The Mirror Room by Charles Sandison
Born 1969 in UK
Lives and works in Tampere, Finland
In 1993, he was graduated in Fine Arts from the Glasgow School of Art (Scotland).The year before, he attended his first exhibition with ‘Invisible Cities’ at the Fruitmarket Gallery, in Edinburgh (Scotland). From this time to now, he never stops exhibiting through group or solo show. He has now some selected major works in public collections as the Museum of New and Old Art at Hobart( Australia), the Museo Nacional Reina Sofía in Madrid(Spain)and the Bonn City Art Museum(Germany) and the Denver Art Museum (USA). In 2013, he made a special composition ‘Terrestrial echo of solar storms’ for Manezh Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow.
in the Aurora Hall Oulu Finland
via Wikimedia Commons
Charles Sandison projection: “Manifesto (Proclamación Solemne)” (2008)
façade du Grand-Palais, exposition: “Dans la nuit, des images. Création visuelle et numérique en Europe”.
via Wikimedia Commons
The Mirror Room
Stock Exchange is a fascinating world. Stock markets used to be a central location for record keeping, stocks were listed on the exchange. Trades were consummated on the floor of the exchange, floor trading. During the 1980s and 1990s phones and electronic trading system replaced physical floor trading in most exchanges around the world. From the ordinary people that we are almost, we feel apart of the experts and quite little initiated to the rules. All those data seem abstract, but as an artist, Charles Sandison gives new meaning by projecting figures, words.
The work uses the BEL20 which is the benchmark stock market index of the exchange – consisting of 20 companies listed in the Brussels Stock Exchange. These companies represent a cross section of major Belgian business that affects the population’s daily life. From food to medicine, communications, fuels, from banks to brewers. The numbers or words used by Charles Sandison translate a whole mental construction and the speed with which it can be changed according to new elements … which summarizes a little man and his adaptability to the moving environment around him. At the end of each day the averaged values of these companies reflect the accumulated hopes, dreams, success and disappointments of the entire population. An index is the like the heartbeat of the country.
The artist has created a computer program that uses all of the Brussels stock market index values from the period 1990 – 2015 a significant period that marks the period between the 20th and 21st centuries, the period that will be most remembered historically as the digital revolution. Where everything in our lives became subject to incredible and dizzying changes in how we live our daily lives. From social media, shopping, and relaxation, to professions, personal and global finances, nothing remains untouched. The building of the Brussels Stock Exchange is the persisting outer shell of a universe that now fits in your pocket and encompasses everything. Thanks to a wise and evolutive technological process, thousands of figures as living particles, build a new dimension in which we are involved. We must never forget that the Stock Market is a tool to facilitate and expand trade. Accordingly and without wishing to deny any speculation, it brings oxygen to companies through accurate investments and helps them to find financial supports. Behind the numbers, there are always human beings implications.
The values contained in this index represent this change. They are like a mirror of our humanity. The art work turns these numbers into swirling patterns of data that wrap around the audience, immersing them in the numerical history of the past 25 years. The numbers occasionally mirror the human form of the visitors. Real mirrors hang on each wall so viewers can see themselves bathed in the projections. It is hoped they will capture their reflection using camera phones, etc. and these images will be then circulated in social media. “The aim of the work is to create a bridge between the physical reality of daily life and the immaterial representation of our existence and activities as mediated through the digital universe such as the contemporary stock market”. In this way the artwork proposes a new language, a way for visitors young and old to create a personal philosophy for what it is to live in this new digital universe. Rather than educating the visitor about the history of the stock market, the idea is to give it a face and make it visible. To make it an unforgettable experience.
Kunty Moureau & Charles Sandison