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Open Air on the Parkway – Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, next up on an artblog radio podcast

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September 17, 2012   ·   6 Comments

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer speaking Aug 23 at the press conference in Philadelphia about Open Air

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer was in town in August to prepare for his mega-public art installation Open Air, which debuts 8pm Sept. 20 on the Ben Franklin Parkway. Open Air involves big spotlights that send beams of light into the night sky, triggered by people’s voices speaking into their cellphones. He tells us how that works.  We ask the Mexican-born Canadian artist about the possibility of migrating birds flying into his lights, and about how he wound up as  a public artist (his degree is in engineering). “Open Air” was commissioned by the Association for Public Art (formerly the Fairmount Park Art Association), and is appearing in conjunction with the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and Design Philadelphia.  Below is a short sample from our interview.  The full podcast will run next week.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer speaking Aug 23 at the press conference in Philadelphia about Open Air

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Right click to download 38-second Rafael Lozano Hemmer sample

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6 Responses to “Open Air on the Parkway – Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, next up on an artblog radio podcast”

  1. Audrey Fischer says:

    “Open Air” will be picketed. This display is touted as being environmentally friendly; it is not. It invites the public to join the artist and add to the light pollution.

    Light pollution is a serious matter concerning human and ecological heath. There are new implications re:light pollution that is the public’s right to know. See June 2012 the announcement of the unanimous vote by delegation of the American Medical Association that light pollution is harmful to human health and safety.

  2. Peter Everett Brown says:

    Sure Audrey, light pollution is an issue however “Open Air” is a temporary installation ending Oct 14th. Perhaps you are over reacting? But if you’re still concerned I recommend a locking yourself in a dark closet until after the 14th to insure your safety…

  3. roberta says:

    Hey Peter, that was a rather personal snide remark. Let’s keep it on the subject and not on the person.

  4. Peter Everett Brown says:

    Roberta, what is the subject here? Is it not this art project? Is art not passionate, is it not personal? We can turn our headlights on while driving to the mall to buy something we want, that’s okay, or light to our streets and parking lots at night to feel safe, thats good – but a limited use of light for art sake – thats bad and it will needlessly add to the light pollution that is killing us all… rather alarmist and hypocritical, hence the retort.

  5. roberta says:

    Hi Peter, the art is the subject, absolutely. The person who is afraid of light in the night sky is not the subject. That is all.

  6. light pollution vs art,

    “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. ” ~ Vincent van Gogh

    “Open Air” fails at it’s weakenst link… by design, ‘Open Air’ teaches people to pollute instead of becoming environmental stewards. Light pollution is harmful for the publics health and safety, and harmful to the ecosystem and environment. Light pollution is very, very serious. That is why we care so much. This is why some of us dedicate our lives for starlight restoration for today’s and future generations. @Peter E Brown: Do you think this is an alarmist statement? I suggest that you do the research like I did; you will be rightfully alarmed… and possibly even motivated to do something about reducing light pollution levels over Philly. This “art” show should be relocated to an indoor stadium.

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