Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, ‘Voz Alta Video and Prototype’, 2008, bitforms gallery

Video documentation and functioning prototype for “Voz Alta" (Loud Voice), one of Lozano-Hemmer's most important public art projects to date. The prototype is the same Megaphone as was used in the public art piece, except it has been modified to incorporate a powerful xenon searchlight inside, so that when a participant speaks into it, his or her voice gets converted into light flashes. An FM radio transmitter allows transistor radios to hear exactly what the light is saying: be it live participation or archival material from the memorial.

“Voz Alta” is a memorial commissioned for the 40th anniversary of the student massacre that took place in Mexico City on October 2nd 1968, one week before the start of the Olympics. In the piece, participants speak freely into a megaphone placed on the Plaza de las Tres Culturas, right where the massacre happened in the neighborhood of Tlatelolco. As the megaphone amplifies the voice, a 10kW searchlight automatically "beams" the voice as a sequence of flashes: if the voice is silent the light is off and as it gets louder so does the light's brightness. The searchlight beam hits the top of the old Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where it is relayed by three additional searchlights, one pointed to the north, one to the southeast towards Zócalo Square and one to the southwest towards the Monument to the Revolution. Depending on the weather, the searchlights could be seen from a 15Km radius, quietly transmitting the voice of the participants as flickers over Mexico City.

"Play with me", Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles, California, United States, 2012.

"Freedom to Create", The National Museum of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2011 (video).

"Freedom to Create", Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai, India, 2011 (video).

"InTERvenciones", Valparaiso, Chile, 2010 (video).

"Atopia", CCCB, Barcelona, Spain, 2010 (video).

"Being in the World", The Cisneros Fontanals Foundation in Miami, Miami, Florida, United States, 2009 (prototype and video).

"Transition States", Haunch of Venison Gallery, New York City, New York, United States, 2009 (prototype and video).

"Recent works", Galerie Guy Bärtschi, Geneva, Switzerland, 2009 (video).

"5 Solos", Galería OMR, Mexico City, México, 2009 (video).

"Voz Alta", Memorial for the Tlatelolco student massacre, Mexico City, México, 2008.

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

Solo Shows

Carroll / Fletcher, 
London ,
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Obra Sonora

Group Shows

Carroll / Fletcher, 
London ,
Carroll / Fletcher, 
London ,
Pencil / Line / Eraser
View Artist's CV