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Title: The Emergent City (2007-2017) : artistic explorations of the control and the ethics of data
Author: Tanza, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 4091
Awarding Body: University of Westminster
Current Institution: University of Westminster
Date of Award: 2020
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The PhD by Published Works examines selected practice-based artworks made by the author - the artist Stanza - over a ten-year period. This thesis represents an opportunity to reflect back on a body of digital artworks after they have been made and to re-examine the artworks that were conducted through artistic practice-based research and to contextualise them in an academic framework. This PhD focuses on selected art projects made in the period 2007 to 2017 but are grounded in work under the title The Emergent City developed from the author's AHRC research fellowship at Goldsmiths College, University of London from 2006 to 2009. The research became an investigation into the ubiquity of real-time data within the city to create new media artworks. The practice resulted from technical investigations via sensor-based inquiry into real-time global observations currently employed via data harvesting technologies which cannot be separated from the artworks made and presented. This thesis discloses how, through practice-based research, these artworks contribute to the field of new media art by investigating real-time data flows, that simultaneously allow the meaning to be shifted, altered, parsed, and represented back to us, the audience, as art. Furthermore, and in context, the work incorporates inquiry into dataveillance , the smart city and the Internet of Things (IoT). The body of work The Emergent City incorporates research based digital artworks which are all in turn investigations into archives of these data that are controlled via bespoke online interfaces, which have been reformed and recounted into real-time experiences, as emergent artworks made by the author. The artworks are not only expressions of ideas that create a rich understanding of complex concepts of the contemporary issues of surveillance and privacy. They could also be described as technological demonstrators that cross multi-disciplinary boundaries, including art, computing and urban studies. Through numerous commissions, and research grants, these artworks have in common that they scrutinised the real-time city as a panoptic control system. Over twenty art projects (2007 - 2017) have been made using live real-time environmental data, surveillance and security data that have been presented and exhibited in various galleries worldwide from the Bruges Museum to the V&A and supported by numerous curators, which will be discussed. Finally, conclusions drawn at the end relate to the possibilities offered to artists by representing city environments with data and how artworks can enable us to critically reflect upon issues concerning surveillance through data-oriented new media artworks. The projects are all viewable online at where all these art projects are archived as online interfaces and online visualizations, as well as data-driven dynamic artworks in the form of large scale installations, or sculptural objects.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available