Steve Tanza, Stanza

The Nemesis Machine: The Emergent City. A unique, site-specific data sculpture exploring the future of connected cities which has become a responsive real time art installation illuminating global data connectivity and collaborative possibilities. The installation which the audience experiences is a multi-layered expression of a technology based future focused on big data, privacy, liquid surveillance, the ethics of open data control and the use of information systems and sources in a responsible way.


The Nemesis Machine: The Emergent City. Asks how new technologies can imagine a world where we as citizens are liberated and empowered by using new technologies in an inclusive, connected, collaborative, and shared experience. The artwork merges online virtual data layers to create The Third Space, enabling new possibilities in the virtual world of shared data. This leads to new questions and new economic possibilities, and a new perspective on understanding the world around us.

This city governs itself and its actions, and the intelligence is completely controlled by the data interactions of the system. The different ‘districts’ of the artwork act as a frame for the different expressions of data which in effect make up a connected city.


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. Selected artworks explore these concepts relating to the behaviours, activities, and changing information, of the world around us using my networked devices and information across the internet.


Touring and availability .
● This artwork installation is available for exhibitions please get in touch.
● It is always different for each installed set up and it is an evolving artwork.
● In the gallery the work can be shaped formally on the floor or also grow into different shapes and spaces.

Scale and Size depends on the venue and it is variable in several approximate sizes:
● Large version (50 metres plus ).
● Extra Large version (100 metres -150 metres square and much larger is in development.)


The Emergent City By StSteve Tanza, Stanza

The Emergent City By SteSteve Tanza, Stanza

A spectacular installation using real time data interactions to create a unique responsive connected city installation and interactive experience which is both audio visual and participatory. This is the largest and most complex art city the artist has made to date which is custom built for each location. You see a large spectacular installation made of hundreds of custom electronics parts and computer parts built into a city. Each individual customised area reacts to layers of incoming data from a variety of sources which are mixed and reassembled to create a unique hybrid Third Space.This is an audience engaging multi layered digital experience of the modern world and includes:- overlayering smart city IOT networks which change and affect in real time the lights and motors, so that the whole installation is actually a hugely impactful responsive smart city data visualisation. There are screens showing the data sets and real time feeds from the connected networks of mesh sensors.

There are several new towers which are customised to show live surveillance and camera feeds of people inside the space as well as another software showing the wider context of networked surveillance from 300 cameras in London. There is an extended sound layer of global city sounds which is created into a unique connected city interface merging sounds and maps from over fifty world's cities and traversing the globe and this can augment the whole experience by playing these sounds in a network also built into the installation. Additional optional news and stock exchange data can be presented into the installation. Other layered systems in development include a unique phone  APP called Velocity that allows the installation to track people walking which then visualises this data and incorporates this into The Emergent City while demonstrating the possibilities of shared open and collaborative data in an ethical and responsible way.

THE ‘DISTRICTS’ OF THE CITY. Authenticity - Soundcities - Diversity - Electricity - Toxicity - Omnicity - Publicity - Simplicity - University - Multiplicity - Velocity - Capacity


The Nemesis Machine. How does it feel to be part of the real time flow of a global system? What happens when we mix data typed across the landscape? Internet of Things (IoT) mesh sensor networks – draw in real-time environmental data activity, which is merged together to represent a world full of data. The sensors include light, temperature, noise, sound and humidity.


Soundcities. Sounds is all around us as a landscape of musical flow.  A complex artwork in itself, for 20 years Stanza has been collecting city sounds from all over the world, stored in a constantly generating map platform. Explore thousands of these fieldd recordings of urban environments through a bespoke audio-visual interface built inside this cityscape.


Omnicity. We live in a world of continual surveillance, how are we complicit in this dialogue? A network of small screens and micro cameras capture the visiting audience inside the space and around the installation in real-time, embedding this visual information back into the artwork to involve us all as temporary participants or citizens engaging with the city.

Electricity. How can we experience the invisible agency and performativity of all our connected devices? Embedded WiFi beacons scan all the network activity in the locality. This data is visualised as a stream of numbers inside the experience, to represent the complex networks that a city is built on and with which we all interact. We are all connected in this way.


Authenticity. Two separate local sensor networks use hardwired sensors to measure air quality and pollution. These include NO2, CO2, O2 and alcohol. These are the type of general air pollution and car pollution sensors used for urban air quality measurement.


Omnicity. Screens embedded into the cityscape stream live traffic camera and vehicle imagery from the London road network. Bespoke software re-works this information and adds an additional visual layer, creating a generative data visualisation of real-time city data.


Publicity. The news and current affair from media shapes our understanding of the wider world yet we are bombarded with images of news and information streams that have created an infobesity as we struggle to remain connected. Images from online news and information sources are constantly fed to screens. These information streams are presented as a fast-flowing visual experience, reflecting our saturated, 24/7 experience of media data.


Simplicity. As everything is tracked and technology  spreads across the public domain. What are we gaining  if anything as we look closer at real time patterns in the city the create complex maps. A representation of published transit data from Transport for London, which shows the rapid adoption payment gateways inside the city in this case across the capital.

University. Embracing a site as a ‘temporary city’, a custom data visualisation showing the collective flow of 80,000 representative visitors - temporary citizens.

Multiplicity The projected animation across the cityscape grid is a generative software system inspired by traffic motion and open transport systems, which demonstrates the speed and agency of movement through a city. 


Velocity. Imagine if everyone was tracked in real time; can we create a performative event with our agency to reclaim public space? Open data from his brand new phone app is shared in real-time via GPS, allowing anyone to contribute and become involved in a huge collective participatory artwork inside The Emergent City. 

Capacity. The participatory experience is explored further in a dedicated skyscraper integrates eight mini screens, which are gathering and displaying citizen contributions from Twitter as scrolling text. This feature is specifically focused on the conversation customised to the area about inclusive cities, by gathering citizen contributions with the customisable hashtags.


Steve Tanza. Stanza.


THE CONNECTED CITY.   The installation the audience experiences is a multi layered expression of technology based futures focusing on big data, privacy, liquid surveillance and the ethics of open data control. It operates to demonstrate the agency and collaborative possibilities of our connected world by overlapping and layering systems and information sources in a responsible way. This city governs itself and its actions and intelligence is completely controlled by data interactions of the system. In its physical form it gives visitors a bird's eye view of a cybernetic cityscape, where skyscrapers are constructed of silicon and circuit boards. Areas of the artwork act as a frame for the different expressions of data and information which is in effect a connected intelligent city. 

PHYSICAL INSTALLATION WHAT IT DOES. The actual physical presentation the audience experiences responds to smart city wireless mesh sensor networks merged together for the first time. The environmental data represented by these systems include light, temperature, noise, sounds, humidity, co2, 02, nitrogen, alcohol and city sounds. What we see and experience are lights that respond in real time data from the networks, motors that turn and are responsive and move, sounds can be heard from the city and as well as mini screens that have data flows on them. There are newly built customised screens with the audience inside the structures. The installation becomes a conglomerate expression of the real world made digital and then presented back to us in real time. 

CONCEPT. DATA VISUALISATION. The art installation therefore becomes a huge data visualisation. What you see is a connected  city of electronic components that reflect in real time what is happening elsewhere; ie an intelligent city representing the intelligent city. The city we witness and experience performs itself through an-other city. Cause and effect become apparent in a discreet, intuitive manner. When certain events occur in the real city they cause certain other events to occur in its completely different, but seamlessly incorporated, double. The avatar city is not only controlled by the real city in terms of its function and operation, but also utterly dependent upon it for its existence. The real world is made virtual and then made real again.


Steve Tanza , Stanza


This artwork installation is available for exhibitions please get in touch.  It is always different for each installed set up and is an evolving artwork.  In the gallery the work can be shaped formally on the floor or also grow into different shapes and spaces.

Scale and Size

Depends on the venue and it is variable in several approximate sizes: Large version (50 metres and much larger is available) Extra Large version (100 metres -150 metres square and much larger is available.


I am also developing several new concepts and data types are being introduced into the largest version. This is an ever evolving and changing artwork Funding is needed for further technological experiments with this.



Stanza talking about the main art work and concepts 2019

Nemesis Machine represents the complexities of the real time city as a shifting morphing and complex system.

 By StSteve Tanza, Stanza

About the installation in detail:

The Emergent City is an ever-evolving artwork. It is constantly different; expanding for each installed set up and evolving, depending on the contrasting environments. In the gallery, the work can be shaped formally on the floor, but there is also the potential for growth into different spaces. The parts of the city act as a frame for the distinct expressions of data and information which develop alongside the digital artwork. The main component of the artwork responds to a wireless sensor network and "visualises" the environment all around us as 'worlds' full of data across the internet. In essence, the artwork is a smart city; a hybrid Internet of Things (IoT) installation responding in real time and critically operating between utopian optimism and dystopian dysfunction.

The city becomes a mini, mechanical metropolis that monitors the behaviours, activities, and changing information of the world around us, using networked devices and electronically transmitted information across the internet.

The artwork that you see is a city of electronic components that reflect in real time what is happening elsewhere, representing the complexities of the real-time city as a shifting morphing as a complex system. Small screens show pictures of the visitors so that they become literally immersed in the city; the artwork reforms this information and data creating parallel realities. At the heart of this work lies an interest in the urban environment, the networks of cameras and sensors to be found there and the associated issues of privacy and control. The artwork sits in the middle of concepts for smart cities, The Internet of Things (IoT) and the new technologies that monitor the real-time environment. 

In appearance, the artwork is like Big Brother, parsed through the lens of the Internet of Things. It gives visitors a bird's eye view of a cybernetic cityscape, where skyscrapers are constructed of silicon and circuit boards.

The data and their interactions – that is, the events occurring in the environments that surround and envelop the installation – are translated into the force that brings the electronic city to life, causing movement and change; new events and actions occur. In this way, the city performs itself in real time through its physical avatar or electronic double. Cause and effect become apparent in a discreet, intuitive manner. When certain events occur in the real city, they cause certain other events to occur in its completely different, but seamlessly incorporated, double. The avatar city is not only controlled by the real city in terms of its function and operation but also utterly dependent upon it for its existence.

This is a city where there is no privacy. By presenting these technologies to control us, separate us, divide us, create more borders, the city challenges new technologies to imagine a world where we are liberated and empowered; finally, all of the technology becomes more than solely a gimmick and starts to truly work for us. This city governs itself. Its actions and intelligence are completely controlled by data and the interactions of it. The machine poses the question of true data possession while speculating on both the virtual and physical borders a growing dependence on technology will form. 

The artwork focuses on the aspect of the so-called 'smart city' as a space for the parsing of (any /all) data. So, how can you make meaning of this liquidity? How can it be of any common benefit? Will it be at the expense of something else?


Steve Tanza. Stanza


Artistic Contexts. This is not, for example, a model that seeks to didactically present a series of suggestions; rather it is an artwork that represents the real world as a series of inter-connected flows, each having consequences on the next. While each data flow is specific, truthful, analytic, and quantitative, the composite whole becomes something else. The real world is made virtual and then made real again, allowing various perspective shifts within the landscape itself, which is addressed from a real-time, multi-point perspective parallel reality. By layering data into a Hybrid Third Space, the perspective of space also comes into question. The performance of oneself within the city-system is indirectly addressed, reducing the body to quantitative, traceable units of data input. The ownership of this data and space is questioned in relation to the value added to our wider human condition. How these merging systems can be seen, experienced and valued to exercise new experience and knowledge, creates a world of new possibilities that the artwork only hints at.

As an artwork, it allows us to step back and experience the collection/ collaboration/ total quantum possibilities of emergent city systems. Inside the sculpture, these events overlap alluding to our new agency and awareness of this complicit arrangement. This allows us to ask how we must action such knowledge as we inquire further into these worlds.

For example: Will it empower our collective humanity? 

We need to know not how the emergent city behaves, but why it behaves like this so that we can speculate what this world will look like in 40 years time. Technology borders, access to data, and the open agent of software needs to be freely available for all, interacting seamlessly in a universally common language.

These overlapping experiences create a universal vision; a machine vision. The sensors action specific tasks, changing over time- for example, by taking temperature readings. However, mixed together, The Emergent City creates a conversation about the performance of space and everything combined;  the total universal algorithm in flux. The fixed points become insignificant as the data poetics allows the perspective shift; everything combined can be recombined. True, the sensors might read 27 degrees or the pollution data of XYZ, but turned into code and remade it can be a system for climate change: a symphonic musical experience, switch lights on, trigger political statements, allow the fire brigade to come to save your house. The values themselves are effective in the performance of others. Temperature affects fires, crops, the clothes we wear, the price of stock, and the food in our fridge. 

Our actions affect its actions and this becomes the responsive, real artwork.

“Quantum physics is a new model of reality that gives us a picture of the universe. It is a picture in which many concepts fundamental to our intuitive understanding of reality no longer have meaning” The Grand Design- Stephen Hawking.

By observing any system then, it must alter its course de facto, as we bare witness. Our agency and interaction alter it’s course (and therefore meaning). Implicit in this quantum reference is that our engagement in anything affects its course.  Once the knowledge is given, it cannot be undone. It is the menu of life.

The City is emergent and responsive simply by our own agency and the multi point perspective of everyone’s interactivity constantly shifting; it creates a system of complexity which can be both witnessed and experienced. Everything is performing and relating to everything else in a constant temporal shift inside The Emergent City. This shift allows a joyful expansion of space as we observe the wider world and are ourselves incumbent within; both audience and actors, both spectators and spectacle, all at once. 


Recent Exhibitions with the added districts.

The Emergent City at The Future Lab, Festival of Speed Goodwood UK 2019. Curated by Lucy Johnston

Curator and funding needed for next version.


Previously as The Nemesis Machine.

FOS The Future Lab at Festival of Speed Goodwood UK 2019

DA CUBO Bologna Italy 2019
Ffoto Gallery Diffusion Cardiff Wales 2019
Cynetart Dresden Germany 2018
Speculum Artrium Decades Trbovlje Slovenia 2018
Measures Of Life Lumen Hull UK 2018
Future Festival Nesta London UK 2018
Beyond The Seven Warsaw Poland 2017
York Art Gallery. UK 2017
WRO Art Centre Wroclaw Poland 2017
The Internet of Things World Forum Cisco Systems. Tobacco Dock London 2017
Dundee Contemporary Arts at Centrespace (VCR) NEoN. Dundee 2016
Hacking Habitat Art of Control Utrecht Netherlands. 2016
The Intelligent City Arentshuis Bruges Museum 2015
TSSK Trøndelag Centre for Contemporary Art. Metamorf Trondheim. Norway.2014
Centre des Arts d'Enghien-les-Bains. Paris. France. 2014
Watermans Gallery Brentford. London. 2013.
New Technological Art Award Ghent. Belgium 2012
Share Festival Torino Italy. 2012
Gogbot Festival Enshcede Holland. 2011
Lanternhouse. UK. 2010

city sensor , data, surveillance art  by  stanza

THE EMERGENT CITY. By Stanza. Steve Tanza

THE EMERGENT CITY. By Stanza. city sensor , data, surveillance art  by  Stanza: Steve Tanza

THE EMERGENT CITY. By Stanza. Steve Tanza

THE EMERGENT CITY. city sensor , data, surveillance art  by  stanza

Steve Tanza: Stanza


Artistic Statement.

I am researching data within cities and the built environment and how this can be represented, visualized and interpreted. Data from security tracking, traffic, and environmental monitoring can all be interpreted as a medium to make artworks. I am investigating new ways of comparing, conceptualizing and then visualizing complex concepts related to the relationship of emergent data and real space in the built environment. Through practice based research, a series of modular experimental artworks are being created to express the possibilities for our data-mediated future.

There are three strands of my working process; these involve collecting the data, visualizing the data, and then displaying the data. The outputs from the online interfaces and online visualizations are now realized as real time dynamic artworks as diverse as installations, and real objects, made out of new display materials back in physical space. In all my work I try to exploit the changing dynamics of city life as a source for creativity and create meaningful artistic metaphors. I utilize new technologies and integrate new media artworks into the public domain as part of this ongoing research into the visualization of city space. In essence I am researching data as a medium for creativity and how meaningful experiences of our cities may result.

By investigating these data structures I aim to create new metaphors relevant to the experience of the environment. The patterns we make, the visual and imaginative interpretations we give to real world events, are already being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and source for information. These patterns disclose new ways of seeing the world. The value of gathering and re-presenting this data in artistic form, and then analyzing its impact and influence, lies in making meaning accessible to a wider audience.

Artwork © Copyright Stanza 2004 - 2019

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Steve Tanza, sensor , data, surveillance art

THE EMERGENT CITY. Steve Tanza: Stanza

Exhibitions fot this artwork in previous incarnations as The Nemesis Machine.

THE EMERGENT sensor , data, surveillance art  by  stanza


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Keywords: city sensor , data, surveillance, art, emergenct, Steve Tanza, Stanza

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