Nic Sandiland
The Blind Man’s Stick


Nic Sandiland is a UK based artist working between the areas of installation, performance and film. He originally trained as an electronics engineer before studying dance and performance in the late 80s.
Over the past 20 years he has made many pioneering events involving the integration of video with live performance. Since 2000 his work has increasingly employed digital technology often linking the movements depicted on screen to those of the viewer. He is particularly interested in the idea of active spectatorship and in engaging the everyday movements of the viewer in a choreographic context.

The exhibition, in two parts, interactive video pieces and minimalist sculptural works, concerns the physical interactions with media and new technology.

Strongly influenced by early Victorian film mechanisms, the video-based works aim to establish a direct connection between the viewer's physicality in space and the playback of projected video, drawing on the principles of the Phenakistoscope introduced by Joseph Platea in 1832, a precursor to the Lumiere brothers' Cinematographe. Whilst the Lumieres established what is understood to be the modern cinema format: a passive audience watching active media; Platea's invention, a device where the viewer had to physically turn a disc in order to animate a series of images, required an active spectatorship. These works adopt this principle of dynamic exchange: the viewer's hand movement causing movement in the perceived media, and aim to extend this involvement to encompass and highlight whole body interaction.

Other works of a more minimalist approach highlight the simple everyday physical interactions with technology and attempt to focus on the corporeal nature of interaction.The application of the phenomenological concerns, explored by artists such as Robert Morris in the 70s, is transferred into a contemporary arena of interactive digital technology. Here the interactions themselves are the centre of attention of the work rather than the technology or any mystical effect produced through such technology.



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