Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

Hacking Habitat In Utrecht

March 3rd, 2016

Curated by Ine Gevers, Hacking Habitat witnesses  “the rise of a ‘remote control society’ colonizing and infiltrating increasing realms of daily life for the sake of safety and risk- management. Monitoring cameras and smart gateways are installed everywhere, while we are classified and atomized by automatic face recognition. Software and algorithms define who deviates or contributes too little to our economy. ”

Featuring Joseph Beuys (DE), Melanie Bonajo (NL), James Bridle (UK), Felix Burger (DE), Centre for Political Beauty (DE), Johan Grimonprez (BE), Susan Hiller (USA), Samson Kambalu (MW), William Kentridge (SA), Laura Kurgan (USA), Cristina Lucas (ESP), Metahaven (NL), Pedro Reyes (MX),  Stanza (UK), Timo Arnall (NO),  and many others.















The Nemesis Machine is a miniature city, made up of wires, chips, computer parts, switches and specially designed electronics. The installation shows the current data flow of Smart City London, complete with environmental sensors and surveillance cameras, as well as data from traffic information and environmental monitoring systems. The work responds to the temperature, light, pressure and sound of the simulated city. If something changes in London, it’s registered directly in motion, sound and light in the miniature city of Utrecht. The Nemesis Machine is like the avatar of London and is not only driven by the real city, it is entirely dependent on it.15-STANZA-0414b-mj9m0abah8kt7ms5qmn5wpy6cqlj20tpijnm1zlokg

The Nemesis Machine is een miniatuurstad, opgebouwd uit kabels, chips, computeronderdelen, schakelaars en speciaal ontworpen elektronica. De installatie toont de actuele dataflow van Smart City Londen, gemeten met omgevingssensoren, bewakingscamera´s, verkeersinformatie- en milieumonitoringsystemen. Het werk reageert op o.a. temperatuur, licht, luchtdruk en geluid van de nagebootste stad. Als iets wijzigt in Londen, zie je dat direct terug in beweging, geluid en licht in de miniatuurstad in Utrecht. Nemesis Machine is als het ware de avatar van Londen en wordt niet alleen real time bestuurd door de echte stad, maar is er volledig van afhankelijk.


Stanza On The Front Row BBC radio 4 Talking about Big Data

September 4th, 2013

Stanza On The Front Row BBC radio 4 Talking about Big Data.

Thu, 29 Aug 13 Big Data art– the artists who find inspiration in big data….on the front row bbc radio 4.

Artwork By STanza

Stanza: Can we use new technologies to imagine a world where we are liberated and empowered. An interview between Stanza and Rob van Kranenburg of the Internet Of Things

May 3rd, 2012

An interview between Stanza and Rob van Kranenburg of the Internet Of Things

RvK: Stanza, you were among the first internet artists. What would you say is the most important philosophical step (if we can think in terms of ‘progress’, or ‘going somewhere’) that you have taken in this period? “In the last twenty years there has been a significant shift in audio visual artists’ practise from linear expressions, to interactive (user controlled) mediations, to generative (evolving) and then network-based (real time) systems. Online, this space  also expands the whole notion of the artist’s studio.  My focus is on the things that change, the flow, the data that describes our experience of the city as space. Data from all sides in systems that can be mediated by all, with varying visualizations communicated over the internet and represented onto different display systems.

There are many theoretical aspects to my work, but primarily I am a practice-based artist……in other words I make stuff.

My work has covered experiments in these areas and traced a shift in practise from modernist approaches of asset gathering (linear construction) to arrangements of datasets in fixed lists or databases (interactivity) to new approaches of mining information across networks in real time.( generative and real time systems)……culling data off CCTV networks, making visualizations of cities from my wireless sensor networks.”

RvK: How do feel about the current actualizations of the ‘in between’ space that you felt, saw or heard coming some time ago?

“I believe there is a new social space that exists in between these independent networks. Future cities will be merged into real time connected up data cities.  A connection of networks of real time information flows. The results created will lead mashed up cities and real time performative city experiences.  This conclusion although led from my earlier trails using wireless sensors in a project called Sensity.

I am interested in how this shared data space can overlap creating a new space in between which only two nodes or spaces share. For example in one of my artistic experiments I have  merged collected data from various real time cities to visualise this new space, the space where the cities overlap and which allude to a new architectural and urban virtual space. Uses of such information might allow rich new interpretative visualisations about the way our world is built, used, and designed.

The resulting artworks represent the real time conditions of the city.  Works like “Sensity”, create real time interpretations of social spaces that inform the world (online), and hopefully create new meaningful experiences allowing critical reflection on the real time city and the social political undercurrent embedded in the search for the real time city.

This might also allow for a greater community of interpreters and beneficiaries to see, and to come to their own understandings arising from this data about our socially-networked environment.  (as the data in these projects is open via XML)

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.

The world we will live in seems to be a much bigger brother than the Orwellian vision, it’s the mother of big brother.

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 or are these technologies going to control up, separate us, divide us, create more borders. Will the securitization of city space create digital borders that monitor our movement and charge us for our own micro movements inside the system?”

RvK: The data is the medium, you state. Can you explain this a little bit?

“Just  that… the data is the medium of the age….”

RVK: Can you find connections to the FB generation? Do you want to?

“It has a useful API as do all these new big sites; however there are restrictions entering the domains and boundaries of others especially when they  try to cross over and get monitised.”

RvK: The key  (or one of the keys) is  the granularity of input for these ‘smart’ systems. How do you see this?

“Yes, small unit blocks, simplified then re built , re-cored re-formed into an understanding that can re-communicate the complexity of the larger system. Strip the city down and re- configure it as a real-time visualization and plug it into other cities.”

The art of gathering data Sesnors in the city

The art of gathering data. Sensors  in the city

RvK: Your work is filled with wonder? Do you feel that this wonder is facilitated somehow in what is now termed Internet of Things?

“I have tried to encompass this “wonder” about real time connectivity and networked space  in my  latest three works, they are about the “internet of things”, but equally  they  are about real  time experiences of the environment and the spaces that change around us.”

Stanza Installation Of Real City Data at Gogbot Festival Enshcede Holland. Sept 2011

September 1st, 2011

Off  to Holland for an exhibition of Capacities by Stanza at Gogbot Festival Enshcede Holland. Gogbot is an art music technology festival in Enschede, the Netherlands. Sept 2011. Decided to drive the work in a car. This was a great fun event.

Stanza at Gogbot Festival Enshcede Holland

Stanza at Gogbot Festival Enshcede Holland

The artwork  is a responsive installation with embedded interactive elements. It is responsive to the environment via sensors and interactive with its embedded CCTV system. The artwork gathers data from the city (environment) a custom made wirless sensor network. This is then represented virtually and then this virtual city is represented as this electronic city. The work becomes a manipulation of data, that ‘powers’ all the ‘events’ ‘actions’ and ‘processes’ in the installation. The changing data in the city creates all the changes one experiences in the gallery space. The moving objects, fans, changing lights, motors, noises, that you encounter in the gallery are all responding to changes in temperature, light, pressure, noise, and the sound of the city outside.

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.

The real world is made virtual and the virtual is made real again and exposed in the process. This whole piece us a living and breathing artwork. The project focuses on the micro-incidents of change, the vibrations and sounds of the environment using wireless sensor based technologies.

We understand the 20th century in terms of atoms, molecules and gases that move. Our world is now a world of numbers and changing data and information. This art installation manipulates these numbers from the real world and affects the installation in the gallery space in real time. Capacities does this by capturing the change over time of the environment using customized sensors that collect the real time data. See website for more

stanza artworks


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.