Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Recorders
A large-scale solo exhibition, presenting eight to thirteen interactive pieces that underline the performative character of the public as an integral part of the artwork. In “Recorders” artworks hear, see or feel the public; they exhibit awareness and record and replay memories entirely obtained during the show. The pieces either depend on participation to exist or predatorily gather information on the public through surveillance and biometric technologies. The exhibition is meant to oscillate between the seduction of participation, preservation and inclusion, and the violence of Orwellian and ubiquitous computerized detection. In all cases the artwork compiles a database of behaviours that then becomes the artwork itself.
Formulating a pre-eminent role for the spectator in an exhibition is a call to engagement, intimacy, personalization and agency, while simultaneously it is a policing, a loss of authorial and curatorial control, and the introduction of narcissistic cultures of endless self-representation. As detachment, objectivity and voyeurism is not possible in this “crowdsourced” show, it will hopefully displease those who believe art should be timeless and universal. In “Recorders” Frank Stella’s minimalist quip “what you see is what you get” becomes “what you give is what you get.”