Between Mind and Matter
Iris van Herpen
Colin Benders

Nick Verstand (1984) is a contemporary artist researching human perception through spatial audiovisual compositions. His autonomous installations and live performances investigate the frontier between the material and the immaterial, and are created through collaborative design processes aimed at breaking down social boundaries. The resulting intuitive experiences, co-creations of artist and audience, generate a hypnotizing environment for the subconscious mind.

Nick has exhibited and performed at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL), The Shed (New York), STRP (Netherlands), Design Society (China), Paris Couture Week (France), SXSW (Austin), Dekmantel (NL), Art Central (Hong Kong), Iceland Airwaves (Iceland), Dutch Design Week (Netherlands) and collaborated with artists such as Iris van Herpen, Björk and Suzanne Ciani. Dezeen selected his project AURA as one of the top 10 art installations of 2017, alongside Olafur Eliasson, Ai Weiwei and Anish Kapoor.

selected exhibitions & live performances

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (NL)

The Shed (New York, USA)

Paris Couture Week (Paris, FR)

Dekmantel (NL)

SXSW (Texas, USA)

Art Central Hong Kong (CHN)

Lowlands Festival (NL)

Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven, NL)

Design Society (Shenzhen, CHN)

Iceland Airwaves (Reykjavik, ISL)

MIRA Festival (Barcelona, ES)

STRP (Eindhoven, NL)

Nuit Blanche (Paris, FR)

EYE Film Museum (Amsterdam, NL)

Nieuw Dakota Gallery (Amsterdam, NL)

Concertgebouw (Amsterdam, NL)

FRAME Lab (Amsterdam, NL)

Sandberg Institute (Amsterdam, NL)

Lehrter Siebzehn Gallery (Berlin, DE)

FORMS (Toronto, CAN)

De Nieuwe Kerk (Amsterdam, NL)

TEDx (Delft, NL)

Van Gogh Museum (Amsterdam, NL)

Gabriel Rolt Gallery (Amsterdam, NL)

Amsterdam Dance Event (NL)

REC Festival (Rotterdam, NL)

Trouw (Amsterdam, NL)

Bimhuis (Amsterdam, NL)


selected awards

Elisabeth van Thüringenprijs

Lumen Prize, category 3D/Sculpture

HKU Award Entrepreneurship


selected collaborations

Iris van Herpen


Suzanne Ciani

Fatima Yamaha

Salvador Breed


Colin Benders

selected publications


Victoria & Albert Museum

FRAME Magazine

Resident Advisor


Design Society (CHN)

Mister Motley (NL)

BBC Radio (UK)


Volkskrant (NL)

3voor12 (NL)

The Chicago Tribune (USA)

Creators Project (USA, CHN, NL, DE)

Engadget (USA)

Trendtablet (FR)

National Post (CAN)


selected presentations

SXSW (Texas, USA) - Linking Art & Science Through Technology

Netherlands Film Festival (Utrecht, NL) - Visualising Beyond The Mind

Fiber Festival (NL) - EEG Interfaces In Contemporary Art

MTA (Beijing, CHN) - Discovering Interfaces Between Art, Technology and Sound

MU Artspace (Eindhoven, NL) - Materialising The Internet

FORMS (Toronto, CAN) - AI In Art Is Metaphor

RTL Late Night (NL) - Muziek Maken Met Je Emoties 

HKU (NL) - Realising Multidisciplinary Art Projects

Blink YoungBlood Award (NL) - head of jury

Amsterdam Dance Event (NL) - Sound Lab

Pakhuis de Zwijger (NL) - AVATAR


design, strategy and website

Agency Agency

AURA (2017) is an audiovisual installation that materialises emotions into a perceptible, physical form. The audience' own emotional experience manifests as organic, pulsing light compositions of various form, colour and intensity. The installation visually tributes to the Solid Light Works by artist Anthony McCall, further exploring light as a medium.

The transformation of emotions into light is accomplished by a scientific system, developed in collaboration with the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research. Using multiple wearable biosensors, the system registers brainwaves, heart-rate variability, and galvanic skin response. From the sensors, emotional “data” is analysed and metamorphosed into its symbolic representation as light. The differences in individuals’ emotional responses, being influenced by a musical composition, become visible to all who are present.

AURA explores how this perceptual process influences the understanding of ourselves and of each other. The installation symbolises the materialisation of (internal) metaphysical space into (external) physical space. 

biosensors, RGB lasers, hazer, 8.1 speaker system, NAP framework

created by
Nick Verstand
Salvador Breed

commissioned by 
VPRO Medialab

in collaboration with
Sophie de Krom
Poul Holleman
Maarten Kanters
Angel Callander

special thanks
Eleonora Remmen