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.

singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer the position of the shadows along the wall determines what radio frequencies are sampled image © designboom

singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer 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

singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer image © designboom

singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer image © designboom

singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer image © designboom

singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer view of the control center image © designboom

singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer closer view of controls image © designboom

singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer detail view of control screen, visualizing the shadows image © designboom

singapore art biennale 2011: rafael lozano hemmer 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.

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