The Kemper announces an immersive exhibit powered by viewers’ heartbeats

Pulsetopologyrendering

Digital rendering of Pulse: Topology // Art and image © Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Photo courtesy of Antimodular Studio

Debuting this June, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art will feature an installation by internationally known Mexican-Canadian artist, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

Lozano-Hemmer is known for bringing together architecture, technology, and performance to create multi-media, interactive installations focused on human connection.

His exhibit, Pulse Topology, will be nothing short of breathtaking.

“‘Pulse Topology‘ is a site-specific project that features an upside-down canopy of mountains and valleys made from thousands of suspended light bulbs that mirror the pulse of visitor participants,” says a release from the Kemper. “The immersive environment highlights the basic but essential biological element—the heartbeat—shared amongst us all.”

Pulse Topology features groundbreaking touchless remote photoplethysmography (PPG) technology which uses computer vision algorithms to detect heart beats. The installation follows several other light and heart-beat related exhibitions, such as Lozano-Hemmer’s 2019 exhibitions, Remote Pulse and Border Tuner / Sintonizador Fronterizo, where the artist used visitor pulses, voices, and light to communicate across the Mexican-American border, or previous installations of the Pulse series.

Pulse Room

Installation view, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Pulse Room, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montréal, Québec, Canada, 2014. // © Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, photo by Richard-Max Tremblay, courtesy of Antimodular Studio.

In his other Pulse exhibits, however, Lozano-Hemmer used incandescent bulbs. For Pulse Topology, he is using LED filament bulbs, which will save power allowing him to increase the amount of bulbs used. While he generally uses between 100-300 bulbs, for this exhibit Lozano-Hemmer will illuminate the Kemper with 3,000 bulbs.

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is excited to welcome Lozano-Hemmer and Pulse Topology, along with the visitors/participants the immersive exhibit will bring.

“It is an honor to work with Rafael and his studio team on this significant project that resonates with our present moment in many meaningful ways,” says Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs at Kemper Museum. “The exhibition celebrates being together again in public space with the relevant consideration of Rafael’s innovative use of technology that does not require visitors to touch anything to participate—a mindful response to the global pandemic. Rafael has the keen ability to create a poetic and profound experience of visualizing and listening to one another’s heartbeats while taking up issues of science, technology, landscape, and architecture—highlighting the role artists play in responding thoughtfully to the times in which they work.”

In celebration of the exhibit, the Kemper will host virtual events, self-guided activities and take-home kits, Café Sebastienne dishes inspired by the exhibit, created by Chef Rick Mullins, and limited edition merchandise which can be found in the museum gift shop.

The exhibit will be on display June 10 – October 24. Below is a list of the events centered around Pulse Topology that will take place. More information can be found on the Kemper’s website.


Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Pulse Topology  Opening
Thursday, Jun. 10, 6–8 p.m. | Kemper Museum
FREE | All Ages | Timed Tickets Required

Be the first to experience a new special exhibition, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse Topology by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Demonstrating how technology can intimately connect individuals and community, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s immersive site-specific installation Pulse Topologyreads visitor’s pulses to illuminate our collective presence as a canopy of thousands of light bulbs. Raise a glass to celebrate the exhibition at the outdoor bar and enjoy music from DJ Brobot. Capacity is limited. Please review COVID-19 safety precautions including a mask requirement here. Advanced registration is required. Register here.

Virtual Artist Talk with Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Friday, Jun. 11, 6 p.m. CST | Virtual
FREE | All Ages | Registration required

Artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (Mexican-Canadian, born 1967) presents on the work in Kemper Museum’s Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse Topology exhibition and major themes throughout his career. Lozano-Hemmer is 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. Register here.

TOTs on Tuesdays
Tuesdays, Jun. 15, Jul. 20, Aug. 17, and Sep. 21, 10:30–11:30 a.m. | Kemper Museum
FREE | Ages 3–5 | Registration required

TOTs on Tuesday is back at the museum for the summer! Sing songs, read books, explore art, and make your own art with a Kemper Museum educator and Kansas City librarian. Each TOTs on Tuesday session will be held outdoors. Participants must wear face masks and practice social distancing.

Register for Jun. 15 | Register for Jul. 20 | Register for Aug. 17 | Register for Sep. 21

 

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Hybrid Talk and Tours
Kemper Museum’s Talk and Tour series invites participants to enjoy casual conversations with curators, educators, artists, designers, and others offering insight into their work and its connection to the exhibition. These hybrid programs will accommodate a limited number of visitors onsite and will be broadcast live on Zoom and YouTube.

Curator-Led with Erin Dziedzic
Wednesday, Jun. 16, 2–3 p.m. | Kemper Museum & Virtual
FREE | All Ages | Registration required

Erin Dziedzic, director of curatorial affairs, who curated this exhibition leads a tour of the exhibition and answers questions about the process of planning the exhibition and working with the artist as he developed the artwork.

Register here for the limited capacity in-person event. | Register here for the virtual event.

Dr. Schoen Kruse
Wednesday, Sep. 22, 2–3 p.m. | Kemper Museum & Virtual
FREE | All Ages | Registration required

Schoen Kruse, PhD, NAOME, is the associate dean of curriculum and integrated learning and associate professor of pharmacology at Kansas City University. Dr. Kruse teaches Art, Observation, and Medicine.

Register here for the limited capacity in-person event. | Register here for the virtual event.

Artist Eye with Kevin Townsend
Wednesday, Sep. 22, 2–3 p.m. | Kemper Museum & Virtual
FREE | All Ages | Registration required

Kansas City-based artist and educator Kevin Townsend leads a tour of the exhibition and connects his time-based performance pieces with works presented in Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse Topology.

Register here for the limited capacity in-person event. | Register here for the virtual event.

Summer Camp Kemper
Three-day art camps for kids ages 6–12 feature projects inspired by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Campers will engage in creative activities that explore themes in Lozano-Hemmer’s art. To register, email jthompson@kemperart.org.

S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
Jun. 28–30, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. CST daily | Virtual
FREE | Ages 6–12 | Registration required

All projects and activities in this camp will be S.T.E.A.M.-themed. Camp sessions will take place at Kemper Museum. Participants must wear face masks and practice social distancing.

Sound
Jul. 7–9, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. CST daily | Virtual
FREE | Ages 6–12 | Registration required

All projects and activities in this camp will be connected to the theme sound. Camp sessions will take place at Kemper Museum. Participants must wear face masks and practice social distancing.

Light
Jul. 14–16 | 10 a.m.–12 p.m. daily | Kemper Museum
FREE | Ages 6–12 | Registration required

All projects and activities in this camp will be connected to the theme light. Camp sessions will take place at Kemper Museum. Participants must wear face masks and practice social distancing.

Interactive Art
Jul. 28–30 | 10 a.m.–12 p.m. daily | Kemper Museum
FREE | Ages 6–12 | Registration required

After experiencing Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse Topology, campers will create their own interactive art projects. Camp sessions will take place at Kemper Museum. Participants must wear face masks and practice social distancing.

Art in Public Spaces
Aug. 4–6 | 10 a.m.–12 p.m. daily | Kemper Museum
FREE | Ages 6–12 | Registration required

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s works are often installed in public places as a way of transforming them into spaces for civic engagement. After learning about his installations including Pulse Topology at Kemper Museum, campers will develop their own creative vision for an outdoor installation. Camp sessions will take place at Kemper Museum. Participants must wear face masks and practice social distancing.

Guided Meditation Series
Thursdays, Jul. 15, Aug. 5, and Oct. 14, 7–8 p.m. | Virtual
FREE | All Ages | Registration required

Participants will be guided through meditation, qigong, breathing instruction, and sound healing. No experience necessary and classes vary. These hybrid programs will accommodate a limited number of visitors onsite in the Pulse Topology gallery and will be broadcast live on Zoom and YouTube.

Register for the limited capacity in-person event on Jul. 15. | Register for the virtual event on Jul. 15.
Register for the limited capacity in-person event on Aug. 5. | Register for the virtual event on Aug. 5.
Register for the limited capacity in-person event on Oct. 14. | Register for the virtual event on Oct. 14.

Museum Mystery Art Challenge
Saturday, Sep. 4, 2–3:30 p.m. | Kemper Museum
FREE | All Ages | Registration required

Teams of up to four people will compete in this timed mystery art challenge with the theme interactive art, inspired by Pulse Topology. Each socially distanced team will receive the same box of mystery art materials, using only these materials, will be challenged to create a piece of interactive art. To register, email jthompson@kemperart.org.

Virtual Mystery Art Challenge
Saturday, Sep. 18, 2–3 p.m. CST | Virtual
FREE | All Ages | Registration required

Register by September 3 to receive your free mystery package by mail filled with unknown art materials. Then, use only the materials in the mystery art package to create your own piece of interactive art. Tune in on Saturday, September 18 to share what you made with other participants on Zoom. Register here.

Categories: Art