David Rokeby (Toronto) is a technological philosopher In his work he is keenly aware of the ambiguous and irresolvable nature of humanity and its relationship to the absolutely arbitrary space of binary information. He is interested in the way humans and machines mutually influence each other. His art works engage the viewer both physically and conceptually in a dialogue with technology.
In 2001, Rokeby will show the most recent version of Giver of Names in which the computer identifies and describes objects put before it - a kind of Mike Kelly meets R2D2 performance involving the assistance of the viewer. The exhibition will also include the installation Watch, in which a surveillance camera brings outside images into the room, processing them according to specific visual codes The piece resonates with debates of the image as evidence and is visually fascinating.
David Rokeby exhibited his ground-breaking piece Very Nervous System in the Venice Biennale in 1986, and has been a major figure in art and technology since that time, exhibiting primarily internationally and in eastern Canada. He was awarded the Prix Ars Electronica in 1991 and again in 1997.
We are planning a panel discussion on the nature of col-laboration with technology (details will be in the next PHG NEWS.) Curated by Karen Henry. Supported by Le Fondation Daniel Langlois, Montreal and the Canada Council for the Arts.