David Rokeby has won acclaim in both artistic and technical fields for his new media artworks. A pioneer in interactive art and an acknowledged innovator in interactive technologies, Rokeby has achieved international recognition as an artist and seen the technologies which he develops for his work given unique applications by a broad range of arts practitioners and medical scientists.
The Toronto artist, who was born in Tillsonburg, Ontario in 1960 and studied at the Ontario College of Art, uses technology to reflect on human issues. Rokeby's best known work, Very Nervous System (1986-90) premiered at the Venice Biennale in 1996, won the first Petro-Canada Award for Media Arts (1988) and is permanently installed in several museums around the world. The work uses video cameras, computers, and synthesizers to create an interactive space in which body movements are translated into music. The technology Rokeby developed for this work is widely used by composers, choreographers, musicians, and artists. It is also used in music therapy applications and is currently being tested as an activity enabler for victims of Parkinson's Disease.