Born in Mexico City in 1967, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer later immigrated to Canada, where he pursued his bachelor’s of science in Physical Chemistry from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in 1989, before turning his attentions to making art. His early interest in science and technology has continued to inspire him to create new media works which invite public interaction. As he has stated, “I work with technology not because it’s original but because it’s inevitable. Our politics, our culture, our economy, everything is running through globalized networks of communication.” Lozano-Hemmer’s works integrate elements of theater and performance while employing a wide range of technology, including robotics, computerized surveillance networks, sensors, projections, and custom-made devices and software, as a way to re-position human interaction with technology and to directly engage the viewer. Many of his works cannot fully function without viewer participation, including heartbeats, fingerprints, body temperature, brain waves, voice and facial recognition.
Lozano-Hemmer’s large-scale immersive environments and his smaller-scale sculptural installations have been described as “focusing on the idea of creating relationship-specific work through connective interfaces to explore themes of surveillance, perception, and deception.” His uniquely hybrid works of art poetically re-create the constant interplay between man and machine, the human and the technological. Seductive, engaging, inclusive, evocative, and often humorous, his works also have a darker undercurrent that references a level of surveillance and tracking that is now an unquestioned part of contemporary life on a global scale.
Lozano-Hemmer lives and works in Montreal. Learn more about this artist on his website.