David Rokeby’s interactive installation “Dark Matter” (2010) was included in Video Pool Media Arts Centre’s AGE OF CATASTROPHE exhibition that ran from November 13 – December 12, 2015. Rokeby came to Winnipeg for the opening of the show and to speak at CATASTROPHE, CATACLYSM AND THE SINGULAR ACCIDENT symposium in conjunction with the exhibition. While he was here he also recorded this interview with Video Pool’s director, Dr. Melentie Pandilovski.
Born in Tillsonburg, Ontario in 1960, David Rokeby has been creating interactive sound and video installations with computers since 1982. His early work Very Nervous System (1982-1991) is acknowledged as a pioneering work of interactive art, translating physical gestures into real-time interactive sound environments. Very Nervous System was presented at the Venice Biennale in 1986 and was awarded the first Petro-Canada Award for Media Arts in 1988 and Austria’s Prix Ars Electronic Award for Interactive Art in 1991. His works engage questions of digital surveillance and the differences between artificial and human intelligence. David Rokeby’s installations have been exhibited extensively in the Americas, Europe and Asia. He has been featured in retrospectives at Oakville Galleries (2004), FACT in Liverpool (2007), the CCA in Glasgow and the Art Gallery of Windsor (2008). He has been an invited speaker at events around the world and has published two papers that are required reading in the new media arts faculties of many universities.
In 2002, Rokeby was awarded a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, the Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Interactive Art (for n-cha(n)t) and represented Canada at the Venice Biennale of Architecture with Seen (2002). In 2004 he represented Canada at the São Paulo Bienal in Brazil. In 2007 he completed major art commissions for the Ontario Science Centre and the Daniel Langlois Foundation in Montréal. His 400 foot long, 72 foot high sculpture entitled long wave was one of the hits of the Luminato Festival in Toronto (2009). In 2010/2011, Rokeby was a guest artist at Le Fresnoy Studio Nationale in Tourcoing, France, and artist-in-residence at the Ryerson Image Centre at Ryerson University, Toronto. He developed substantial new works for exhibitions in both places in 2012.
The Age of Catastrophe project was generously supported by Canada Council for the Arts.