working artists


Stanza Stanza

artist statement | technical statement | process



Giant cities paint a gloomy picture, of mass urban sprawl; the megalopolis is spreading upwards and everywhere to house a population of which 70 - 80% now lives in cites worldwide.

The problems with cities is that they seem to exist with laws of their own. My artistic intervention tries to look at fragments of our experience of cities, that make up the whole city. The central city, is a place which appears out of control, but which we try to control through design. The city as grids, and repetition, can appear sublime or it can confuse and appear prison like. In western art the grid is for painting, the grid is for the city, the grid is the structure of western art. This grid is ever expanding to cover the whole surface, growing and crawling to the edges. The fascination of cities are both their similarities and differences. Familiar forms, identities and sounds are common to all cities, and yet each have special forms that separate and identity particular places and spaces. These online works represent spaces, they are idealized spaces. I donÌt see Îthe central cityÌ, as a simulation. In fact, I am not aiming or particularly interested in simulation. I view the final evolution of the project as a experience, an online internet experience, which can be viewed inside the white cube of the box which is the computer. The framework, the grid, that contains this work is the computer and the internet. Images of maps redrawing and reprocessing themselves. This allows the city a perpetual evolution, no single similar path need be followed.

My initial response in the central city project for example was to deconstruct a language of the urban and city environment, and then to build it back up as an art image to try to constitute both a new form and new meaning. By placing oneself in the middle of this particular structure, the meaning or the aesthetic experience is only encountered when you decide to move from any one place to the next. I use these small fragments as rhythms, to interact with the next part, and evolve into something new. These parts are cells, or parts of a whole that generate itself. The nature of the sounds and noise of cities varies in tone and language. A background rhythm can come into the foreground. It mixes itself, and evolves. The city is its own music, constantly evolving, a beautiful composition of squeaks, clanks, and pulses. We are familiar but distracted as it bombards our conscious slipstream. Yet the sounds grow, move, die, fade and shift. They are out there all the time.The children, the cars, the drills, the animals, the micro sounds, the sounds of our bodies, the insides of our souls.

I am interested in the sounds of specific places, and how the sounds reflect this identity and re-impose characteristics back onto the location or environment. Cities all have specific identities, and found sound can give us clues to the people that inhabit these spaces, as well as provoking us and stimulating our senses in a musical way. The sounds of language impose a rhythm that the visual narrative can interact with. The intention within newer sections of the central city, is to create an audio visual experience that evokes place, both as literal description but also developed musical composition. These are the ideas that are informing my new ÎsoundmapsÌ series , and ÎsoundcityÌ. Recent pieces exist, that the ÏuserÓ has to control of and can make them work by movement.