On the occasion of Art Basel, Rafael Lozano Hemmer presents the largest version of his work 'Pulse Topology', covering the entire first floor of the Messe Eventhall South in Basel, Switzerland. This immersive biometric artwork consists of 6000 bulbs each of which glimmers to the heartbeat of a different participant. The piece is inspired by the depiction of the “Grutas de Cacahuamilpa” in the Mexican classic movie “Macario”.
“Pulse Topology” is composed of 6.000 lightbulbs suspended at different heights, creating a series of crests and valleys – an intimate landscape that visitors are invited to traverse. Each lightbulb glimmers to the pulse of a previous participant. Custom-made pulse sensors record visitors’ new heartbeats; when a participant interacts with the installation, their pulse is added to the canopy of recordings above them, replacing the oldest recording.
Forming a platform for self-representation, in “Pulse Topology” individual heartbeats come together to create an immersive chorus of light and sound. Translating an interior force to an exterior form, Lozano-Hemmer makes tangible the otherwise invisible register of the heartbeat, which glows and then fades in the spirit of a memento mori. Lozano-Hemmer’s visionary application of biometrics in new, unexpected contexts reveals the creative potential of cross-disciplinary collaborations between the spheres of art and science.