Photo: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's 'Open Air' Uses Lights, iApp to Fill Philadelphia's Night Sky
Below, the Association for Public Art interviews Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, artist of Open Air, an interactive public art installation for Philadelphia.
Commissioned by the Association for Public Art, Open Air has been running nightly since September 20 and will continue until October 14.
Using a free mobile app developed by Lozano-Hemmer’s studio, participants’ voices and GPS positions will control 24 powerful robotic searchlights placed along a half-mile section of the Parkway – creating giant three-dimensional “light sculptures.”
Every night from 8-11 p.m., participants can use their voices and GPS positions to activate 24 robotic searchlights placed along a half-mile section of the Parkway, all via the customized iPhone app, which has the lights’ brightness and position react to the users’ voices and words as they speak.
The lights can be seen up to 10 miles away, and with thousands of people taking part, the Philadelphia’s night sky is filled with a unique light show each night.
Lozano-Hemmer was born in Mexico City in 1967 to nightclub owners. He emigrated to Canada and went on to earn a Bachelors of Science in Physical Chemistry from Concordia University in Montreal. His works are now featured all over the world, including:
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).