David Rokeby
25 June – 17 October 2004

Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens & at Centennial Square

David Rokeby's work uses computers to explore the relationships that evolve between human beings and the technologies they create. His body of work asks crucial questions about the place of the computer in our personal lives and in the broader culture. Each of the installations presented here evokes critical inquiry about the differences between human and machine perception and how we imagine consciousness. This exhibition includes works that investigate the relationships between body and machine, the parameters of artificial intelligence and the fabricated nature of the imagery gathered from electronic surveillance. His work is distinguished in this field by a painterly and graceful aesthetic that touches a variety of senses, immersing the viewer in a complex set of interactive relationships. There is a strategic and delightful use of humour and play in much of his work. It is a teasing engagement that brilliantly opens up an interrogation of human/computer interaction, testing the limits of embodied human experience that the computer cannot know and drawing on the ineffable aspects of human consciousness that machine logic cannot deduce.

Rokeby's work makes it possible for us to inhabit a hybrid space, a kind of in-between world, where his interactive sound and video installations constitute elegant and often humorous social and technological laboratories. Through his work, we can explore the realm in which machines and human beings dance. Rokeby is our guide on a journey of discovery through those ambiguous territories, acting as interpreter in the whispered conversation between the biological and the cybernetic.

David Rokeby brings together eight of the artist's works created between 1986 and 2003 including Seen, Canada's entry in the 2002 Venice Architectural Biennale. Steamingmedia.org, a collaborative work with Finnish artist Tapio Mäkelä, was produced by the Banff Centre for the Arts and is on view as part of a satellite exhibition at Canadian Film Centre in Toronto.

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