An interactive light and sound installation will go on display in a so-called “secret room” under the Gardiner Expressway at Exhibition Place.
Created by Mexican-Canadian media artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Pulse Topology features 3,000 hanging lights that react in real time to heartbeats. It will be on display for the month of October.
The free show, a collaboration between the Bentway and Exhibition Place, uses “touchless biometric sensors located throughout the exhibit” to pick up on viewers’ heartbeats and alter the light display, according to a press release. The lights will be arranged to resemble upside-down mountains and valleys.
Pulse Topology will take over a storage space under the Gardiner just west of Strachan that has never been used for a public event before, organizers added.
“This project is a continuation of the Bentway’s growing movement to explore the many possibilities of the Gardiner,” said Bentway co-executive director Ilana Altman in a statement. “For one month, beneath the artery of the Expressway, Rafael’s work will demonstrate the city’s shared agilities, imaginations, and ambitions for the future of Toronto’s infrastructure.”
Lozano-Hemmer added that the idea behind the work is to visualize human vital signs after periods of social distancing during the pandemic.
“The piece consists of a labyrinth of lights and speakers reacting to the pulse of participants, creating a connective, immersive experience from individual biometrics, reminding us that we are not alone,” he said in a statement. “The work is a memento mori, celebrating our fleeting existence.”
The Bentway and the Ex are also teaming with the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) to bring health-care workers from across the city to see the light display and be the first add their heartbeats to the work.
Pulse Topology runs October 2-31. Visit thebetway.com/pulsetickets to book a time slot.