Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Recorders

Sydney, Australia: The Museum of Contemporary Art is delighted to present Australia’s first solo exhibition by one of the world’s best-known electronic artists. Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano- Hemmer has attracted global attention for his highly interactive and complex digital artworks.

Art Exhibition previously on at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) in The Rocks precinct, New South Wales, Australia.
From Friday 16 December 2011 to Sunday 12 February 2012

Close-Up Shadow Box 3 2010 image Pulse Room 2006 image Pulse Room 2006 image Pulse Room 2006 image Pulse Room 2006 image Pulse Room 2006 image Close-Up Shadow Box 3 2010 image Microphones 2008 image Microphones 2008 image People On People 2010 image People On People 2010 image People On People 2010 image Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Recorders image

Published by M.C.A. on Thursday 11 August 2011.
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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Recorders features 13 recent pieces by the artist, including two new works. Public engagement is critical to the work – visitors play the role of performer, leaving traces of themselves, whether it is objects from their pockets, questions they have typed, the pace of their heartbeat, their voice or their image. Trained in physical chemistry, the artist uses robotics, projections, sound, internet and cellphone links, sensors and other devices to create critical and poetic platforms for public interaction. In the process, the viewers become the viewed.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer explains: ‘In Recorders, artworks hear, see and feel the public, they exhibit awareness and record and replay memories entirely obtained during the show. Using advanced surveillance and biometric technologies, the pieces either depend on participation to exist or predatorily gather information on the public as they go through the exhibition. In all cases the artwork compiles a database of behaviours that then becomes the artwork itself. I am always delighted when a visitor takes over an artwork and personalises it, like they might take over a stage or a public square.’

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Recorders is part of the Sydney International Art Series, bringing the world’s most outstanding exhibitions to Australia. It has been made possible with the support of Destination NSW through Events NSW.

MCA Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, says: ‘Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s work has captivated and fascinated audiences all over the world, especially young people. The exhibition is a world-class example of how digital technologies can be used to create innovative art which inspires, involves and stimulates. However, the exhibition is more than spectacle. As visitors move through the exhibition, they notice an ominous or predatory overtone. The work physically and emotionally engages people and raises questions about systems of surveillance that are part and parcel of 21st century life. The artist challenges the systems which track, predict and at times control our life.

‘ Rafael Lozano-Hemmer made headlines in the United Kingdom in 2008 for his large-scale installation which projected video images into the shadows of visitors in Trafalgar Square, London. He was also responsible for the world’s largest interactive artwork, for which hundreds of thousands of participants used the internet to shine searchlights over Mexico City.

Highlights of this exhibition include Pulse Room (2006) which was premiered in Puebla, Mexico and shown to critical acclaim in the Mexican pavilion for the Venice Biennale in 2007. This compelling work is made up of 100 light bulbs which are activated by a sensor to flash at the exact rhythm of participants’ heart rates. People on People (2010), on show in Australia for the very first time, is a major installation inspired by portraiture and shadow plays, which turns the gallery’s temporary exhibition space into a scanning device where live and recorded imagery is blended automatically.

Two new works will be presented for the first time in Sydney. Pletoria (2011) comprises a set of interactive displays that automatically capture, store and playback images of the eyes of viewers. Tape Recorders (2011) is a dramatic installation comprising 100 robotic measuring tapes that record how long visitors stand in a particular location. The metal tapes rise upwards according to the length of time being spent in a single location, and crash to the floor when the person being monitored leaves that part of the gallery.

The Sydney exhibition is an expanded version of Recorders presented at Manchester City Art Gallery from September 2010 to January 2011.