The Internet Of Things. Part 1 ( the art of gathering environmental data.)

June 11, 2012 by stanza Leave a reply »

Sensity by Stanza data city.Selected projects I have made since 2004 that demonstrate the art of gathering environmental data. The Internet Of Things.

These work came into being because of a Nesta Dreamtime award and AHRC creative fellowship grant. Most of these artworks where made 2004 – 2012.


Sensity artworks are made from the data that is collected across the urban and environment infrastructure. The sensors interpret the micro-data of the interactive city. The output from the sensors display the “emotional” state of the city online in real time and the information is also used to create offline installations and sculptural artworks.


These datamaps show live environmental data from a 40 motes wireless sensor network that can be deployed anywhere. They monitor light, temperature, humidity, noise.

Intelligent Sheep: Baa Ram Ewe…to your clan be true.

This is an interactive sound performance and concert. This artwork uses local environmental data collected using ad hoc wireless networked devices for environmental monitoring, which are attached to the sheep. In this case the dozen sheep collect and send data about the environment, and respond to the space as a collective as they move about.


Faith is an artwork made using data harvested from sensors scattered over the cathedral. The sensors respond to changes in the environment they are located in this case Liverpool Catherdral. The data is turned into a sound stream, this sound stream represents Gods presence and you can listen to this sounds, the sound of God.


House is a dynamic public sculpture viewable over the internet. House describes the space, a real Victorian terraced house, in this case, that the artist lives in. House is a live embodiment of change and renewal. In “House”, the private interior has been made public. Sensor data unfolds and discloses the inherent properties of the space, creating an online artwork.


A tree that makes music and sings a song about the environment. The first version of Tree used 40 networked multi sensors. The sensors are hidden all over a tree, broadcasting sensor data ( light, temperature, humidity, noise, and GPS location). The data is translated to music. The results produce a singing networked tree which can be heard in the park.

A world of new possibilities.

The landscape becomes virtual, dynamic, and encoded. The artwork discloses the underlying data that we see that is changing all the time in front of us.


The gallery becomes the artwork formed by the emergent real time data in the space. The gallery laid bare as a work of art. Gallery proposes that the data is art. The art is a real time flow of the things around us that allow our senses to invoke understanding. The gallery space becomes the art described by the shifts in light, temperature and noises in the space over time.

data data data

“data data data”, is a live real time data visualisation made using sensors which are scattered over the building. The sensors respond to changes in gallery space ie the environment of the building. The changing data is turned into this visual event and projected outside across the city, in this case Liverpool. This artwork is networked, its real time, and its takes data from a wireless sensor network that is placed in the real space.

The facade is a live dynamic interface, an artwork that changes its behaviour as a result of the changing condition in the environment. This works by sensing the city and the environment to make art. The results become representations of the real time spaces and environment of Trondheim in Norway. The output from the sensors display the real time environmental and emotional state of the city online in real time and the information will be used on the façade and online interface to control it.

In Capacities the whole gallery space becomes one large artwork made from real time city information and data. The aesthetic and feel of the space looks like an electronic city.  The city is made of units, grids, repetition, building blocks. In the gallery city called ‘Capacities’ the leads, the wires, and cables are incorporated into the artwork to look like a city map.  Capacities looks “designed” like a piece of urban design, a city surveyed and controlled.  The whole space becomes a map to wander through.


This artwork is a responsive installation, a sonification of the real space and environment. The sounds you hear are the sounds of the changing environment, ie the changes of noise, light, temperature of the space is turned into a real time sound stream using dozens of wireless sensors presented as an installation on 170 speakers. My system monitors the space (the building) and the environment (the city) and captures live real time data (light , temperature, noise, humidity, position) to create an ambient sonification, an acoustic responsive environment, literally the sound of the micro incidents of change that occur over time.



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