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David Rokeby, Taken, 2002. Installation view at FACT.

David Rokeby: Silicon Remembers Carbon

David Rokeby has shaped the history of media arts for over 20 years. His interactive artworks explore the differences and similarities between human and computer perception.

Born in Ontario, Canada, in 1960, he has received acclaim in both arts and technical fields across the globe. His work was represented at the Venice Biennale as early as 1986; he received a BAFTA for interactive art in 2000 and has won three awards at the prestigious Ars Electronica. Silicon Remembers Carbon is the first major presentation of David Rokeby's work in the UK.

In collaboration with DA2, we re-staged pieces that signify key moments in the development of the artist's creative career. Interactive installations of machines that see, hear, talk and make decisions invite us into the mysterious, magical and lonely realm of the computer. Rokeby's work carries a critical reflection on human psychology, language, vision, memory, and how technology currently defines how we perceive the world around us, constantly mediated and under surveillance.

"I am fascinated by the way we transform the raw impressions streaming in through our senses into a coherent mental picture of reality."

David Rokeby

Technology in the work of David Rokeby allows the artistic representation of the complex mechanism by which the human brain processes a chaotic array of colours, sounds and shapes into a reality that makes sense in our rational way of understanding the world. Experiencing Rokeby's work audiences find themselves in a paradoxical loop where they become aware of the mechanism that is taking place in their minds while looking, listening and comprehending the work.

David Rokeby represents the avant-garde of artists exploring and playing with the creative possibilities of interfaces: the point where the communication between humans and computers happens. His work exists in the ambiguous space where the real and the virtual meet. His critical approach questions the current design of computers and their interfaces, considered as mirrors that return a distorted vision of the self to the user.

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