World-renowned and award-winning artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s work has been called “entertaining, technologically inspired, interactive (pieces) that people line up to try,” and “at the same time … intellectual with a penchant for social criticism,” by the New York Times.
Border Tuner, Lozano-Hemmer’s newest interactive art installation, promises to be all that and more, said Kerry Doyle, director of the Rubin Center for Visual Arts at the University of Texas at El Paso. It will take place in El Paso and Juárez in November.
“Those of us who live and work here in the El Paso-Juárez border know how interlinked our two communities are and know how important we are to one another’s culture and history,” Doyle said.
“As the nation’s attention has turned to the border increasingly in 2019, it’s important that we share our story and reclaim our narrative as one border community. This project aims to highlight the many ways in which Juárez and El Paso are interconnected.”
Lozano-Hemmer attended a screening of the documentary “Megalodemocrat” on May 16 at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Montecillo to officially kick off the run-up to Border Tuner.
The documentary follows the artist’s career creating works that “entice an increasingly isolated public into transforming their cities and reconnecting with one another,” according to the documentary’s website.
The filmmakers have followed Lozano-Hemmer for 10 years. Border Tuner will be the final site and project to be featured in the film.
The project will involve an interactive light and sound installation, which will feature three stations on each side of the U.S.-Mexico border – at the Parque Chamizal in Juárez and in the parking lot of Bowie High School in El Paso.
Each station will control 18 powerful searchlight beams which are visible from up to 10 miles. When participants from each site direct the spotlights at each other, they create a powerful bridge of light and sound, activating microphones and speakers that will allow people on different sides of the border to communicate with one another.
The tuning stations on both sides of the border will be free and open to the public.
Lozano-Hemmer’s public art installations are known for combining light, sound, architecture and performance art.
The Montreal-based, Mexico City-born artist has created large-scale interactive installations for events such as the Millenium Celebrations in Mexico City and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.
Information: @bordertuner on Facebook and Instagram.