In Taken, Tokeby uses surveillance technologies to record and capture movement of people in the gallery space. Projected onto a large screen within the gallery, these individual images are brought together as one composite image, with the actions of each person looped at 20-second intervals. According to Rokeby, “The result is that every action that has taken place in the gallery since the computer was turned on occurs together on the screen, repeating every 20 seconds. The image stream, provides a kind of seething chaos of activity that can be read both as a statistical plot of gallery activities (where do most people stand to regard the piece? Do they move around?) and as a record of each act of each visitor. The image is densely social, deeply layered and chaotic. The other side is a cooler catalog of the gallery visitors. Individual visitors are tracked within the space. Their heads are zoomed in on, and adjectives are attributed to them (i.e. ‘unsuspecting’, ‘complicit’, ‘hungry’). These individual head shots are collected as a set of the last 200 visitors and presented as a matrix of 100 or occasionally all 200 shots, moving in slow motion. This side is analytical and highly ordered and rather threatening.”

Client:David Rokeby, Taken, 2002-2009. Video installation. In multiple exhibitions and locations, including Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, ON (2002); “Interaction '05,” Toronto International Art Fair, Toronto, ON (2005); “Profiling,” Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (2007); “Synthetic Time,” National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China. Image courtesy of the artist. © David Rokeby.
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