The Ministry of Artistic Affairs
Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Two of the most exciting and important artists working with digital media are currently the focus of a two-person exhibition at Toronto's Pari Nadimi Gallery. Pioneering media artists Jim Campbell and David Rokeby share an ongoing fascination with movement, perception, time and memory. For both artists the technology is always firmly at the service of a poetic exploration of human experience.

Campbell works against the prevailing tendency towards higher-definition images, presenting moving images at very low resolutions that take human perception towards its limits. The fluctuations of light in the image nonetheless carry the unmistakable and evocative signature of human movement.

Rokeby is fascinated by what he calls our temporal bandwidth: the mix of past and future we bring to our experience of the present. He picks apart our experience and perception of time, space and movement, creating works that stretch and collapse time or transform our experience of our own movements through space.

Campbell’s pieces in the exhibition will include Exploded View (Commuters), Montgomery Street Pause and Fundamental Interval Commuters #2. Exploded View (Commuters) is the precursor to a major installation “Exploded View” that will be exhibited in the atrium of SFMoMA from November 5, 2011 to September 25, 2012. These two works explode the moving image into three dimensions, illuminating the space with a flickering grid of light that is part sculpture, part cinematic screen.

Rokeby’s pieces in the exhibition include 2 “sound paintings” in which the physical space of an invisible painting becomes an interactive soundscape that can be probed with the fingers. He will also show Plot Against Time #4 (Atlantic Baroque) which traces the flight patterns of gannets off the coast of Newfoundland and a work that explores the movements of skaters on the ice rink at Nathan Philips Square (Toronto).

Jim Campbell was born in Chicago in 1956 and lives in San Francisco. He received 2 Bachelor of Science Degrees in Mathematics and Engineering from MIT in 1978. His work has been shown internationally and throughout North America in institutions such as the Whitney Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Carpenter Center, Harvard University; The International Center for Photography, New York, The J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Intercommunication Center in Tokyo. His electronic art work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum and the University Art Museum at Berkeley. In 1992 he created one of the first permanent public interactive video artworks in the United States in Phoenix, Arizona, and is currently working on large scale permanent public artworks at the San Diego Airport and a collaborative work with Werner Klotz at The New San Francisco Central Subway, Union Square Market St. Station. He has lectured on interactive media art at many Institutions throughout the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in NY. He has received many grants and awards including a Rockefeller Grant in Multimedia, three Langlois Foundation Grants, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. As an engineer he holds almost twenty patents in the field of video image processing. A monograph of his work, Material Light, was published by Hatje Cantz in 2010.

David Rokeby was born 1960, Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada, lives and works in Canada. His work has been exhibited internationally and throughout North America in institutions such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Lentos Museum, Linz, Austria, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China, Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal, Montréal, Canada, Silicon Remembers Carbon” (retrospective), FACT, Liverpool, UK, Zentrum für Künst und Media, Karlesruhe, Germany, Das Wahrnehmen in der Kunst”, Kunsthaus Graz, Graz Austria, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, Finland. His work is in the collections of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, Montréal, Canada, Ontario Science Centre, Toronto, Canada, Fundació Sorigué, Lléida, Spain, Fondation Daniel Langlois, Montréal, Canada, the Science Museum, London, U.K and many others. His early work Very Nervous System (1982-1991) was a pioneering work of interactive art, translating physical gestures into real-time interactive sound environments. It was presented at the Venice Biennale in 1986, and was awarded a Prix Ars Electronica Award of Distinction for Interactive Art in 1991. His awards include a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2002), a Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica for Interactive Art (2002), and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts “BAFTA” award in Interactive art (2000).

Jim Campbell & David Rokeby
Pari Nadimi Gallery
254 Niagara Street, Toronto
September 22 – December 22, 2011