farcar – LookingOutwards03

Minimal Object (With Time on Your Hands) 2012 | David Rokeby


Rokeby’s work looks simple from first glance: a grey canvas attached to a wall. But the canvas isn’t half the show. Above the canvas lies a motion sensor able to read from hundreds of discrete locations in front of the canvas. Each location is linked to a rhythmic, harmonious sound file.


When multiple locations are occupied, by say an arm, multiple sounds from those locations are triggered and compliment each other. The user begins to feel like a composer in this instance: their arm and body movements triggering different sounds from their digital symphony. As a result, Rokeby’s work means little without the interactive component. There must be a user present to trigger the audio for the artwork to be engaging or else there is nothing but a grey canvas in front of them.