Common Ground#648

Art & Border Relations

Featuring Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Kerry Doyle, Peter Svarzbein and Lyle Rexer


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, curator Kerry Doyle, and photographer Peter Svarzbein join Rail contributor Lyle Rexer for a conversation. We conclude with a poetry reading by Alonso Llerena.

In this talk

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Photo of Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Born in Mexico City in 1967, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is a media artist working at the intersection of architecture and performance art. He creates platforms for public participation using technologies such as robotic lights, digital fountains, computerized surveillance, media walls, and telematic networks. He has shown at Biennials in Havana, Istanbul, and many other cities internationally. His most recent public art commission was for the activation of the Raurica Roman Theatre in Basel (2018), among many others. He has received many awards, including two BAFTA British Academy Awards for Interactive Art in London. In the past two years, Lozano-Hemmer was the subject of 9 solo exhibitions worldwide, including a major show at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC.

Kerry Doyle

Photo of Kerry Doyle
Curator Kerry Doyle specializes in projects that are interdisciplinary, participatory and performative, with a special focus on the border. She regularly collaborates with individuals and institutions from both El Paso and Ciudad Juarez in the execution of interdisciplinary and community-engaged programming. She has curated and organized original exhibitions, commissions and performances by international artists including Tomás Saraceno, Tania Candiani, and many others. In November 2019 she curated Border Tuner by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, a large-scale, ephemeral public art installation that engaged more than 10,000 visitors in real-time cross-border conversations. She was a fellow at the Smithsonian Latino Institute (2009) and the Getty Institute for Museum Leadership (2014).

Peter Svarzbein

Photo of Peter Svarzbein
Based in Texas, Peter Svarzbein is a photographer, curator and disruptive media specialist. During graduate school at the SVA, Svarzbein created the El Paso Transnational Trolley Project, a self-created activist/artist project that resulted in a $97 million state grant for a Intra-city trolley route using the Original Streetcars that ran between Juarez, Mex, & El Paso, Tex. He is currently the proud City Representative for District 1 in El Paso, Texas and is working on legislation to reintroduce the Juarez-El Paso trolley line once again.

Lyle Rexer

Lyle Rexer
Photo by Jerry Spagnoli
Independent critic, curator, and writer Lyle Rexer is the author of The Critical Eye: 15 Pictures to Understand Photography (Intellect Ltd 2019), The Edge of Vision: The Rise of Abstraction in Photography (Aperture 2009), and Photography’s Antiquarian Avant-Garde: The New Wave in Old Processes, (Harry N. Abrams 2002) and others. He has published hundreds of catalog essays and articles on art, architecture, and photography and contributed to such publications as The New York Times, Harper’s, Art in America, among others. He has lectured at many institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Yale University, among others, and he teaches in both the graduate and undergraduate programs at SVA.

The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have Alonso Llerena reading.

Alonso Llerena

Photo of Alonso Llerena looking out at the water
Peruvian writer, visual artist, and educator Alonso Llerena earned an MFA from Bard: Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts. His current work explores the interconnection between the poetics of exile and the poetics of the remains. He is a Tin House alumnus and has received fellowships from The Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and Brooklyn Poets. His work has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Offing, FENCE, and elsewhere. His manuscript in progress, “La Casa Roja,” was an honorable mention and finalist for the Andres Montoya Poetry Prize, a finalist for The National Poetry Series 2021, the Prairie Schooner Raz-Shumaker Prize for poetry, the YesYes Books open reading series, and a semi-finalist for the Felix Pollack Prizes.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.