Orbital (2010)



An interactive video installation questioning the classical belief that movement is experienced with respect to a static and universal background.

Further Details

It is the coast which slips by if we keep our eyes fixed on the rail, and the boat which glides along if we look at the coast

Merleau-Ponty M. 1945. The Phenomenology of Perception.

In Orbital a circular image depicting a dancer is projected onto the floor of a gallery space. Both the movements of this dancer & the point of view react to the motion of the public around the projection. All of these movements: the viewer, the dancer and the point of view, are intimately linked but at the same time take on a form of dynamic disjunction.

Through experience we know that in order to witness the other side of an object, we simply walk around it; however when a viewer walks around Orbital these expectations become confounded. Moving around the work may cause the viewpoint to change in accordance with their own movement; on the other hand the viewpoint may equally well take an altogether different path or even follow the viewer around; it might even twist or rotate at the same time.

In Orbital all that is certain is that one movement affects another, eccentric orbits perhaps, or maybe a gravitational tussle between orbiting bodies.

The piece develops on previous work by Nic Sandiland such as Remote Dancing (2004-7) and Doing (2008) as an investigation into new technological interfaces which aim to extend the physicality of the body and create a visceral dialogue between live and mediatised movement.

Video Documentation


2013 City Moves, Aberdeen Art Gallery, Aberdeen
2012 Somatics & Technology Conference, Chichester University
2012 British Dance Edition, Stratford, London
2011 The Brindley Arts Centre, Runcorn
2010 Oxford City Gallery, Oxford
2010 The Lightbox, Woking
2010 The Place Theatre, London
2010 Stone Squid Gallery, Hastings


Concept and Installation: Nic Sandiland
Choreography: Yael Flexer
Interactive sound score: Nye Parry
Performers: Lyndsey McConville, Aya Kobayashi, Lyndsey McConville, Yael Flexer, Alonna Flexer Sandiland & Aneta Szydlak

Funded by Arts Council England, Commissioned by Woking Dance Festival