After a stint at the Ontario College of Art, almost five years to the day after he hatched his plan, Rokeby received an invitation to show his work at the Venice Biennale, arguably the world’s premier art show. The list of his artistic honors has grown steadily since.
Rokeby isn’t the only artist exploring the gray area between the body, the mind and the computer (see sidebar “Virtual Plants”), but he began doing this kind of interactive work long before most of the other artists currently on the scene, says Finnish media scholar Erkki Huhtamo, a visiting professor in the department of design at the University of California, Los Angeles. What’s more, Huhtamo says, Rokeby is one of few to have constructed his own technological tools. “He’s wonderfully capable of doing that,” says Huhtamo, “but on the other side he has applied those tools for various artworks-a career that combines these two sides meaningfully and interestingly is rather rare.”