Pulse on Pulse: Modulation and Signification in Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse Room

Bidragets oversatte titel: Puls på puls: Modulation og betydningsdannelse i Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse Room

Merete Carlson*, Ulrik Schmidt

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


“Pulse on Pulse” investigates the relation between signifying processes and non-signifying material dynamism in the installation Pulse Room (2006-) by Mexican Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer.

In Pulse Room the sense of pulse is ambiguous. Biorhythms are transmitted from the pulsing energy of the visitor’s beating heart to the blink of a fragile light bulb, thereby transforming each light bulb into a register of individual life. But at the same time the blinking light bulbs together produce a chaotically flickering light environment composed by various layers of repetitive rhythms, a vibrant and pulsating ‘room’.

Hence, the visitors in Pulse Room are invited into a complex scenario that continuously oscillates between various aspects of signification (the light bulbs representing individual lives; the pulse itself as the symbolic ‘rhythm of life’) and instants of pure material processuality (flickering light bulbs; polyrhythmic layers).

Taking our point of departure in a discussion of Gilles Deleuze’s concepts of modulation and signaletic material in relation to electronic media, we examine how the complex orchestration of pulsation between signification and material modulation produces a multilayered sense of time and space that is central to the sensory experience of Pulse Room as a whole. Pulse Room is, at the very same time, an anthropomorfized archive of a past intimacy and an all-encompassing immersive environment modulating continuously in real space-time.
Bidragets oversatte titelPuls på puls: Modulation og betydningsdannelse i Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s Pulse Room
TidsskriftJournal of Aesthetics & Culture
Udgave nummer1
Antal sider15
StatusUdgivet - 2012
Udgivet eksterntJa

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