Frequency and Volume / Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Presented by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

One of the most important international media artists to emerge in the 1990s, Mexican-born artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer explores the intersection of architecture, public space, media, and performance. His interactive video and sound installation Frequency and Volume (2003) uses radio equipment to allow participants to tune in and listen to different radio frequencies by using their own bodies. According to the artist, he originally developed the piece in response to the Mexican Government shutting down informal or "pirate" radio stations in indigenous communities in the states of Chiapas and Guerrero, addressing the fundamental question of who has access to public space. The work's technical equipment will be on view in an adjacent gallery as a sculptural component, communicating visibly the museum's status as both a receiver and producer of frequencies in a larger network of Bay Area culture. The exhibition is part of the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial.

Also at SFMOMA:
Stage Presence: Theatricality in Art and Media
(July 7 - October 8, 2012)
Exploring the blurry line between the fine arts and the performing arts, this thematic exhibition presents works in various media from the past three decades that respond to and embrace theatricality in contemporary art practice. Works include Janet Cardiff's The Telephone Call, a participatory project in which visitors can check out a video camera and follow a self-guided narrative through the museum; Guy Ben-Ner's Stealing Beauty video, which shows the artist and his family in IKEA model rooms; and a new project from Bay Area–based artist Tucker Nichols, commissioned by SFMOMA for the exhibition's in-gallery cinema and performance space. Also in the exhibition are seminal historic works by Charles Atlas, James Coleman, and General Idea, as well as more recent works by Sharon Hayes, Craigie Horsfield, and Mika Tajima, among others. The exhibition is organized in conjunction with the 2012 ZERO1 Biennial.

Field Conditions
(September 1, 2012 - January 6, 2013) 
This focused ensemble of works aims to address relationships between conceptual art and theoretical architecture, specifically concerning the subject of fields. In this context, the term "field" refers to an array of objects or marks, accumulating and building to the point of becoming a kind of system. Works gathered here seem to deny the idea of boundary and act as windows into a potentially larger expanse. Exploring concepts such as networks, layering, and confluence while simultaneously providing grounds for a dialogue on the representation of both "place" and "non-place," Field Conditions provokes one to imagine beyond the frame. Some 20 projects featured in the exhibition—including works from established architects to emerging contemporary artists —could be considered spatial experiments that both call attention to and abstract typical notions of representation, reality, and imaginary landscapes.

Film Screening and Discussion
Eve Sussman's whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir

(September 27, 2012) 
whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir is a film that unfolds uniquely with each screening.  The overarching narrative remains constant: we follow the story of Holz, a geophysicist in the dystopian Siberian town of City-A, who tries to unravel the methods and motives of his shadowy new employer.  Yet the manner in which the story unfolds is in endless flux.  The film is live-edited by a computer, dubbed the “Serendipity Machine,” whose algorithm assembles the film from a cache of thousands of video and sound fragments.  Poetic juxtapositions emerge and propel a narrative without beginning or end, but with an infinite number of middle moves. 

November 3, 2012–February 3, 2013
With related exhibitions open from July 7, 2012

Opening Hours:
Mon-Tue, Fri-Sun open: 11am–6pm
Wednesdays: Closed
Thursdays: 11am–9pm

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

lives and works in Montréal, Canada

Artist website


Rafael Lozano-Hemmer was born in Mexico City in 1967. In 1989 he received a B.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from Concordia University in Montréal, Canada.
Electronic artist, develops interactive installations that are at the intersection of architecture and performance art. His main interest is in creating platforms for public participation, by perverting technologies such as robotics, computerized surveillance or telematic networks. Inspired by phantasmagoria, carnival and animatronics, his light and shadow works are “antimonuments for alien agency”. His work has been commissioned for events such as the Millennium Celebrations in Mexico City (1999), the Cultural Capital of Europe in Rotterdam (2001), the UN World Summit of Cities in Lyon (2003), the opening of the YCAM Center in Japan (2003), the Expansion of the European Union in Dublin (2004), the memorial for the Tlatelolco Student Massacre in Mexico City (2008), the 50th Anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum in New York (2009) and the Winter Olympics in Vancouver (2010).