Theatrical Interactive Installations in Public Spaces: part 2

October 5, 2012  |   Feature,   World
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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (born in 1967 in Mexico City) is best known for creating theatrical interactive installations in public spaces across Europe, Asia and America. Using robotics, real-time computer graphics, film projections, positional sound, internet links, cell phone interfaces, video and ultrasonic sensors, LED screens and other devices, his installations seek to interrupt the increasingly homogenized urban condition by providing critical platforms for participation.

Lozano-Hemmer’s smaller-scaled sculptural and video installations explore themes of perception, deception and surveillance. As an outgrowth of these various large scale and performance-based projects Lozano-Hemmer documents the works in photography editions that are also exhibited.

In 1999, Lozano-Hemmer created “Alzado Vectorial” (or Vectorial Elevation), where internet participants directed searchlights over the central square in Mexico City. In Vectorial Elevation, an ambitious new media art project that was first presented in Mexico City to celebrate the new millennium, participants used a Web-based interface to control the searchlights, choreographing patterns on the night sky and the urban landscape. Lozano-Hemmer calls this type of performance “Relation Architecture,” which he defines as “the technological actualization of buildings with alien memory.” In other words, laypeople and passersby (who possess the “alien” memories of outsiders) can construct new meanings for edifices, usually via technological tools — such as Internet software and robotic lights.