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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Presents Frequency and Volume at Barbican Art Gallery
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Frequency and Volume, Relational. Architecture 9 Elektra Festival, Montréal, Québec 2005. Photo by Antimodular Research.

LONDON.- For the eighth Curve Art commission, Mexico-born Canada-based artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer transforms The Curve into a huge interactive sculpture which allows the visitor to see the usually invisible radio frequencies that constantly surround us. Through the use of sophisticated computerised tracking devices the visitor’s position in the gallery determines the tuning and volume of 36 radios. On entering the space each participant’s shadow will be cast on the vast curving wall. The outline of the projected shadow determines the frequency tuned, while its size controls the volume. Effectively, the work turns the human body into an antenna able to tune into the radio spectrum of London . Signals can be picked up from FM, AM, short wave, television, DAB, weather and amateur, as well as sounds from such sources as radio astronomy and low earth orbit satellite. The sounds are emitted by speakers located around the gallery. Frequency and Volume opens on 9 October 2008 and marks Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s first UK solo show in a public gallery.

Lozano-Hemmer is known for his large installations in public spaces. He creates environments using new technologies such as robotics, surveillance and telematic networks; often requiring audience participation and setting a platform for social interaction. Through the merging of architecture, performance art and technology he raises issues surrounding surveillance, control and information ownership.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s work has been widely shown at prestigious international platforms such as Liverpool Biennial 2002 and Sydney Biennial 2006. With Vectorial Elevation, designed for the millennium celebrations in Mexico City , Lozano-Hemmer created one of the world’s largest interactive installations, attracting 800,000 participants from 89 countries. 18 robotic searchlights were positioned around the city’s main square, projecting beams into the night’s sky which could be seen for 15 kilometres. People from all over the world were invited to design their own light sculptures via an online site which was connected to the lights. In 2007 he was invited to represent Mexico at the 52nd Venice Biennale. H e has won various awards, including two BAFTAs for Interactive Art in London. He received the ‘Gold Award’ in i-D. Magazine’s Interactive Media Design Review of 2002 and Wired magazine's artist/performer of the year award in 2003 .

Forthcoming projects include Lozano-Hemmer ’s first exhibition at Haunch of Venison, London, 14 October–16 November 2008 and Under Scan, in which thousands of ‘video portraits’ of Londoners will be projected onto the ground of Trafalgar Square in November 2008. The latter project will use the world’s most powerful projector to flood the area with white light. As people walk around the square, their shadow will be cast on the floor, revealing the video-portraits, with which participants will be able to interact.

The Curve is the Barbican’s free exhibition space that wraps around the back of the Concert Hall. Launched in May 2006, Curve Art is a series of new commissions inviting contemporary artists to respond to the distinctive architecture of the space. Contemporary artists who have previously made new commissions for The Curve are Argentinean artist Tomas Saraceno; British artist Richard Wilson; Danish artist Jeppe Hein; Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrč , Iranian born Shirana Shahbazi, work by Austrian artist Hans Schabus and most recently Frolic by Huang Yong Ping.

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