Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse Topology
Pulse Topology is an immersive light and sound environment created by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (born 1967), an internationally recognized media artist working at the intersection of architecture, technology, and performance. In his work, Lozano-Hemmer creates platforms for public participation and explores themes of agency, human connection, and civic engagement. This site-specific project features an upside-down canopy of mountains and valleys made from thousands of suspended light bulbs that mirror the pulse of visitor participants. The immersive environment highlights the basic but essential biological element—the heartbeat—shared amongst us all. Presented for the first time at Kemper Museum, Pulse Topology is the latest work in Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse series, comprised of projects that use heart-rate sensors to create interactive audiovisual experiences from participants’ biometric data.
For the first time in the Pulse series, Lozano-Hemmer will integrate breakthrough touchless remote photoplethysmography (PPG) technology that uses computer vision algorithms to optically detect heartbeats.
In place of incandescent bulbs which have been used in Lozano-Hemmer’s previous works, Pulse Topology is powered by LED filament light bulbs. Decreasing the energy required to power the installation has allowed Lozano-Hemmer to significantly increase the scale of the project: while previous installations have included 100–300 lightbulbs, Pulse Topology uses 3,000.
Many areas of the Museum have created programs to enliven the themes of the exhibition including virtual programs, self-guided activities and take-home art kits for youth and families, dishes inspired by the exhibition created by Café Sebastienne’s Chef Rick Mullins, and the release of limited-edition and special merchandise related to the exhibition, available in the Museum Shop.
About the artist:
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (born Mexico City, 1967) is an artist based in Montreal, Canada, where he earned a B.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from Concordia University and now directs Antimodular Research studio. He was the first artist to represent Mexico at the Venice Biennale in 2007, and has had solo exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C., MUAC Museum in Mexico City, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. His work is in many respected collections including MoMA, Guggenheim, Museo del Barrio in New York, the Tate and Science Museum in London, CIFO in Miami, Jumex and MUAC in Mexico City, SFMOMA in San Francisco and others. Lozano-Hemmer was recently appointed to the board of directors for New York’s Public Art Fund and was given the Governor General's award in Canada.
This exhibition is organized by Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and curated by Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs at Kemper Museum.
This exhibition has been generously supported by the Enid and Crosby Kemper Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; and the R.C. Kemper Jr Charitable Trust and Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee
Lead Corporate Sponsor
Premiere Benefactor Sponsor
Kansas City University
Tom and Ruthie Rinehart
Additional financial assistance is provided by generous donors and members, especially: William T. Kemper Charitable Trust, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; Bebe & Crosby Kemper Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., Trustee; Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; The Sullivan Family Foundation, Jo Ann and William Sullivan; The Family of Mary Beth Smith Docent Program; Jack and Karen Holland Visiting Artist Fund; Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation; Bebe and Graham Hunt; Catherine Mead; Bradley and Linda Nicholson Foundation; Thomas and Sally Wood Family Foundation; Stanley J. Bushman and Ann Canfield; Charles M. Helzberg and Sandra Baer; Francis Family Foundation; Miller Nichols Charitable Foundation; Courtney S. Turner Charitable Trust, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee; RLS Illumination Fund; The Sosland Foundation