Archive for July, 2008

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.

Surveillance Art 2008

July 9th, 2008

surveillance art

Its great to be invited to Plymouth Arts Centre to work on my surveillance art system that incorporates the visitors to the gallery inside the artwork. As visitors come into the gallery, they are then monitored and captured by the camera system in the gallery. A series of codes and custom electronics manipulates the camera feeds and the resulting video feeds. Proximity sensors on the floor allow the system to zoom in, or divide the screen into grids, depending on where people are standing in the gallery. The results are displayed on the gallery walls.

Concepts: The visitors to the gallery, are in fact assets, and I refer to the audience as data. The visitors, that is the audience are units of data, moving around the giant database, which is the gallery. The patterns, movement, and exchanges of data in the real space, can be measured and interpreted as an emergent social space or flow space.

  • The public are embedded into the “information stream” of the artwork so that they become the artwork.
  • The private body in the space is made public and shared.
  • The resulting experience becomes a real time artifact, the artwork is always changing, never the same again always different forever.
  • The focus is the live dynamic interpretation of the space and the people both inside and outside.
  • This artwork puts the audience, the public on display and everyone is incorporated into the spectacle in the gallery.
  • This work opens out the networks of surveillance and creates new narratives in the process.
  • The idea of using the information inside the space is also to make the space transparent and extend the gallery space outwards.

Funding and Development. This has been re-commissioned by Helen Sloan in 2008 where for Plymouth Arts Centre UK 2008 curated by Paula Orrell and was supported by The Arts Council Of England

Exhibitions and Provenance. This installation has been exhibited in these galleries and venues.

  • The Watershed Media Centre UK. Thanks to Dick Penny and Clarks Bursary. 2004.
  • Plymouth Arts Centre Feb. UK. Solo show. Thanks to Paula Orrell and Helen Sloan. 2008.

Google are our big brothers. Masters of our Universe.

July 7th, 2008

And we thought google was just a search. Well, for the past few years they have come up with some cool tools. But now it seems their cards are on the table, their intentions are clear. Its world domination by surveillance culture. We are just data and google aims to “own” us.

Think of  Will Smith in the film “Enemy of The State”, and then maybe we are getting close. Google in two months, two years, or twenty years.  Maybe its cool we can all watch each other going peacefully about out business as long as google make our faces blurred, what planet are google on, google earth?…yeah right.

So just what are Googles longer term intentions here? Spying on us through serach algorithms in the digital world is one thing, tracking us via open internet is another….time for the ethical debate to be brought to the centre stage with some creative input other than it makes the world a safer place.


Google has defended its controversial Street View photo-mapping tool, saying it will meet local privacy laws in European countries at launch.

The tool, which matches real world photos to mapped locations, has drawn fire from some privacy campaigners.

In the UK, Privacy International said the tool could breach data protection laws if people’s faces were shown.

Google has said it is using face blurring technology to preserve the privacy of individuals photographed.

“In our view they need a person’s consent if they make use of a person’s face for commercial ends,” Simon Davies, of Privacy International told BBC News.

Street View has already been launched in the US and includes photos of streets in major American cities. Photographing of areas in the UK, including London, is believed to have started last week.

Mr Davies has written to Google asking for details of the face-blurring technology, saying he would ask the UK Information Commissioner to intervene if he did not receive a satisfactory response.

He told BBC News that he was concerned that Google’s technology would not work.

Google’s senior privacy counsel Jane Horvath has responded saying that the technology had already been deployed.

So Jane I guess thats all right then is it.?

Copyright Image by Stanza

Copyright Image by Stanza: Globals live visualusation of media over the net 2004

Shows my live maps work from 2004… google maps can just take what they  want.

They  even have a photo of me in my house on google earth that they  took just as the google van passed…( glad I had my shorts on)..? Will google become the enemy of the state? ….

Stanza image from 2004. Global…Never the same again always different….forever.” by Stanza 2004


July 1st, 2008

Video installation by Bruce Nauman.

Live Taped Video Corridor (1970)

In Live/Taped Video Corridor, you walk down a long, very narrow corridor. At the end of the corridor there are two monitors on top of each other. The lower one shows a video tape of the corridor, the upper one shows a live (CCTV) video of the corridor, shot from a camera at a height of about 3 meters, at the entrance of the corridor. The effect is that as you walk down the corridor, you see yourself from the back, and as you approach the monitor you get further away from the camera so you never really get any closer to “yourself”.

Corridor Installation (Nick Wilder Installation) 1971 consists of an inaccessible room and six corridors, three of which may be entered. Navigating these spaces we encounter a series of television monitors that relay our image taken by CCTV cameras. The positioning of the cameras is such that the information displayed on the monitors contradicts that of actual experience: we are left with a feeling of confusion and even isolation.

To enter these works is to become a performer, yet at no time are we in control. Such are the spatial limitations that we can only make a limited number of responses, predetermined by the artist: ‘Whatever ways you could use it were so limited that people were bound to have more or less the same experiences I had.’ Viewed by some invisible authority, we become like rats in a cage, revealing generic patterns of human behaviour.

Vito Acconci, ‘Following Piece’ 1969

Vito Acconci, like Nauman, was also one of the first artists to really experiment with surveillance in his art. In Acconci’s ‘Following piece’1969, he took his surveillance to the streets and over the course of a month he closely filmed and documented the movements of anyone that happened to cross his path. Without the control and predictability of a gallery space, his films were documents of ‘real life’ as it occurred, and with them ranging from a few minutes to a few hours in length, it was an exaggerated exploration into the idea of ‘Big Brother is watching you’: it also analysed the intusion of personal space within a public area.

Julia Scher – ‘Security by Julia IX’ 1990. Julia Scher creates elaborate installations based around security and surveillance and invites the audience to become part of the work by playing the role of both the surveyor and the surveyed in her pieces ‘The Shurmann House’1991 and ‘Security by Julia IX’ 1990. By setting up cameras throughout the space, the viewers can look at themselves, watch others and wonder who could be looking at them in return.

Manu Luksch _ Faceless. ‘In a society under the reformed ‘Real-Time’ Calendar, without history nor future, everybody is faceless. A woman panics when she wakes up one day with a face. With the help of the Spectral Children she slowly finds out more about the lost power and history of the human face and begins the search for its future.

Chris Oakley

The Catalogue. ‘Placing the viewer into the position of a remote and dispassionate agency, observing humanity as a series of units whose value is defined by their spending capacity and future needs.’

Ann Stoddard makes interactive installations in which viewers are profiled via CCTV. These works explore how context can make viewers more aware of privacy and trust issues, less accepting of CCTV. At, see: RANDOM SUBJECTS; Application Center, Waiting Room; Datapaint- Surveilling Utopia. My next show opens March 26th at the District of Columbia Art Center (DCAC), Washington DC. Please contact me at if you have questions, and to request images, a video-dvd, a press release, reviews. I hope to hear from you.

ctrl[space] : Rhetorics of Surveillance from Bentham to Big Brother. Edited by Thomas Y. Levin, Ursula Frohne and Peter Weibel (USAUK). The book was put together around an exhibition about surveillance organised from October 2001 to February 2002 at the ZKM, Centre for Art and Media in Karlsruhe (Germany). The art pieces are treated extremely well with plenty of photos and a text often written by the artists themselves.

From Fixed Assets to open Systems and Media visualisations.

July 1st, 2008

Stanza. Pervasive Media in The City. 2004

From Fixed Assets to open Systems and Media visualisations.

The new-ness of the internet is still a viable claim. The internets ability to draw assets and data to create post modern allegory allows all sorts of media visualisations. The internet presents of a myriad ways to create ephemeral art across cross networks using all sorts of data information and media. The internet provides gateways and access for all, the editing process, mash-ups, authors as editors, as choice makers, as decision makers.

One can create these gateways oneself as artists to allow other access ones information and data create organic, generative ever changing artworks and experiences which is what Stanza does.

The development of Stanza’s work has shifted from asset gathering and media collection as artworks into a new studio space online. In earlier works Stanza used video cameras and sound recorders to gather assets or media to edit and make into artworks, that would be presented in various forms. Mostly edited and then used for distribution as editions or later online or displayed as output as art in an art gallery.

Even in earlier interactive pieces circa 1998 – 2002 Stanza was using assets and remixing re working these assets in system, usually mouse controlled and all displaying some level of user control, and generative visual aspect. IE in these interactive works Stanza is manipulating or allowing the user some control over my content , a remixing of this content.

Stanza Generative software map maker.

Stanza Generative software map maker.

This body of artwork has moved from fixed assets to interactive systems to open generative systems.  In 2002 Stanza started to develop less fixed systems that culled data and media from other sources. These mash-ups or interactive collage systems. ie Subfusion ,  CITYV etc.  In these systems there is no fixed tangible lists of assets (ie the are not databases) they are drawn or harvested via software from spaces.

What is data.  Sensors are affected by changes in the environment and these are the results ie numbers are polled of the sensors which are then interpreted via custom code.

18 764 7504 493 606 195 11 18 764 764 4 518 612 339 203 12 16 778 779 6 515 485 417 196 2 2 764 764 7 482 481 321 291 19 16 778 606 195 11 18 764 764 4 518 612 339 203 12 16 778 779 6 515 485 417 196 2 2 764 764 7 482 481 196 2 2 764 764 7 482 481 321 291 19 1 18 764 7504 493 606 195 11 18 764 764 4 518 612 339 203 12 16 778 779 6 515 485 417 196 2 2 764 764 7 482 481 321 291 19 16 778 606 195 11 18 764 764 4 518 612 339 203 12 16 778 779 6 515 485 417 196 2 2 764 764 7 482 481 196 2 2 764 764 7 482 481 321 291 19 1 18 764 7504 493 606 195 11 18 764 764 4 518 612 339 203 12 16 778 779 6

Stanza: CCTV  Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.

Stanza: CCTV Media Visualisation 2005. Large print On Canvas.