Best of Kansas City 2021: Pulse Topology bares our collective hearts

Dave Guezuraga, Tech Volunteer, setting up for the Pulse Topology exhibit. By placing his hand under the sensor, the exhibit lights will sync and blink to Guezuraga's heartbeat.

Dave Guezuraga, Tech Volunteer, setting up for the Pulse Topology exhibit. By placing his hand under the sensor, the exhibit lights will sync and blink to Guezuraga’s heartbeat. // Photo by Travis Young

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s “Pulse Topology” exhibit was installed in the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in June of this year. In his site-specific work, Lozano-Hemmer created an all-encompassing scene of upside-down mountains and valleys using 3,000 LED filament light bulbs suspended from the ceiling. 

The sight of the exhibit alone is breathtaking, heightened by the interactive experience it brings to the visitor. A touchless remote technology, called PPG, was included in “Pulse Topology” to coordinate the thousands of flickering bulbs to a single person’s heartbeat.

Hold your hand under one of the sensors and suddenly the entire room is filled with the sights and sounds of your individual humanity. When other people fill the room, each taking a turn with the exhibit, “Pulse Topology” reminds visitors of their shared connection.

Lozano-Hemmer’s installment is especially poignant after over a year of isolation. An exhibit where strangers can safely share their connection to each other—and be reminded of the gift and beauty of life—without speaking or touching is a true gift.

“Pulse Topology” is available for view until January 2, 2020. 

Categories: Art