Artist Sparks U.S.-Mexico Border Conversations with Interactive Installation

Voice messages triggered by light beams.

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Arts
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Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is a Canadian-Mexican artist who predominantly creates large-scale outdoor works using electronic devices. His most-recent installation entitled BorderTuner was comprised of three interactive stations on each side of the United States and Mexico border (Bowie High School on the U.S. side and Parque Chamizal in Ciudad Juárez respectively).

These stations were outfitted with powerful searchlight beams that visitors can control using a small dial wheel. When the lights from any two stations are aligned with each other, it automatically turns on a computer that enables operators to communicate with each other across the border. The light beam’s brightness is also affected by the intensity of the user’s voice — the louder your voice, the brighter the beam.

Moreover, these stations also feature another interactive work titled Remote Pulse that allows users to measure and send their heartbeats by placing their hands on two steel plates. “Border Tuner is not only designed to create new connections between the communities on both sides of the border, but to make visible the relationships that are already in place: magnifying existing relationships, conversations, and culture,” as per a statement.

View photos of the interactive installation above and learn more by visiting BorderTuner.com.

Elsewhere in art, Brooklyn-based artist RAE explores societal despair and uncertainty with “These Daze” exhibition.

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