Rafael Lozano- Hemmer Artists Biography
Rafael has a background in Physical Chemistry from the Concordia University of Montreal, Canada. He is best known for creating interactive performances in public venues around the world. The materials he utilizes to create his masterpieces include robotics, projections, sounds, Internet links, cell phones, sensors, LED screens, computer graphics, and more. Rafael has had his artwork in more than three dozen countries. Currently, Rafael lives and continues to work out of Montreal, Canada.
Rafael has exhibited in 13 countries and for his exhibits he has been awarded the Rockefeller-Ford Fellowship (2003), Trophee des Lumieres (2003), the Artist of 2002, Wired Magazine, and many more.
I was attracted to his artwork because of its high level of interactivity. I enjoyed how much the viewer is allowed to be involved in the art rather than just observe. Typically in Rafael’s pieces, the viewer is not just a viewer but a participant in this artwork. His pieces also intrigued because of their size. The Pulse Park, which I will soon highlight, took up the entire Madison Square Park in New York City. Rafael has been in the art world for nearly two decades and his art has grown with the change of technology.
Surface Tension (1992-1993) – An interactive piece where an image of a human eye will follow the observer where they travel.
Technologies used include Plasma or rear-projection screen, computerized surveillance system, and custom-made software.
"Surface Tension" is an interactive installation where an image of a giant human eye follows the observer with orwellian precision.This work was inspired by a reading of Georges Bataille’s text The Solar Anusduring the first Gulf War – first wide-spread deployment of camera-guided “intelligent bombs”. Present-day computerised surveillance techniques employed by the Department of Homeland Security in the United States through the Patriot Act, provide a new and distressing backdrop for this piece
Pulse Park (2008) – This is an interactive matrix of light beams that respond to the participants heart rate and converts it to a visualization through light. The Pulse Park is located in the central oval field of Madison Square Park.
Technologies used include a heart rate computer, DMX controller, custom software, dimmer rack, 200 Source Four spotlights, and a generator.
Their intensity is entirely modulated by a sensor that measures the heart rate of participants and the resulting effect is the visualization of vital signs, arguably our most symbolic biometric, in an urban scale.
The Tampa Public Mood Ring (2009) - The Tampa Public Mood Ring is a combined internet and spatial artwork installation which allows an online news community to display the emotional condition of public news stories as color hue. It is based on the wearable "mood ring." The exhibit was featured on the NFL blog of Tampa Bay to allow fans and other participants send their feelings and emotions regarding the SuperBowl excitement.
It was a 25 foot steel sculpture designed by Pappenheimer and constructed by Gerdau Ameristeel, an international steel wholesaler located in Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Public Mood Ring is an Internet monument to the collective instinct of network culture and its gradients of personalized customization. It enacts the growing energies of an active virtual audience transforming the boundaries of traditional media.