singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer
singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer
mar 30, 2011

singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer

‘frequency and volume’ by rafael lozano-hemmer, on display at singapore art biennale 2011 image © designboom

humans become antennae and their bodies the sites of light and sound in the installation ‘frequency and volume‘, created by mexico-born, montreal-based artist rafael lozano-hemmer and on exhibition at the singapore art biennale 2011.

in the piece, a computerized tracking system detects the shadows of participants, as projected onto a large wall. sounds from live radio frequencies are sampled based on the location of the shadow relative to an imagined radioelectric spectrum spanning the wall, with the volume determined by the size of the shadow. the work can tune up to 48 frequencies simultaneously, in the range of 150kHz and 1.5GHz that includes air traffic control, FM, AM, CB, short wave, satellite, cellular radio as well as wireless telecommunications and radio navigation.

the position of the shadows along the wall determines what radio frequencies are sampled image © designboom

full installation view image © designboom

with each visitor to the space becoming integral to the work experienced by others in that moment, ‘frequency and volume’ reflects the ways that expanding technology has placed ‘the reach of our bodies– and our consciousness of our selves– beyond personal boundaries‘.

first developed in mexico at a time when the government was active in shutting down pirate radio stations, the project also explores the logic of who is granted access to radio frequencies, or, in lozano-hemmer’s words, ‘the public space that is the radioelectric spectrum‘.

video of ‘frequency and volume’ at the singapore art biennale 2011 video © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

image © designboom

view of the control center image © designboom

closer view of controls image © designboom

detail view of control screen, visualizing the shadows image © designboom

the monitor keeps track of shadow size and position image © designboom

additional footage of visitor interaction with the installation video © designboom

— the third edition of the singapore biennale (SB2011) opened its doors to the public on march 13th and runs until may 15th, 2011. designboom visited the shows, led by artistic director matthew ngui and curators russell storer and trevor smith. the SB2011 open house program is organized by the singapore art museum (SAM) of the national heritage board and supported by the national arts council, singapore. 63 artists from 30 countries are presenting 161 works across four exhibition venues – SAM and SAM at 8Q, the national museum of singapore, old kallang airport and marina bay.

with its focus on artistic processes, the third singapore biennale marks the highest proportion of artists to date who are presenting new site-specific commissions or premieres: 34 artists or 54 % of all participating artists. it also has the strongest asian and local representation to date, with more than 40% of the artists (27 out of 63) hailing from asia and nine singaporean artists in all.

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    art news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    502,388 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample