Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is a Canadian-Mexican artist, specifically an electronic artist, an artist that creates art with electronic media, or more broadly, with technology. With a degree in physical chemistry (good on him), Lozano-Hemmer creates technological installation pieces, where he is often interested in participation from the public. His installations combine both architecture and performance art, creating a unique combination of interactive pieces that bend and twist expectations with mathematics and technology.

Call on Water, 2016

This. Artwork. Is. So. Cool. How did he do this! I need to know, it looks almost animated, but it’s not. The way the words disappear, flowing in and out of the “atmosphere”is mesmerizing, as well as deeply impactful. I also like how he gives a voice to poems, not only that, but let’s the artwork display the work of a Mexican poet, so the words are in Spanish. After translating the poem it only makes more sense that he chose that one for this project, as it’s about words, speaking them, and having it and the rest of the atmosphere disappear after a brief moment around you.

Sway, 2016

This installation is pretty dark, and yet moving. This is a kinetic sculpture, that moves in response to data. The curator or collector is able to choose which frequency the noose sways at, ranging from the rate of homicides (every 40-50 seconds) to the rate of journalist death (one every couple of deaths). The image of a noose is already unsettling, so the addition of the noose’s movement (especially after knowing the meaning behind the time intervals of the sways) is even more significant. It’s a bit haunting.

Bilateral Time Slicer, 2016

Using a biometric tracking system and a 4K camera, this installation piece finds the axis of symmetry of each person that stops by to view it, and then splits those onlookers into two, adding them to a stack of either themselves in different positions (depending on how long they stand in front of the work) or into a stack of different viewers that came before them. It’s like a flexible, evolving digital mask, which is fascinating. I like how clear the image is, and how dynamic every second of the piece is. Since so many of his works are interactive, I would really like to see his works in person too.

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