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Triangle in Front of Square in Front of Circle in Front of Triangle

Dan Sandin

1973 00:01:40 United StatesEnglishB&WMono4:31/2" open reel video


In this elegant demonstration, Sandin explains the mistake of using common language concepts and spatial relations to describe what actually can happen on the video screen. The images generated in the tape act according to specific parameters set by the artist. Sandin has stated "The analog Image Processor was programmed to implement the logic equations; if square, if triangle and circle show circle." In this tape, Sandin is in effect arguing for a distinct video vocabulary that replaces the classical concept of perspective. This tape was produced at the University of Illinois Chicago.

This title is also available on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 2


About Dan Sandin

Inventor and practioner of the Image Processor (IP), Dan Sandin is a seminal figure in the technological development of the video medium. In 1973 Sandin successfully designed and built the first Image Processor (IP) as a modular, patch programmable, analog computer optimized for the manipulation of gray level information of input video signals. The IP allows artists to freely play with the color and composition of a video image. Trained in nuclear physics, Sandin first became interested in video in 1967 while helping organize student demonstrations on the University of Illinois campus. He considers his career has having three main thrusts: “the design of electronic instruments for visual performance and personal growth; the development of educational facilities and programs related to the use of electronic screens (electronic visualization); and the production and exhibition of visual works for personal expressive reasons.” 

“About creativity—my personal view of it is kind of like I’m a pipe or conduit. And all this stuff just happens to be flowing through me because I’ve chosen to position myself in that flow.  I have no problem with the word ‘creation’ as long as people don’t lay too much molasses on it.”
—Dan Sandin

Also see:

Dan Sandin: An Interview