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inner city
interactive urban identity
fine and interactive
digital art
interactive visual/sonic
interactive sonic/visual
city and mindscapes

audio/visual generative painting
interactive audio/visual
work by many artists

If you search the Web for interactive audio work, you will not find anyone with as extensive and well-developed a body of work as stanza's. And it is 'of a body': if you visit the linked sites, you get a feel for his work and would be able to identify it were you to encounter it elsewhere, which might happen, because he exhibits his work widely on and off the Web.

The music itself is still 'industrial', for the most part. Cartoon music changed over time toward something less conventionally musical into a synthesis of the visual and sonic. That will happen with interactive audio, also.

The new elements in Stanza's work and in the work of a few others so far are the interactivity, programmability (which is key, for instance, also to the generative) and the networked dimensions.

What we hear in Stanza's work is not cartoon music. As with cartoon music, however, it is in strong relation with the visual. Take industrial or ambient music and make it generative and interactive. And also tie the generative sound into the generative visuals.

And make the visuals reflective of the urban scapes, and make the urban scapes reflective of the mind itself, and also of's abstract, rectilinear predispositions that are so well-suited to computer technology.

Throw in considerable competance in programming Director. And to the whole mix add the committment of an artist excited to be synthesizing music, audio, programming, visual art, architectural concerns, biological concerns (again, 'of a body') and you needn't come up with stanza, since he is unique, but all these things are present in stanza's work. The synthesis (or is it combination?) is extrordinary and gives one a sense of profound future possibilities arising for art over the Web. It also prompts the question of how new art forms arise. They seem to grow organically from, first, combination, and then synthesis of old forms, often, rather than springing fully developed anew.

The way he works is a bit like his name, the legal one being Steve Tanza. It's how he puts things together.

Like Strasser and Knaven, stanza is also active curatorially, with his site and his curation, for instance, at ICA in London. Again, we see web.artists strongly involved in working with other artists around the world.

stanza lives in London, England, which is probably the most interesting city on the planet concerning interactive audio.

What drew you initially to producing art for the Web? When did you start?

My interest in music and video in the 1980's and the production of various videos and cds led me first into exploring imaging within computers and then into interactive experiments. My interest was in combining the audio and visual and my motif has been the city and its structure .This led me from video to explore cdrom initially.

However, as soon as I became aware of the web in 1995, I moved all my ideas over to the internet. And the reasons are the same as now. First as a distribution and publishing vehicle, and second to explore the parameters of the net as a medium for artistic expression. Both publishing/distribution and the technology of the web are pretty useful to me as an artist. I have been putting music online in side streaming juke boxes and allowing access to my work from a greater potential audience. And also ive been developing a number of internet specific works that exist only within an online capacity. When I came across the web, it was obvious the web was going to change some rules and I liked this.

What are you trying to accomplish as a web.artist?

I have a number of projects running simultaneously so I would have to be specific about each one. The ones i've worked on in the last week include sound cities and subvergence.

SubvergenceSubvergence is the abstracted noise based visual destruction of the browser, the desktop, and the interface. Subvergence is a new 3d interface. Within the screens it subverts and fragments the notion of our old browser. Instead we have full screen desktop takover. Subvergence scrambles the icons of the internet. The icons of the new age are our gifs and jpegs, the codes that allow us to work, the symbols of the internet. Numbers, financial information, source code , and software are all re-employed. Hidden areas and sounds as well as spoken texts open up more pages scrambling technologies and ideas. The first version allows multiple environments: The version online is two years old and i've been working on the downloadable browser part people can install and run, and there are some technical issues.

Click to Inner CityI've also been working on inner city, a new cities based project for 2002. Sections inside include virosity. artitexture. blackstar. complicity. cuboxis. intoxcity. megalopolis.organicity. phyletcity.revolver. utopias. This project continues the search for the "soul of the city". The idea is to go deeper into analogies for the organic identity of the city. Inner City is an audio visual, interactive, internet art experience. The micro city becomes an organic networks of grids and diagrams.The form and content of this work is a visual world of the city and its structure. The project fuses the sounds of specific places.The sounds of language impose a rhythm that the visual narrative can interact with. This project is located at and its an extension to the central city website.

As well as this is a project called soundcities, an audio project based on the visual and expressive appearances of world cities. I have spent the last year travelling to over fifteen worldwide cities. During this time I have collected and recorded the sounds from these cities. I also took thousands of photos. I have been to sao paolo, london, paris, dresden, amsterdam, saltburg, graz, rotterdam, barcelona, san sebastian, manchester, liverpool, ljubiana, frankfurt porto, and istanbul. 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 inform my new 'soundmaps' series, and 'soundcity'. The website is a series of online mixing desks with visuals from these places. They will represent idealized aural spaces from these cities mapped onto the virtual world. I have built the mixing desk. The site will allow users to save the mix they make and unload it on to the database area where other people can listen to the results. It a sort of global world mix.

I am also working on a cd of the project. And there are some other projects—one connected with genomes, and as well as this I am always trying out new bits of code and making "paintings" for the amorphoscapes series.

Do you surf the work of other people much?

I try to. My interest in looking, understanding and evaluating the work of artists on the net led me to make my net art museum piece.

And I later developed my soundtoys site to further these investigations. So was established to provide a space for the exhibition of exciting new works by a growing community of audio visual artists, while also providing a forum for discourse around new technologies and the nature of soundtoys. The site is a meeting point for this growing community of artists and users, and exhibits audio visual projects. The site contains areas for artists projects, interviews, links to resources, and texts by contributing writers where serious issues around interactive arts, audio visual synthesis, generative art, and a history of interactivity are discussed.

The internet has become the leading economic and artistic tool for our age. Words like 'emergence' are used to explain the propulsion of these medias into our daily lives. The site looks at the serious issues around interactive arts, audio visual synthesis, generative art, and a history of interactivity. Increasingly, a divergent group of artists are exploring, researching and playing within the parameters of soundtoys.

What venues besides the Web do you show your work in?

Recent Exhibitions:

Fused 2002 + Sao Paulo Bienale 2002 + Zeppelin Barcelona 2002 + in 4L Istanbul 2002 + Immedia 2002 usa + Net-working at the watershed 2001 + Soeul Net art festival 2001 + Generative Art 4th GA2001 + A Fair Place Turkey.2001 + McLean Project Casting a Net USA 2001 + Art Image Graz 2001 + Video Lisboa Lisbon 2001 + Impakt Utrecht 2001 + Medi@terra greece 2001 + Cynet 2001 Dresden + E.I.I.Festival edinburgh 2001 + Garage Festival Germany 2001 + Urban Myths.Israel 2001 Independent Newspaper best site of the week 2001. + DLUX 2001 Austrailia + Moscow International Festival 2001 + Sonar 2001 + Net-z-lab. 2001 + Vdor21/Break21 2001 + Thaw 2001 + ARCO 2001 + Transmediale 2001 + Architettura in Video 2000 + Netart 2000 + Independent Newspaper best site of the week 2000.+ Macromedia's UCON 1999 .+ BIMA shortlist UK 1999 + EMAF 1999 + Seafair.1998 + Proarte online 1997 + Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Innovation award 1997.

May 2002