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 Stanza, The Intelligent City, Bruges Triennale
Stanza: The Intelligent City New Bruges Triennale Exhibition - ArtLyst Article image

Stanza: The Intelligent City New Bruges Triennale Exhibition

16-04-2015
 
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In the run-up to the 2015 Bruges Triennale/the Arentshuis (20 May to 18 October), is exhibiting the British artist Stanza. The work of this internationally respected artist has been shown in about fifty exhibitions since 1984, from Tate Britain, the ICA and Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the Plymouth Arts Centre to Mundo Urbano in Madrid, the Venice Biennale, the Sydney Biennale, the Sao Paulo Biennale, the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico and the State Art Museum in Novosibirsk.

At the heart of Stanza’s work lies his interest in the urban environment, the networks of cameras and sensors to be found there, and the associated issue of privacy and alienation. He is particularly interested in the patterns we leave all over the place. In how we consciously or unconsciously influence each other, and also the degree to which technology may in future take over control of our own bodies and our presence in the city.

At the Arentshuis he will be showing an installation, a series of paintings and a sculpture. The Nemesis Machine is a large installation (adapted to each place where it is displayed) that is a miniature city. It visualises life in the metropolis on the basis of data transmitted from London. So the city constructed in Bruges using electronic components reflects in real time what is happening on the other side of the Channel. Small cameras show pictures of the visitors so that they become part of the city.

Stanza’s paintings show the complexity of the city. When they are scaled down, roads and rivers are reduced to an inextricable tangle of lines, curves and scratches. In this way, the grids and patterns make every city into something universal. Cities look like each other, cities grow towards each other, cities become one: the metropolis becomes a megalopolis and then an ecumenopolis. Cities look like colonies of insects with gigantic towers that look down ominously on wasteland and empty spaces. In his paintings, Stanza combines existing and imaginary cities to form a new ensemble of structures.

The sculptural work Body 01000010011011110110010001111001 can be seen in the entrance hall. It is based on a 3D scan of the artist and is composed of LEDs, motors, cables and specially designed electronics. It reacts to differences in temperature, light, air pressure and sound as they occur in South London, where the artist’s sensor network is located.

The Nemesis Machine is a large installation (adapted to each place where it is displayed) that is a miniature city. It visualises life in the metropolis on the basis of data transmitted from London. So the city constructed in Bruges using electronic components reflects in real time what is happening on the other side of the Channel. Small cameras show pictures of the visitors so that they become part of the city.

A Mini, Mechanical Metropolis Runs On Real-Time Urban Data. The artwork captures the changes over time in the environment (city) and represents the changing life and complexity of space as an emergent artwork. The artwork explores new ways of thinking about life, emergence and interaction within public space. The project uses environmental monitoring technologies and security based technologies, to question audiences' experiences of real time events and create visualizations of life as it unfolds. The installation goes beyond simple single user interaction to monitor and survey in real time the whole city and entirely represent the complexities of the real time city as a shifting morphing complex system.

The data and their interactions – that is, the events occurring in the environment that surrounds and envelops the installation – are translated into the force that brings the electronic city to life by causing movement and change – that is, new events and actions – to occur. In this way the city performs itself in real time through its physical avatar or electronic double: The city performs itself through an-other city. Cause and effect become apparent in a discreet, intuitive manner, when certain events that occur in the real city 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.

At the heart of Stanza’s work lies his interest in the urban environment, the networks of cameras and sensors to be found there, and the associated issue of privacy and alienation. He is particularly interested in the patterns we leave all over the place. In how we consciously or unconsciously influence each other, and also the degree to which technology may in future take over control of our own bodies and our presence in the city.

“What I’m doing, which is sort of new ground, is that I’m hacking access to a network and re-appropriating the data and information, and I’m re-contextualizing it to give it a wider meaning. I want to show that you can do something positive with this data. And as I say data is the 'medium of the age' and I use this data to 'paint' with ” "From Big Brother to the Mother of Big Brother."

Stanza studied at Goldsmiths College, Greenwich University and Central Saint Martins College of Art in London.

This work will remain on display until the end of the Triennale on 18 October.

 Stanza: The Intelligent City - Arentshuis - 17 March to 10 May 2015

www.stanza.co.uk

 

 


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