#09 Science Meets Art: A Colorful Affair, an Interview with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

A body and environmental detector that translates heat into an explosion of colors, giant stick-figure puppets, a river of fluid letters, voices recorded and translated into beautiful color shades, monumental chandeliers imitating the sun’s temperature, a bridge connected by lights and thousands of heartbeats forming valleys upside-down dazzling in the dark: his immerse installations are pure science fiction.

A strong sense of literacy in his use of LED lights, robotics, computerized surveillance and telematic networks translated into a restrained use of color, leaves no doubt for the viewer: Rafael, Lozano-Hemmer is by no means a techno optimistic. Known for avoiding excesses such as “architeinment”, that tend to jeopardize cities’ individual character through homogenizing forces, truth is, this artist longs for two sorts of color-light effects: the one which places the spectator somewhere between cathartic playfulness and awareness, and that produced violently either by men or by nature. Meet Mexican-Canadian scientist and artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at the crossroads between architecture and artistic expression, in a rendezvous that will summon you to witness the explosive affair between art and science, an encounter in which, the presence of technology will indeed, be inevitable.


Website Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: https://www.lozano-hemmer.com

Border Tuner https://www.bordertuner.net

A crack in the hourglass. A memorial for the victims of COVID-19 https://memorialcovid-lozano-hemmer.web.app/?lang=en

Crystal Bridges – Museum of American Art https://crystalbridges.org/calendar/listening-forest-rafael-lozano-hemmer/

Images of some pieces:





Atmospheric Memory exhibition in Sydney: 





Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is a Mexican Canadian artist known for his incredible large-scale interactive installations where public participation is essential. His installations are a meeting point for architecture and performance-art, as well as for artistic expression and technology. LED lights, robotics, computerized surveillance or telematic networks are just some of the technological materials he uses to vests his work with science fiction character. 

He studied and graduated from both, the University of Victoria in British Columbia and then at Concordia University in Montreal, where he studied different fields from physics to art history and earned a Chemistry degree. Though he did not pursue a career as a scientist, his interest in chemistry and technology have influenced his work in many ways. Rafael´s large-scale interactive installations have been featured in the Millennium Celebrations in Mexico City, the Cultural Capital of Europe in Rotterdam, the UN World Summit of Cities in Lyon, the opening of the YCAM Center in Japan, the 50th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He has been subject of solo exhibitions in museums like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.; and the Amorepacific Museum of Art in Seoul, among many others.

His work is included in numerous collections around the world, including the MoMA in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, AGO in Toronto, CIFO in Miami, Jumex and MUAC in Mexico City, DAROS in Zurich, Borusan Contemporary in Istanbul, MAG in Manchester, SFMOMA in San Francisco, ZKM in Karlsruhe, SAM in Singapore. 

He was the first artist to represent Mexico at the Venice Biennale and is recipient of a long list of prices, such as two BAFTA Awards for Interactive Art in London, a Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica in Austria, “Artist of the year” Rave Award from Wired magazine, a Rockefeller fellowship, the Trophée des Lumières in Lyon, and an International Bauhaus Award in Dessau. Sohn of nightclub owners, he is also a DJ although when he plays, he does it under a different name.

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