Posted On: April 1, 2008
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse Park, the artist’s U.S. debut, is an interactive light installation on view from dusk until 10:00 p.m. nightly in Madison Square Park. The mechanics of Pulse Park interact with the biology of visitors. Attendees’ heart rates are monitored by a heart-rate-sensor sculpture; heartbeats activate pulses of narrow-beam light that move sequentially down rows of spotlights placed along the perimeter of the lawn as each consecutive participant makes contact with the sensors. The result is a poetic expression of our vital signs, transforming public space into a fleeting architecture of light and movement.
Pulse Park is inspired by Roberto Gavaldón’s film “Macario” (Mexico, 1960), in which the protagonist has a hunger-induced hallucination wherein individuals are represented by lit candles, as well as by the minimalist musical compositions of Conlon Nancarrow, Glenn Branca and Steve Riech. Pulse Park is the culmination of a series, Pulse Room, that Lozano-Hemmer debuted at the 2007 Venice Biennale.
About the Artist
Rafael Lozono-Hemmer was born in 1967 in Mexico City and educated at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Since his emergence in the 1990s, he has mixed the seemingly disparate fields of architecture, digital media, robotics, medical science, and performance art into spectacular public artworks, enormous temporary landscapes of light and rhythm that act as platforms for public participation. His work has been commissioned for events including the Millennium Celebrations in Mexico City (1999); the Cultural Capital of Europe in Rotterdam (2001); the opening of the Basque Museum of Contemporary Arts Atrium (2002); the United Nations World Summit of Cities in Lyon (2003); the opening of the Yamaguchi Centre for Art and Media in Japan (2003); the Expansion of the European Union in Dublin (2004); the Asian Cultural Co-operation Forum (2006); and the 40th Anniversary of the Tlatelolco Student Massacre in Mexico City (2008). His work has also been exhibited in over three-dozen countries around the world, including Biennials in Venice, Liverpool, Sydney, Shanghai, Havana, Seville, Seoul, and Istanbul.
Concurrent with Pulse Park, Lozano-Hemmer will present a new commissioned work, Frequency and Volume, at Barbican Art Gallery, London, as well as the solo exhibition Arrays at Haunch of Venison London, followed in November by another major public work, Under Scan, in London’s Trafalgar Square. Lozano-Hemmer is included in numerous private and public collections of contemporary art including Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate, London; Jumex collection, Mexico City; MUSAC Museum, Castilla y León, Spain; Cisneros Fontanals Foundation, Miami; and the Daros Foundation, Zürich. He has received a Golden Nica distinction from the Prix Ars Electronica in Austria and two BAFTA British Academy Awards for interactive art, among many other awards. Lozano-Hemmer has published his theoretical writing in prominent art and media publications such as Kunstforum (Germany), Leonardo (USA), Performance Research (UK), Telepolis (Germany), Archis (Netherlands), and Aztlán (USA).
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is represented by Haunch of Venison, bitforms gallery, Galería OMR and Galerie Guy Bärtschi.
Mad. Sq. Art is provided by Founding Partners Agnes Gund and Anonymous. Substantial support is provided by Jill & Peter Kraus, Leucadia Foundation, and Henry Luce Foundation. Pulse Park is sponsored by Fundación/Colección Jumex. Additional project support is provided by Toby D. Lewis Trust, Haunch of Venison, bitforms gallery nyc, Galería OMR, Galerie Guy Bärtschi and Speyer Family Foundation. This project is supported in part with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.