Danny / Gallery Review

On Thursday, March 19 2015, I attended David Rokeby’s artist talk and opening reception of Very Nervous System (1983-2004) at the McIntosh Gallery located on Western University’s campus. Passing through the ruby doors of the gallery, I individualistically made movements towards Rokeby’s installation. Upon entering Very Nervous System (1983-2004) I acknowledged a singular beam of light surrounded by an empty room accompanied by wall mounted speakers. I found my body negotiating between being in a space and observing an occurrence. When touched by the rays of light, unattractive and unfamiliar sounds were emitted from the walls surrounding me. The relationship between my body movement and sound emitted was made simple through Rokeby’s synchronization of technology. My movement became the dictator of destabilizing sound. Having to question the location of control allowed Rokeby’s work to be digested as an experience rather than an instrument to be played or mastered. Very Nervous System (1983-2004) acted as a prosthetic to my participation. While in the spotlight, my demeanor and bodily gesture became frantic and sporadic. I dropped to the floor, spun in circles and jumped up and down acting as a spontaneous trigger to Rokeby’s installation. When thinking about Rokeby’s artistic hand within the work, the role of a composer came to mind. Rokeby allowed the outcome of my experience to be influenced by my own personal history. The way I conducted my movements within his space was undeniably different than the gestures of other participants. Rokeby enabled viewers to hone and express themselves through technological intervention.

Danny / Gallery Review

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