press release

The show at Max Estrella, Madrid will be the artist's first private show in a Spanish gallery. The work builds on Sandison's recent show in KoldoMitxelena Kulturunea, Donosita - San Sebastián that opened in April 2006.

The artist works in situ; each element is installed in relation to the architecture of the gallery. The works are all computer data projections on the floor, walls, and ceiling of the gallery. The projections overlap each other and spread through the rooms of the gallery, creating an immersive space.

The works are generated by computer programs running in real time so that no single moment in the show is identical to another. The computer programs are running genetic algorithms much in the same way as scientists use computers to predict weather patterns, or the value of shares on a stock exchange,or even to simulate animal or even human behaviour.

All of the works fall under the collective description: 'philosophia naturalis', a term applied to the objective study of nature and the physical universe that was regnant before the development of modern science. An important distinguishing characteristic of science and natural philosophy is the fact that natural philosophers generally did not feel compelled to test their ideas in a practical way. Instead, they observed phenomena and came up with 'philosophical' conclusions.

More recently the term 'natural philosophy' has been appropriated by proponents of the idea of 'intelligent design'. In the context of the creation-evolution controversy the term has been revived by proponents of creationism, particularly creation science and intelligent design, argue that modern science is wrong in not accepting the supernatural explanations they put forward.

The works on display all began as the result of sketches the artist made while walking and living in the great forests of his adopted homeland of Finland. At the core of each work is a dynamic living story that echoes the relationship between humankind and the environment. The viewer is surrounded by a forest of information; strings of numbers thread their way through the gallery like long lines of marching ants, words fall like leaves to the floor of the gallery.

The texts originate from different sources some are abstracted, reduced almost like early Chinese poetry, other come from specific reference works such as Francis Bacon and Galileo. The artist invites the viewer to make a distinction between what people consider to be 'artificial' or 'real', and ultimately to propose questions as to the presence of a greater collective force than the individual elements that comprise our world.

Charles Sandison
recent works