Rafael Lozano-Hemmer received a B.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from Concordia University in Montréal, Canada.
Media artist working at the intersection of architecture and performance art. He creates platforms for public participation using technologies such as robotic lights, digital fountains, computerized surveillance, media walls, and telematic networks. Inspired by phantasmagoria, carnival, and animatronics, his light and shadow works are "antimonuments for alien agency".
He was the first artist to represent Mexico at the Venice Biennale with an exhibition at Palazzo Van Axel in 2007. He has also shown at Biennials in Cuenca, Havana, Istanbul, Kochi, Liverpool, Melbourne NGV, Moscow, New Orleans, New York ICP, Seoul, Seville, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney, and Wuzhen. His public art has been commissioned for the Millennium Celebrations in Mexico City 1999, the Expansion of the European Union in Dublin 2004, the Student Massacre Memorial in Tlatelolco 2008, the Vancouver Olympics 2010, the pre-opening exhibition of the Guggenheim in Abu Dhabi 2015, and the activation of the Raurica Roman Theatre in Basel 2018. Collections holding his work include MoMA and Guggenheim in New York, TATE in London, MAC and MBAM in Montreal, Jumex, and MUAC in Mexico City, DAROS in Zurich, MONA in Hobart, 21C Museum in Kanazawa, Borusan Contemporary in Istanbul, CIFO in Miami, MAG in Manchester, SFMOMA in San Francisco, ZKM in Karlsruhe, SAM in Singapore and many others.
He has received two BAFTA British Academy Awards for Interactive Art in London, a Golden Nica at the Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, "Artist of the year" Rave Award from Wired Magazine, a Rockefeller fellowship, the Trophée des Lumières in Lyon, an International Bauhaus Award in Dessau, the title of Compagnon des Arts et des Lettres du Québec in Quebec, and the Governor General's Award in Canada. He has lectured at Goldsmiths College, the Bartlett School, Princeton, Harvard, UC Berkeley, Cooper Union, USC, MIT MediaLab, Guggenheim Museum, LA MOCA, Netherlands Architecture Institute, Cornell, UPenn, SCAD, Danish Architecture Center, CCA in Montreal, ICA in London, and the Art Institute of Chicago.
In 2016, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and Daniel Canogar, jointly and honorably, received the ARCO-Beep Electronic Art Award
In "Redundant Assembly" an arrangement of several cameras composes a live-portrait of the visitor from six perspectives simultaneously, aligned using face detection. The resulting image is uncanny, detached from the laws of symmetry and the depth perception of binocular vision. If several visitors are standing in front of the work, a composite portrait of their different facial features develops in real time, creating a mongrel "selfie".
A version of the work for public space includes a time-component that allows the face blending to take place mixing present and the past. Face recognition is a technique often used by police, military, and corporate entities to search for and find suspicious or target people. Here the same technology is used to confuse portraits and emphasize the artificiality and arbitrariness of identification.