FreePort [No. 001]: Charles Sandison. ©2010 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Walter Silver
Organized by PEM's Curator of the Present Tense, Trevor Smith, this installation marked the first in a series of contemporary art interventions, all part of an initiative called FreePort.
FreePort [No. 001]: Charles Sandison. ©2011 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Walter Silver
We recently caught up with Sandison to discuss how he began this digital work, the 2010 installation and his anticipation to return to PEM in 2019 for our expansion's grand opening. Back in 2010, Sandison was given “carte blanche” by PEM’s staff to investigate old handwritten ship captain logs to feed into his computer. He then used weather patterns and the movement of birds to influence how these images moved. In those days, he often had to wait for technology to catch up, and so he built his own computers. Sandison talks about the day he began learning to write code. He could push the artwork so far that the images trailed off the walls and you couldn’t tell where it started and ended. “It could be a figment of your imagination,” he says.