RAFAEL LOZANO-HEMMER as part of Luminato, at the TD Centre Linkway (66 Wellington West) and the Power Plant (231 Queens Quay West), Friday (June 1) to June 10. www.luminato.com. Rating: NNNNN
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, a mont real-based Mexican-Canadian artist, has developed an international reputation for putting together public installations that empower viewers by rethinking the function of technology. In keeping with the theme of Luminato, light plays a major role in his oeuvre.
Spectators become participants in a Lozano-Hemmer installation, altering the work with their physical presence and behaviour. For his Relational Architecture series, he projects images or text that are only visible in people's shadows and sets up searchlight arrays that can be controlled by logging onto a website or sending a text message.
In his Subsculptures series, arrangements of beer bottles or belts move in relation to gallery-goers. His site-specific works have been mounted in Britain, France, Japan, Mexico, Austria and Australia.
Part of Floating Artworks, Luminato's program of overhead installations, Homographies (Subsculpture Seven) hangs in the Linkway connecting the TD Centre to the Design Exchange. Surveillance and robotic technology allows passersby to move and rotate overhead fluorescent tubes, the most institutional of light sources, creating patterns from the rows. Although the artist prefers that his work be encountered in public spaces, he's begun to participate in the art market, and the AGO has purchased Homographies.
A centrepiece of Luminato at the Power Plant, Lozano-Hemmer's Pulse Front (Relational Architecture 12) features powerful searchlights that are visible from 15 kilometres away.
Pulse-monitoring technology like that used during workouts connects viewers with the lights, which move and pulsate in rhythm with the blood flow of those who touch the installation.
The busy artist is bringing a related incandescent light work, Pulse Room, to the Venice Biennale, where he represents Mexico.
Don't miss other Luminato public installations by Toronto's Max Streicher and Max Dean , Mexico's Abraham Cruzvillegas , France's Xavier Veilhan and the U.S.'s Jenny Holzer , William Forsythe and Dan Steinhilber .