Stanza (UK)


The Reader, 2015

LED matrix displays; custom-made PCB boards; controller system and cables; perspex; laser cut metal; arduinos with custom software and controller boards. Dimensions: 225 x 84 x 80cm


Stanza works across media, frequently with arts technology, CCTV, online networks, touch screens, environmental sensors, and interactive art. Recurring themes in his work include the urban landscape, surveillance culture and alienation in the city.

This six-foot high sculpture, The Reader, is a self-portrait of the artist wearing a hoodie and reading a book. It anticipates a near future where embedded technologies will become part of our everyday lives. Set into the perspex form are 100 mini text displays linked to custom-made cables which carry data pulsing through the body. The data is drawn from almost every book published since 1952, and accessed using open data provided by the British Library. It speaks to an age of continual consumption of information from endless sources, and encourages us to digest content as well as simply consuming it. In an age of ‘infobesity’ the work invites us to reflect upon the act of reading - decoding, creating and absorbing meaning, as well as simply receiving. 


Courtesy of the artist. Commissioned by Milton Keynes Libraries as part of The Digitalis Programme, which was supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.