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Pulse Front: Relational Architecture 12

Get to the heart of this exhibit where man and technology converge in a dazzling light sculpture.

June 1 – 10, 2007


Acclaimed Montreal-based artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's Pulse Front is the world's largest interactive light sculpture. A matrix of light beams over Harbourfront, originating from twenty of the world’s most powerful robotic searchlights, is entirely controlled by a network of sensors that measure the heart rate of passers-by.

With Pulse Front, your heart rate will light up the city.

— Toronto Star
Up to 20 metal sculptures, with embedded sensors and computers, are placed along Toronto’s harbour. Pulse readings, from people gripping the sculptures, are converted into light pulses by computers that also determine the orientation of the beams. With over 200,000 watts of power and 15 km visibility, Pulse Front blends the intimate with the spectacular in one of Toronto’s most popular public spaces.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s work has been commissioned for events such as the Millennium Celebrations in Mexico City (1999), the Cultural Capital of Europe in Rotterdam (2001), the United Nations’ World Summit of Cities in Lyon (2003), the opening of the Yamaguchi Centre for Art and Media in Japan (2003) and the Expansion of the European Union in Dublin (2004).
Commissioned by Luminato Festival and co-produced with Harbourfront Centre.

Creative Team

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer was born in Mexico City in 1967. In 1989 he received a B.Sc. in Physical Chemistry from Concordia University in Montréal, Canada. Electronic artist, develops interactive installations that are at the intersection of architecture and performance art. His main interest is in creating platforms for public participation, by perverting technologies such as robotics, computerized surveillance or telematic networks. Inspired by phantasmagoria, carnival and animatronics, his light and shadow works are "antimonuments for alien agency".

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer