Sensity. Artworks using data from the real time environment. By Stanza (2006)

A series of artworks based on sensing the environment. The results are the visualisation and sonification of real time spaces. 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. Several artworks have been made, and several new physical cities are in development for 2009.

These artworks represent the movement of people, pollution in the air, the vibrations and sounds of buildings. They are in effect emergent social sculptures visualizing the emotional state of the city.

Full Description

New metaphors relevant to the experience of the city.

Various types of data can be re-imagined within the context of city space and the environment. This includes pollution data recorded via sensors in the street, to create audio acoustic files expressing the pain and suffering of the air as it pollutes. Weather and forecast data, acquired via weather station equipment; this can be used and can create ambient soundscapes and morphing visualizations as the wind shifts direction or the rain increases. Noise monitor levels, and noise maps , create a symphony of true urban sounds that can be used to make sound reactive sculptures. The patterns we make, the forces we weave, are all being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and sourced for information. These patterns all disclose new ways of seeing the world.

Environmental monitoring and controlled surveyed city space.

The increase of technology infrastructure in the daily existence of a city means that technology will, more than ever be everywhere in our environment. Data mining will be part of the fabric of the landscape. Everything is or will be tracked. CCTV, car sensors, tracking inside our phones and id card movement tracking in the guise of anti- terror activity. The patterns we make, the forces we weave, are all being networked into retrievable data structures that can be re-imagined and source for information. These patterns all disclose new ways of seeing the world. The value of information will be a new currency as power change.

The central issue that is developing is the privilege and access to these data sources. Will these systems be open or closed? New maps are being drawn up that re define the digital borders, who is going to want to own this.

http://www.stanza.co.uk/sensity/index.html

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Artist Statement

The sensor networks can be moved from urban to rural setting, ( ie they are mobile) and different types of visualization can be made depending on the environment. Sensity is an open social sculpture that informs the world and creates new meaningful experiences. Sensity is also a highly technical project that gives vast amounts of information about the fabric of our cities. By embedding the sensors like this we can re-engage with the urban fabric and enable new artistic metaphors within city space. The sensors are positioned across the city. Custom made software now enables these sensors to communicate will one another in a network over a proxy server in real time. Control to the hardware is opened up.

The data is also used to create visualizations in an open source environment. Other online users can also re- interpret the data and interrogate the various sensors in the network as this is open source as well (see xml streams). Representations of these data sets will allow unique understanding of the urban environment and environment in real time.

Motes are used to collect the data. The 'motes' are tiny wireless sensor boards that gather data and communicate to the central server. The real world is monitored and the data stored in my archive retrieval system. Motes and sensor boards sense the micro incidents of change in the weather, the noise traffic flows and people flows. The interactions of all this data, controlled via bespoke interfaces re-form and re-contextualise experiences in real time.

Sensity incorporates the holistic city system. The sense city is a city full of accumulated incidents; of love, abuse and death, fundamentally of change. The micro incidents of change in the weather, the noise traffic flows and people flows are all potential sources for inquiry.

A new city experience results based on the mash up meta data from these multiple cities streams. Sensity leverages these real time data city and represents it online, showing the life of the system, opening up the system, and the publishing emerging changing bahaviours of the space. As all things becomes connected and networked, this concept will be become a system that senses not just the city but the whole world. Eventually sensors will be linked to give a real time global visualization. ~ Public domain data resource for art and environmental monitoring.

Artworks using data from the real time environment.

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