AMES, Iowa — Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, a media artist working at the intersection of architecture and performance art, will share his work in a virtual lecture hosted by the Iowa State University College of Design.

Event details and registration

In his presentation, “Antimonuments and Social Art Practice: A Panoramic Presentation of Platforms for Public Self-Representation,” Lozano-Hemmer will highlight two projects: “Border Tuner” and “Body Movies.”

“Border Tuner” is a large-scale, participatory art installation designed to interconnect the cities of El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua. Powerful searchlights make “bridges of light” that open live sound channels for communication across the US-Mexico border.

The project is intended to magnify existing relationships, conversations and culture and provide an opportunity to draw attention to the coexistence and interdependence between the sister cities that create the largest bi-national metropolitan area in the Western Hemisphere.

Inspired by Samuel van Hoogstraten’s 1675 engraving “Shadow Dance,” “Body Movies” transforms public space with interactive projections — measuring between 400 and 1,800 square meters — featuring thousands of photographic portraits from the host city displayed using robotically controlled projectors.

The portraits only appear inside the projected shadows of passersby, and a video surveillance tracking system triggers new ones when all the existing portraits have been revealed, inviting the public to “occupy new narratives of representation.”

Part of the 2021-2022 College of Design Lecture Series, Lozano-Hemmer’s presentation will be from noon–1 p.m. CST Wednesday, Jan. 26, via Zoom. Register in advance to attend this free online event. You will receive a confirmation email with more information on how to access the Zoom lecture.

Watch recorded lecture

About the speaker

Lozano-Hemmer creates platforms for public participation using technologies such as robotic lights, digital fountains, computerized surveillance, media walls and telematic networks. Inspired by phantasmagoria, carnival and animatronics, his light and shadow works are “antimonuments for alien agency.”

He has received two BAFTA British Academy Awards for Interactive Art; a Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica (Austria); “Artist of the Year” Rave Award from Wired Magazine; a Rockefeller fellowship; the Trophée des Lumières (Lyon, France); an International Bauhaus Award (Dessau, Germany); the title of Compagnon des Arts et des Lettres du Québec (Quebec, Canada) and the Governor General’s Award in Canada.

In 2019, Lozano-Hemmer’s immersive performance “Atmospheric Memory” premiered at the Manchester International Festival in North Carolina and his interactive installation “Border Tuner” connected people across the US–Mexico border. Read more in online bio


Shelby Doyle, College of Design Lectures & Exhibitions Committee, 540-454-4390, doyle@iastate.edu
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, 515-294-9289, hsauer@iastate.edu