Just a Minute With: Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
By Farah Master
LONDON Oct 16 (Reuters Life) - Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer creates giant electronic art installations in public spaces worldwide, fusing new technology with human interfaces to engage the public.
Rafael's work aims to provide a critical platform for public interaction, interrupting what he sees as the increasing homogeneity of the urban environment. His Underscan project, set to open in London's Trafalgar Square November 15, is the world's largest interactive public artwork in which animated video portraits are projected into the shadows of viewers passing through a 2000 meter squared area of light.
Q. Your work has often been described as "electronic" bridging science, technology and art. Why do you think this fusion is particularly effective?
A. "This idea that different artistic disciplines getting mixed up has always been there, it's only quite recently that people have been so territorial about it. Now we're living in an era of networks and globalization and for better or worse a lot of these boundaries are coming down."
Q. You dislike the idea of "new media" to describe your work. How would you best describe it?
A. "I call it either performing art, electronic art or visual art. The only reason I stand beside the name new media is because I don't like the word "new." I think that a lot of what I am doing is more interesting when seen in the context of precedence, "experimental" is a word I like very much, where you are using technology not because it's new but because it's inevitable."
Q. Why is the use of public space so critical for Underscan?
A. "I'm interested in the idea of agency, that people are no longer related to the public space and that somehow public space is becoming homogenous. It's becoming so alienating there is the need to reconnect the public to each other." Continued...