Recorders feels like a taster exhibition for two reasons; it only has a handful of works, albeit incredibly complex and time consuming to curate, and also because once you learn about Mexican-Canadian electronic artist Lozano-Hemmer you realise it doesn’t really show off the magnitude of some of his work. He has numerous giant scale projects such as ‘1,000 Platitudes’ (photomontage and video splashed across shopping malls, tower blocks etc), ‘Body Movies’ (a complex projection project) and ‘Pulse Front’ (robotically controlled pulse responsive searchlights over Toronto harbour) which are more magnificent in both size and technology. The exhibition here though is more personal for users, based around the recordings of pulses, fingerprints, voices, and images, and works are dependent on interaction from visitors, thus forming the content of the works. Image and video hosting by TinyPic The introductory write-up warns us that there is potentially a more "ominous or predatory" side to such works, or the technology used within them, reflecting the use of surveillance technology by governments and corporations to track and control of human behaviour, under whatever banner of safety or efficiency they may give it at the time. This is all fairly well concealed in the Recorders exhibition, with installations being quite fun and having some child-like quality, with cameras taking distorted images and movements, vintage Shure microphones circled together for a responsive audio piece, and docking stations recording fingerprints and mosaicing them to a giant wall mounted screen. The biggest piece in the exhibition is The Pulse Room, shown in the UK for the first time, the work is made up of 100 light bulbs which are activated by a sensor to flash at the exact rhythm of particpants' heart rates. Labelled as “compelling” by the gallery, it s quite straightforward and seemingly it’s enormity is the fascinator rather than the content, when compared to other pieces. Along with new media and digital artists such as Pascal Dombis and Maurice Benayoun, Lozano-Hemmer embraces technology as an “inevitable part of our culture” – which in a digital age, it is despite what certain environmental factions may feel, we’re not going to get away from the technological age which has developed in the last Century. Image and video hosting by TinyPic Embracing technology, and accepting it as part of our development and existence is the way Lozano-Hemmer sees the future, mis-using the technology to create an interesting and aesthetically pleasing connection between us and our digital futures. His describes this exhibition as follows: “In Recorders, artworks hear, see and feel the public, they exhibit awareness and record and replay memories entirely obtained during the show. The pieces either depend on participation to exist or predatorily gather information on the public through surveillance and biometric technologies.” (Manchester Art Gallery website, 2010) Recorders is a good insight to how scientific research and technology innovation are becoming key to 21st Century aesthetics, and a starting point to discover the ways in which contemporary artists are using science as a muse, and drawing on kinetics, biology, robotics and information technologies to explore new forms of creative expression. For more information see: www.manchestergalleries.org www.lozano-hemmer.com www.andfestival.org.uk