Rafael Lozano-Hemmer - Latin America New York Wednesday, November 18, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    bitforms gallery, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    For nearly 20 years, Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has consistently been at the forefront of an investigation regarding the integration of art and technology. Far from focusing on the notions of innovation, however, his thought provoking installations use technology as the language through which a broad range of conceptual and political concerns are expressed. The compelling range of subject matters he has covered in his work—from the student massacres at Tlatelolco in 1968 to the pervasive nature of surveillance technology today—is testament to the agility and profound understanding Lozano-Hemmer has of his medium of choice.

    The present lot Synaptic Caguamas is a brilliantly absurd kinetic sculpture in the shape of a Mexican “cantina” bar. Whirling on top are 30 distinctively “Caguama” (32 oz) beer bottles that have been motorized. The bottles spin on the table according to patterns generated by what the artist describes as “cellular automata algorithms that simulate the neuronal connections in the brain.” Every few minutes the bottles stop in an apparent about face, and though one may suspect that this is evidence of a choreography set on loop, it is, in fact, the moment the algorithm chooses a new pattern of movement; one that will never be repeated. Synaptic Caguamas alludes to the tireless ability of the algorithm to find new permutations of movements, while perfectly demonstrating Lozano-Hemmer’s ability to integrate notions of the infinite, mathematics, and thought with the absurd imagery of alcohol, cantinas, and parties.


Synaptic Caguamas

glass bottles on motorized wooden table, computer and custom software
28 1/2 x 71 x 83 in. (72.4 x 180.3 x 210.8 cm)
This work is number 3 from an edition of 3. This work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $118,750

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York Auction 18 November 2015 6pm