The Reader

Stanza 2015

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.

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.


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


The New Observatory
June 2017 – October 2017 at FACT, Liverpool

Data Types

Anonymised, Object, Open, Retrieved, Static

About the Artist

Stanza is an internationally recognized artist, who has exhibited worldwide since 1984. His artworks have won prestigious painting prizes and ten first prize art awards including: Vidalife 6.0, SeNef Grand Prix, and Videobrasil. Stanza’s art has…
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