Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, ‘Please Empty Your Pockets’, 2010, bitforms gallery
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, ‘Please Empty Your Pockets’, 2010, bitforms gallery
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, ‘Please Empty Your Pockets’, 2010, bitforms gallery

"Please Empty Your Pockets" (2010) is an installation that consists of a conveyor belt with a computerized scanner that records and accumulates everything that passes under its purview. Viewers are invited to place any small item on the conveyor belt, for example, keys, ID cards, wallets, worry beads, condoms, notepads, phones, coins, dolls, credit cards, and other everyday items that might be found in any one’s pockets. Once these objects pass under the scanner, they reappear on the other side of the conveyor belt beside projected objects from the memory of the installation. As a real item is removed from the conveyor belt, it leaves behind a projected image of itself, which is then used to accompany future objects. The piece remembers up to 600,000 objects which are displayed beside new ones that are added to the installation throughout its duration. The piece intends to blend presence and absence, using traditional techniques of augmented reality, such as those described by Adolfo Bioy Casares' 1940 novel "La Invención de Morel."

C2-MTL Conference, Montréal, Québec, Canada, 2012.

"Recorders", Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia, 2011 - 2012.

"Global Contemporary", ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany, 2011 - 2012.

ARCO '11, Max Estrella, Madrid, Spain, 2011.

Art Basel Miami, OMR Gallery, Miami, Florida, United States, 2010.

"Recorders", Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, United Kingdom, 2010 - 2011

About Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Electronic artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's public art installations combine technology, architecture, and performance using devices like robotics, projections, and cell phones. He constructs "temporary anti-monuments for alien agency," as in Pulse Tank (2008), in which heart rate sensors send ripples across the surface of water, or the Guggenheim's 2009 installation Levels of Nothingness, which allowed people to speak into a computer that linked voice traits to colors that were projected across the room. His Vectorial Elevation (1999), in which 800,000 participants created searchlight sculptures above Mexico City, may well be the world's largest interactive artwork ever.

Mexican, b. 1967, Mexico City, Mexico, based in Mexico City, Mexico