Sorting Daemon

This video installation was commissioned by the Goethe Institute in Toronto for its “Surveillance Terrorism Democracy” programme. In Rokeby’s own words, this piece “was triggered by my concerns about the increasing use of automated systems for profiling people as part of the “war on terrorism” and is an attempt to help ask questions about appropriate uses of technology.” To do this, Rokeby used a surveillance camera to track and record movement in an effort to look for people. When movement—a person—has been found, the image is captured and removed from its background context. Each of these images are then sequenced by colour and placed within a larger composite image projected within the Institute. With this work, Rokeby highlights the increasing invasion of surveillance technologies into everyday life, and challenges the presence and practicality of surveillance in contemporary society.

Client:David Rokeby, Sorting Daemon, 2003. Computer, LCD screen, camera and projection. Goethe Institut, Toronto, ON. In multiple exhibitions. Image courtesy of the artist. © David Rokeby.
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