth of data are recorded every day by these cameras on city TV. I take the sounds and images of live web streams and re-represent them thus creating new interpretations of the city in the process.

Third Great Revolution

The State doesn’t allow access to certain data because of the data protection act, but what happens when things change? Walls do fall down, governments change, ideologies become overtaken. The data explosion will be immense, but only an open sourced egalitarian system will allow transparency and sharing of wealth and information. Many networks protect the entry and their content and too many have all content loaded to these database which belongs to dot dot dot ..(not you)

Uses of this information and data should allow rich new interpretations on the way our world is built, used, and designed.  Real new media landscapes or mediascapacities.

Text:  Stanza 2007


August 2nd, 2010


I am developing the idea of studio as laboratory and extending previous versions by inviting members of the public to be involved in the process and the experiments. The studio will also have live surveillance of me working broadcast live and live sensor data feeds.

Artists are like scientists they ask questions and find answers in peculiar ways…. guided by research and process development.  Most artists, like scientists do stuff, they make things to question the world. They often speculate, researching difficult issues in a general direction in the way they see it with specific outcomes, these outcomes may or may not be art.

From the real to virtual and back to the real is a theme that has had my attention for five years since 2004 and the idea is embedded in the works I am currently making.

stanza_i_am _stanza

Image: Stanza installation:- “Visitors To A Gallery” 2008. CCTV artwork.

This project will take place in the Barn at Lanternhouse 2010, as I create data scapes in an Open Studio.  The residency is about exploring the artistic process, being transparent about the process and the development and production of new work. The “open studio” mirrors the process of the project, with material and philosophical process being available to witness throughout.


Image: Stanza installation:- “Visitors To A Gallery” 2008. Installation on Floor.

This work (the studio as lab) is now in version three for my residency in Lanternhouse International (UK) called City of Dreams.

Three works to be developed during this City of Dreams residency: Info Below

  • Sonicity
  • Capacities
  • Open Studio: Transparency

Online reviews currently featuring my work.

May 24th, 2010

Sensity V & A and interview with Stanza with We make Money Not Art (my favorite arts blog)

The Last Supper and The City Of Bits on arkinet.  Its a shame  not all blogs  write a reviews as Regine does at we make money not art. But this one below have made a nice feature of my recent work at The Lanternhouse.


Stanza Urban Generation. Lives CCTV artwork: 2004

And finally. Le Magazine électronique du CIAC (canada)  est une publication en ligne et bilingue (français et anglais), qui couvre depuis 1997 tous les aspects de la cyberculture, de l’art et de la littérature dans leur relation à la technologie. Features stuff  about cities and sounds.

I was guest writer for this

And they reviewed this.

Pour une cité sensible. La Sensity de Stanza.

Alors que plus de la moitié de la population globale vit en contexte urbain, la ville est désormais prise pour acquis. La plupart des habitants, engoncés dans leur routine, oublient de regarder autour d’eux, sauf quelques flâneurs en puissance s’amusant à trouver de l’insolite au fil de leurs parcours familiers.

Stanza nous offre avec Sensity, un projet en branle depuis 2004, de nous réapproprier l’espace urbain sensible en le remixant. Déployant un réseau de capteurs mesurant l’humidité, la luminosité, les vibrations, le taux de pollution et les bruits ambiants tout en étant reliés à un système GPS, l’artiste a collecté des données dans plusieurs villes du monde dont Londres, Paris, Copenhague, Sao Paulo pour ne nommer que celles-ci. Ces données sont alors synthétisées et mixées afin d’offrir une tout autre expérience d’un quartier ou d’une ville par le biais d’une visualisation sur le Web, d’une installation, d’une projection, etc. Le potentiel ne manque pas en ce qui concerne les différentes incarnations issues du même matériau de base.

On constatera que Stanza offre à voir et à entendre des visualisations générées grâce à des matériaux captés en temps réel. Au premier coup d’œil, ces portions de cartes tirées de Google Maps, dans lesquelles des pastilles grises symbolisent les différents capteurs utilisés. Autour de celles-ci se dessinent des cercles, des traits erratiques et ce, sur un fond « musical » cacophonique, qui ne ressemblent en rien à l’expérience que l’on fait de la ville au quotidien.

UK artist Stanza wins VIDA 6.0, 2003L’intérêt est moins porté surlessensations d’un individu en particulier, mais invite l’internaute à effectuer une flânerie dans un univers entièrement constitué de données. Le chaos apparent se résorbe à force d’une écoute et d’une observation patiente, donc s’inscrivant dans la lenteur, en rupture avec la vitesse des flux de la ville. Une certaine structure musicale émerge de cette gibelotte de faits urbains et n’est pas sans rappeler la musique industrielle. Aussi, les effets visuels générés par l’œuvre subissent des changements traduisant différents atmosphères. D’un simple clic, sons et strates d’images peuvent être retirés de la visualisation en employant les boutons situés au bas de l’écran.

Pour apprécier cette œuvre, l’internaute doit prendre son temps et se dépêtrer de sa logique de lecture efficace. Sensity met en lumière le bouillon – l’éruption! – sonore auquel chaque passant est habitué et le tenant ainsi pour normal. Ce « mashup » audiovisuel nous pose devant le visage véritable de la ville d’aujourd’hui. Si l’architecture, par le biais de l’urbanisme, a permis de canaliser les déplacements des citadins, voire les domestiquer, dans les fragments urbains exploités par Stanza, l’environnement sonore reste quant à lui tout à fait sauvage. Sensity a le mérite de proposer une esthétique intéressante en accord avec une réflexion actuelle et essentielle sur le monde qui nous entoure. Si le résultat est déjà une réussite en lui-même, les réseaux de capteurs déployés par l’artiste restent tout de même de petite échelle, considérant les coûts du matériel impliqué. Bien plus que quelques morceaux de la nébuleuse urbaine, c’est le monde en entier que Stanza veut conquérir et mettre en musique.

stanza datacities liverpool

stanza datacities liverpool…my sensors al over google maps. 2008

Rappelons toutefois la figure du flâneur qui a été évoquée pour parler de la posture de l’internaute ou du spectateur. Il n’est pas ici question d’un regard appareillé par la marche, comme a pu le proposer Benjamin en parlant du flâneur baudelairien, mais plutôt appareillé par un réseau qui, à son tour, permet au spectateur d’exercer son regard et son écoute librement, y allant ensuite de sa propre critique. Cette dernière rend possible le recul du spectateur vis-à-vis ses perceptions habituelles, une réflexion sur ce qu’est devenue la ville aujourd’hui en forçant à mettre de l’ordre, rationnaliser le chaos audiovisuel présenté par l’artiste. Éventuellement, cette prise de conscience pourrait être vécue par tous grâce à la miniaturisation des capteurs (de la poussière intelligente espère Stanza), qui permettrait de rendre le matériau urbain sensible au même titre que les citadins. Le paysage urbain n’est plus simplement de verre, d’acier et de pierre. Il faut y ajouter les données qui, dorénavant visibles, permettent de consolider autrement la relation de l’être humain au labyrinthe de la ville.  By Benoit Bordeleau.
(This review is quoted in full for my own reference.)

Stanza: Control Series Paintings. 1990

March 4th, 2010
Stanza Oil painting 1989.  Control

Stanza painting oil on canvas. 1989

Stanza Painting The Control Series from 1989 . Oil on Canvas.

The city itself is always changing; it is always in flux. Each aspect of city life seems to demonstrate specific characteristics, which can be developed into individual parts of the labyrinth, making up the images that will be used. A city experience consists of small unit blocks and cells which inter-relate and lock together to form the composite city identity. The city has moved from metropolis to megalopolis to the ecumenopolis. The city is everywhere, with lifeless design spreading upwards and forming a conundrum of physical objects in space.

A city form is a conundrum of physical objects in space. Cities become “insect colonies”, spreading upwards with giant towers looming over vacant lots, and empty spaces. Previous works using the motif of urbanism, includes the LP ‘Conundrum’ and linear video works. These works throw you into the land full of precisely constructed sounds creating gloomy atmospheres aimed to provoke listeners vision about urbanistic landscapes.

Also …. a whole series of large paintings and photo based works.

The series “Control” resulted large large black and white oil on canvas images from 1990 – 1992 and the “New Decayed” from 1989. (see


Stanza Oil painting 1990.  Control

Stanza paintings oil on canvas. 1990


September 29th, 2009

iMAGE: stanza gps maP. 2005

The image above by Stanza is a series of GPS walks in Bristol made in 2003.

Is London ( or could it be ) a “Digital City”?
So it seems it says the interesting show at the “Building Centre”, where about 20 architecture and design studios are proposing a selection of multimedia solutions and applications for the city. The city is analyzed and re-projected following the ideas and guidelines of information technologies, information and technical controls, the two parallel and opposite lines of the digital field.

Projects illustrate utopian projects through a wide use of applications like huge screens or elaborated audiovisual devices. All together, it’s the idea of the city as a network and information space. “The London City Model” of Gmj design reconstructs in 3d about 40 sq. km of the city, other groups work on a map of pollution in London like the studio “Casa” while “Atmos” designs an installation that maps the sun’s presence through the reception of data mapping meteorological stations around the world thus cataloging the different brightness in different cities of the planet.

The projects extend the digital applications in the field of design and they highlight the near future possibilities of digital to make the city more accessibile and to communicate its contents, to develop an architecture of communications that shows a city different from the delirious steel & crystal that the “archi-stars” are making as the main character of architecture.

Since the nineties, London has been one of the focal points of contemporary art.

How is the space in town for digital arts?
There is space, though not space for big shows, that are located more often in Liverpool, Hull or other minor centres. Since many of the languages are, (or are becoming by now digital, like video and photography), it’s more difficult to distinguish between digital arts and visual arts.
Video art is present in visual galleries like the “historical” “White Cube” that shows the latest works by Sam Taylor Wood, a video installation on 8 screens, “Sigh”, where an orchestra plays without instruments, while the musicians mime the actions of playng.

Prevalence of “feeling” over acting? Refusal of the image of things and reference to contents?
Beyond video the digital scene is still researching and experimenting on borderline spaces, developing in art colleges, or through some specialised galleries. But in the London public spaces there is just now a wide presence of Raphael Lozano Hemmer’s works, a big installation at Barbican Centre, where the public’s shadows activate radio waves, defining the invisibile presence of the innumerable signals that surround us.

Meanwhile, in the historical space of Trafalgar Square there is a big video installation, “Underscan”, sequences of video-portraits taken in northern England and based on virtual relationships through media. Sleeping people are activated by the shadows of passers-by and seem to contact the public with the purpose of involving the “other” alienated in society.
Where there is today an underground but steady growth of digital media in the artist’s field.
Integration of digital media is on its way in the art system and mainly in the teaching of the art colleges furnishing artists and materials for a an art scene particularly active like the London one.

These artists translate the digital and comunication language forms, that are by now more complex then in the 80’s and 90’s.

Stanza, artist and researcher at Goldsmith’s College works on definition of “topographies” called “Biocities” or “Innercities”, traces and paths through satellite projects or webcam, control cameras, etc… Like in “Urban Generations” that accumulates live-cctv sequences from different global points in an image of the city always renewed, post-producted in a collage of different engines re-elaborating data on view.

stanza artwork

IMAGE: Stanza artwork. Visualisation of data.

Stanza screenshot of live data visualisation of the city

The Goldsmith College itself works on new media and organizes conferences .
For example “Metadata”, with speakers such as Lev Manovich and Lozano Hemmer, who talk about using the data and the web digital memory as a platform a well as a tool itself, working on the accumulation of different fonts.

The Slade School’s approach to media is different, starting not so much from the media culture but from issues typical of contemporary arts. The section “Scemfa” teaches concepts of new media and has a website with news and works inside and outside the School. Several artists are teaching in the department (of digital media?). For instance, Susan Collins who, from the nineties, focuses her work on relationships between digital image and its development in time, following a given concept. As it happens in “Slow Fields”, where she gradually “leafs through”, or processes a landscape using a webcam putting it in a data base extending the image over a year. Codifying and encoding image as time based data as stripes of visualization, showing pixels reavealing the digital nature of the image. As in other works like “Harewood”, “Fenlandia” and “Glenlandia”, equally based on showing the material-immateriality of digital, exasperating its processes.

Also at Slade School, Simon Faithfull works on a “look from outside”, emphasizing mechanical movements, casual or pre-designed, recognizing spaces in a trip to Alaska as seen through an airplane porthole, or like the video “30 Km” shot from a weather balloon, or the whole circuit of a subway line. The target? Mapping space and mapping our relation with it.
While the digital area in London connects through “Node”, media network on the web, some galleries choose media-oriented languages like “http” directed by Mark Garrett, author of the “Furtherfield org”, proposing art on the net since a long time. The gallery “Http” wants to be related only to digital languages but located in a physical space that models the net and network concepts. “The Space”, has a long history and it’s a partly “no profit” structure that manages studios and low cost reidencies for young artists.

Just as a gallery, has opened to new media and is showing “New Media in Canada”, several Canadian artists using media culture: Peter Flemming, Germaine Koh, Joe Mackay, Nicholas Stedman, Norman White. The works, still very different for every artist, are all engaged in operations of measurments, reckonings, using technological tools and inserting tiny deviances outlining contradictions. Flemming’s boat contains water and does not navigate, Stedman’s robot ( remembering Deep Blue ) reacts to contact with human skin.
All works tend to find ironic solutions to the questions seriously posed by the “Technoart” in these years in dramatic tones. The “distance” taken from the digital issues by artists is shown in the choice of the tradition of “mechanical toys” and the odd structures of so many digital art devices, thus opening to a more fluid use of those same issues in plastic arts.
“Arts Catalysts” organizes shows in different spaces on “site specific” choices, networks and installations like “Nuclear. Art and Radioactivity”, working on the issue of nuclear energy, repositioning the problem in parallel with the new and controversial projects of nuclear structures.
The show, installed in an abandoned public structure, left the public alone to discover a video, “Half Life”, memories of an old nuclear centre, and a radioactivity detector signalling radiations in an empty and ruined office like in the movie “Stalker”. The techno-scientific issues raised by Arts Catalysts both with discussions and installations try to link creative issues to ecology, science, space and biotecnology.

Showing video as well is the classic I.C.A (even with vj) and the British Film Institute, with artists’ videos, and video-compilations by “Onedotzero”. And active as well groups about web-tv and vj like “AddictiveTv” and “ne1co” working on video languages and live media in a scene of mixed cultures both in clubs and on Net.

So in a very short visit Digital/London looks difficult to seize. It is more a collage of very different elements from established White Cube and Hunch of Venison gallerie, public spaces like Barbican Centre or Trafalgar Square or institutional structures like I.C.A.
Of course the main role is played by the experimental structures doing courageous shows like “The space”, “Http” and “Arts Catalysts” and a number of small groups working in the direction of net and public spaces.

While research structures and galleries look for a space of mediation with the public and the art system, a future change will surely come from the art colleges by now working with video and various softwares .
Out of “Media Arts”, the issues opened by use of digital instruments lead to consequent changes in the aesthetic production and in the productive role of the artists.
And they reveal many unknown quantities about the contemporary art system, today in full mediatic visibility and museum explosion, but still cautious towards the contents of the more radical digital arts.

Lorenzo Taiuti

Networked Cities By Stanza. Sensity project.

February 6th, 2009
Copyright Image by Stanza

Networked Cities By Stanza. Sensity project.

Copyright Image by Stanza

The ‘environment’ in these projects is created from a wireless multi nodal multi sensor network that is in place. The network emits live data via a proxy server and the online xml data gateway represent a live communication flow of the city space. This impression and this part of the work is what I term asset gathering and in this case they are constantly gathered into an online system ready for interpretation.

The online interfacing of live real time sensors networks allows a communication with environment, with real space in the present. Control mechanisms of ownership and rights access are opened up my making the data available in the public domain. These real time impressions can be modulated from online interfaces to physical sculptural interpretations.

The data is remade real again as physical objects interpret the virtualized readouts. The analogue is made digital and the digital can be formed into a variety of output devices. The data can be represented as online interfaces like I have made (Sensity , House, both online), or by triggering the technology in the physical world, ie sensors, Leds, displays, robots etc. Sensity can trigger buildings relating to whole cities, or vice versa. The flow of the data can be set to affect the behaviour of the output environment.
The data environment that is created is a mapped on top of the space, a virtual data map or the real world.

Other artists are also allowed access to this “back end city, real data city and they can make their own “Sensities”. In this way the data is open sourced. From any Sensity network numerous artistic interventions can take place. In fact the whole city can be represented, and all artists can make multiple work from this “The Emergent City”.  A city of sculptures re-presenting  real time space.

Page 66 of “Responsive Environments”, Lucy Bullivan. On talking about Usman Haque “he awaits the environment that is simply intelligent”. 1


Sensor on Google Maps 2006

stanza datacity

Networked Cities By Stanza. Sensity project. 2004 – 2010

Within Sensity there is now a loop from the real to the virtual and back to the real.  This notion of playing or manipulating with a malleable form (data) is made possible as each stream, each node, each sensor, or even the entire network can be communicated with using this xml online gateway.
We have seen rich shift in relational and responsive interactive works and the move away from gallery as a venue for art to the use of architecture and public domain space in the last twenty years….stanza

In an age of global warming, so many artists are still using the architectural space as a coloured light bulb. As we burn more fossil fuels the light are flashing on and off. Sensity be made more physical on output to represent of the growth of the city as an experience in the real world away from the screen. A city representation of the fabric of city space end the emerging patterns caused by these data flows. An art city can be made where the data powers the wind turbines, the data changing the solar panels that change the lights. Loops of real time data change the meaning all the while changing the  input and output  which is (e)merging into a new space.  Also  see my new works Tree, Sonicity and Capacities. REF.1. “Responsive Environments:  Architecture, Art And Design.”Lucy Bullivan. V & A Publications. 2006.

390,000 to access child database

January 29th, 2009

A child protection database containing the contact details for all under 18-year-olds in England will be accessible to 390,000 staff, say ministers. The Contact Point database is intended to improve information sharing between professionals working with children Children’s Minister Baroness Morgan said parents would not be allowed to remove their children from the list.

The Conservatives attacked the £224m database as “another expensive data disaster waiting to happen”. The Liberal Democrats have also previously opposed what they called an “intrusive and expensive project”.

Baroness Morgan is crazy…..this is a blunder waiting to happen, and what happened to childrens rights. This is an ID system for our kids. I don’t even want my child on this list. What happened to allowing parents a say. Allowing 390,000 people access is just sort of insane. Why not just put it all up on the internet and be done with it.

So no I  don’t want my child on your database, and the image below is copyright.

It shows Amber Stanza, not to be used without permission and cannot be stored on any retrieval system without written permission.

Copyright Image by Stanza

Image shows Amber Stanza, not to be used without permission and cannot be stored on any retrieval system without written permission.

What will we need to fight for in twenty years once we have lost our liberty?

January 28th, 2009

Duncan Campbell. Liberty in Electronic Space.  He talks about the loss of the value of privacy and the effects on liberty. He then cites various  new systems or techs that invade privacy.  CCCTV, ANPR, AMP , DPI , PHORM ,ACSA , PNR , ….all forms of tracking in the new datasphere.

It seems to me we are mving towards a super database, some sort of systems that  has borders of information.  We need to  remember systems migrate. These futures dont creep up on us they are made. In the UK we are investing heavily in CCTV police surveillance electronic surveillance. So the question is why….what they  know…what does the public really have to  hide.

What happens when a newer power starts to use these systems in different ways. The younger generation will not be able to  argue without be traced tracked and invaded,

Maybe we are heading for a bloodbath. Refer to history.

What will we need to fight for in twenty years once we have lost our liberty? And how hard will the fight be. You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.

Image: Stanza. These are Our Children.

Image: Stanza. These are Our Children.

Legalised surveillance in children’s toilets.

January 25th, 2009

Your are being watched

From the BBC comes one of my favourite posts to date.

CCTV in children’s toilets. Reading below I wonder what “major concern is”. I would have thought spying and watching young girls in a toilet via CCTV was a major concern. Why I wonder hasn’t every single parent withdrawn their children from this school. Surely the council should spend money more ethically. Ceredigion Council really need to go back to school on this one and have a think where such policies could really go.

From the BBC:

A teenage pupil has been withdrawn from her school after CCTV cameras were installed in the pupils’ toilets. Anthony White, from Llandysul told a newspaper that the cameras at Ysgol Dyffryn Teifi in Ceredigion were an “outrageous invasion” of privacy. He said his 14-year-old daughter has also said she will not return to school while the cameras are still there. But Ceredigion Council said it had installed the cameras after incidents of “major concern” were reported.

Mr White told the Carmarthen Journal that he had taken his daughter out of the school over the cameras. “I think its an invasion of her privacy,” he told the paper.

“The whole place is like they’re on Big Brother. There are cameras all around the school, outside and in the corridors.” Ceredigion Council, which is the school’s local education authority (LEA), issued a statement saying the CCTV footage in the school’s toilet was only examined if an incident was reported. “The LEA understands the equipment to have been installed owing to pupils and cleaning staff reporting incidents that were of major concern to them,” the statement said.

“However, it is further understood that the CCTV footage is only examined should an incident be reported either by pupils or the cleaning staff.”

“Any such viewing of CCTV footage is undertaken by senior members of staff having Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) clearance. “ The council said no other schools in Ceredigion are using CCTV in toilet areas used by pupils. “The Ceredigion LEA draws attention to the fact that pupil surveys undertaken throughout the country continually show situations that arise in school toilet areas are one of the main concerns expressed by pupils,” the statement continued.” Schools are, of course, required to consider the views and concerns of their pupils and take appropriate action.

Dna debate. Invasions of privacy in new spaces.

December 5th, 2008
Copyright Image by Stanza

Copyright Image by Stanza. Stanza DNA on building.

After my genomixer work in 2004 where I  sequenced my DNA and made a series of artworks, I became interested in the ownership and control of data. With dna, data which is used as criminal evidence there has become growing concern of possible misuse and mismanagement of a large collected database. The gathering of individual sets of data seems to  be quite harmless, its the mass collection and weaving of data ( data mining) where possible issues of abuse will arise.

Anyway there are some interesting posts on a BBC forum.

Here are some of the best.

Of course, if we were all electronically tagged and continuously tracked, there would be even less crime; and innocent people would have nothing to fear…(ok within this sarcastic comment lies the future. Do we want this sort of …..I have nothing to hide mentality to get to this extreme. It would be interesting for sure, but why do we have to live in fear and mistrust everybody else).
I, for one, vouch for safety over freedom. If a police state is what it takes in order to bring about basic safety and lawfulness, then so be it. ( But this one isnt sarcastic…someone wants us to  bring on a police state)
I don’t know what people are complaining about! Our society has become infested with criminals and terrorists.

Retaining DNA samples for the innocent, no matter for what reason, is against the law – end of. By doing so, the police and other authorities are implying that we are guilty of some crime yet to be committed!

If State intrusion continues as is then it won’t be long before the data is taken at birth and everyone is ‘chipped’.

The technology to have data transmitters implanted in humans is nearly with us. Presumably those people happy to have an enforced national DNA database will also be happy to have such a device implanted.

My DNA, identity and medical records belong to me. After me, my details belong to my family. The State has no right whatsoever to assert any kind of ownership, storage or access rights to that information.

For those interested you might like Genomixer. A series of online artworks inspired by the human genome sequence and developed from dna profile which are sequenced from my blood. The online artworks are investigations into genetic codes mapped and re assembled online. The series enables a cross reference all the code on the genome sequence allowing you to intermix or breed your own variable; you can look at the new mix of chromosomes in real time; on line. You can also keep and print this pattern from the website. Works are enabled by dna code extracted from my blood. The sounds and images of code make audio visual self portrait versions.


CCTV the new planned unrest as a result of economic policy.

November 11th, 2008

Police camera action, CCTV makes quite good TV.

Attacking and confronting the systems. CCTV makes a good memorial a document of our social reality, our neglect.  All those images of last seen here from Jill Dando, to Damilola Taylor, my Stars Of  CCTV….these images forever recorded before the bullet hits or the police charge.

But what use is it to contain and kettle, to lock down the people. The city is the people its for the people.

We are living in a cyber city, it could become a cyber prison, so should we just get used to it, should we just open up the system. We should do  something otherwise when the fight starts our children will suffer.

In 1994 John Major said, “No sympathy for civil liberties groups whatsoever”.  Quote from conservative local conference. CCTV sees a function creep extending its uses and purpose over time. But can we trust the technology.  We have become a society of endemic surveillance.

In the next  few years we  will see the seeds sown for endemic surveillance. The new investment from the police and councils can only  be for the new planned unrest as a result of economic policy.

These systems will be in place to track and monitor those who have “issues” and they  will have been paid for by you.

The we have nothing top hide culture will soon find out what they have “invested” in as this technology becomes embedded in the networked city. Seeing out children fight, be unemployed and spied upon….this will be our fault.

stanza world is watching

Image: Stanza. "The world is watching" Live CCTV artworks from around the globe. 2004

The above images is a canvas artwork  from the generative real  time system called  “The  World is Watching. It uses  live CCTV feeds from 1200 cameras from around the globe.

A global panoptican…only it should be transparent and open.

The seeds we are sowing will not reap  healthy rewards. This investment is blind.

Government defeat on DNA database

November 5th, 2008

The government has been defeated in the House of Lords over the issue of keeping peoples’ DNA and fingerprints on the police national database.

The UK has the largest police DNA database in the world – with more than four million people on file.
“If the government wants a universal DNA database it should say so, not smuggle one in through the backdoor,” Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said.

Ministers believe such guidelines could hinder their plans for a counter-terrorist database as releasing details of material obtained covertly, through surveillance, could be dangerous.

The government says such a database is vital for public protection but opposition MPs have criticised the step as “Orwellian”.

Who runs the database?

A department in the Home Office is responsible for the day-to-day running and its work is overseen by a board composed of the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Association of Police Authorities.

Can children be included?

Yes but there are no legal powers to take a DNA sample from anyone under 10 without the consent of a parent or legal guardian.

Under-18s also make up nearly a quarter of all arrests so the Home Office says a “comparative proportion” of profiles is to be expected.


We are all becoming victims of the control state.

October 16th, 2008
Stanza.  Artwork

Stanza. Artwork

Jacqui Smith leads us down the path of total state control. (haven’t we been there before). Some more research needs to be done in this area, and the total lack of creative debate speaks volumes about this inept direction the ID, data, dna, CCTV society is moving.

Its time for a full scale review and creative think tank should be set up, to analyse use of new technologies, data mining, and misuse / abuse of technology. The police should stop setting the agenda. The public are not criminals, people on the buses are not criminals, our children are not criminals. We have are becoming victims of the control state.

Things change. There will always be danger in big cities, lets face it millions of people live in them. But the idea is that its fun to live and be in big places, not oppressive.

Where will it end when we are forced to carry id cards with rfid that trace all our habits, movement and views and earnings. Where will it end, when we have systems in place that cannot be removed, ( DNA searches, CCTV everywhere, government controlled banks, all phone calls recorded, mobile phone tracing our movement). Well for sure if we trust the government no problem. But governments change , not only that but ideologies change. And worse, businesses get sold. With governments outsourcing many of these databases like our utilities, these new data assets could be run by agencies in other lands.
From BBC below

Details of the times, dates, duration and locations of mobile phone calls, numbers called, website visited and addresses e-mailed are already stored by telecoms companies for 12 months under a voluntary agreement.

Far more widely-used are powers to track a suspect’s telephone calls, texts, e-mails and internet use, to find out whom they’re communicating with, how frequently they’re in touch, and in the case of the internet, what websites they’re visiting.

This does not involve viewing or listening to content.

‘Vital tool’

This information – known as “communications data” – is held for billing and business use by telephone companies, communications firms and internet service providers.

The data may also include other details, such as the time a message or e-mail was sent, and the location from which calls are made.

There are clearly considerable civil liberty concerns and privacy issues which will need to be overcome for any new scheme to get off the ground.

Under legislation, law enforcement agencies can request access to communications data – the companies involved are obliged to hold on to it for 12 months. It’s a vital tool for police and the security and intelligence services – and not just for terrorism and serious crimes.

The data can be accessed by the police and security services on request – but the government plans to take control of the process in order to comply with an EU directive and make it easier for investigators to do their job.

Information will be kept for two years by law and may be held centrally on a searchable database.

Without increasing their capacity to store data, the police and security services would have to consider a “massive expansion of surveillance,” Ms Smith said in a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research earlier.

Data about use of telephones, internet and e-mails would be channelled to one central point, but the database would not store the content of people’s messages or calls.

Another possibility is that internet service providers and communications companies would be given some government funding to improve the way they collect and store data.

No decisions have been taken yet. There are clearly considerable civil liberty concerns and privacy issues which will need to be overcome for any scheme to get off the ground.

But counter-terrorism officials have warned that there is no time to lose. “The ground is shifting under our feet,” said one.


The ground is “shifting” indeed. To a society based on mistrust where we are stopped getting off the bus daily to have bus passes checked by hundreds of waiting police. Our children are monitored in schools, they are being stopped daily and searched ( not hundred of times but over 2000,000 searches last year alone and the police want more.

I think its always a fair point when people say its ok I have nothing to hide. However badly trained police often traumatise young people with these searches. Face down on the floor surrounded by armed police, must nt be fun if your sixteen. This is not uncommon as one sixteen year old recently found out. So my point; imagine if this was your child, how would you feel, or imagine if it was you. So all you people saying its ok for more dna test, id card, cctv , and police searches you have to ask what sort of society are we be led into.


Lib Dem home affairs spokesman Chris Huhne said: “The government’s Orwellian plans for a vast database of our private communications are deeply worrying.” that all you got to say.
“Ministers claim the database will only be used in terrorist cases, but there is now a long list of cases, from the arrest of Walter Wolfgang for heckling at a Labour conference to the freezing of Icelandic assets, where anti-terrorism law has been used for purposes for which it was not intended.” “Our experience of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act suggests these powers will soon be used to spy on people’s children, pets and bins.

“These proposals are incompatible with a free country and a free people.”

But Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said “lines must be drawn” to defend “fundamental liberties”.

Later he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One: “I’m not saying it’s right or wrong but I think there should be absolute full transparency.”

This is a great quote, talk about hedging your bets.

So who is actually listening here. By setting up a think tank it could explore this notion “full transparency”, and what it means.
The government’s own reviewer of anti-terror laws, Lord Carlile, said: “The raw idea of simply handing over all this information to any government, however benign, and sticking it in an electronic warehouse is an awful idea if there are not very strict controls about it.”

Shadow home secretary Dominic Grieve, said the government’s record on protecting data was “appalling” adding: “Putting all this data into the hands of the government will threaten our security, not make it better.


Putting this information into the hands of any government will threaten our personal long term security, although its possible true the state itself might well be protected more by all this control. One has to understand the technology and the way it can be abused.

So the question is why the sudden mis- placement of trust in society and the current need and belief in technology to combat crimes.

This whole debate is between the police and wrongdoers and its now directing policy, energy and money.

Stanza painting Control. 1989. Oil On Canvas

Stanza painting Control. 1989. Oil On Canvas

Voters’ data ‘should not be sold’

July 11th, 2008

The ethical values and economic values of information and personal data is a little side business or tax that will increasingly affect the way people communicate with each other. And it seems the State is already Voters’ data ‘should not be sold’ trying to  profit.

Is anyone asking questions …..who is  going to sell or profit by the answers ….invoices,contracts and profit share schemes should be discussed at the onset.

Would you like sugar in you tea dear, one or two  spoons…….and which  brand.

The government-commissioned report said allowing voters’ details to be sold to commercial firms sent a “poor message”.

It also said people should have a right to know who firms shared their details with and firms which deliberately broke privacy rules should face large fines.

The government said it agreed measures needed to be taken to increase trust. I am asleep.