Critical Writing Index

Shadowed by Images: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer and the Art of Surveillance

by Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli

Representations, Summer 2010, v. 111, no. 1, pp. 120-143

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's large-scale video installation pieces explore the tensions produced by new surveillance technologies. Lozano-Hemmer explores but does not resolve the shifting relationship between humans and machines. His work does not seek to promote or to condemn technology but rather reveals the ambiguous relationship between humans and surveillance technology. He emphasizes, in his work, the ways in which humans activate surveillance technology, thereby confusing the voyeuristic relationship between performing for the camera, the paranoia of hypervisibility and the relations of power in another's gaze (123). In Under Scan, the viewer's body becomes installed in the art-work. An image of an anonymous, ephemeral person is projected underneath the viewer, taking the place of her shadow. By using electronic video doubles and targeted projection, Lozano-Hemmer's work produces uncanny experiences for the viewer/participant. The viewer is confronted with a virtual doppleganger forcing her to contemplate on questions regarding surveillance, and embodiment in public space.

ITEM 2010.075 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Surface TensionRafael Lozano-Hemmer

Under ScanRafael Lozano-Hemmer

Subtitled PublicRafael Lozano-Hemmer