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
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.