Pulse Topology

September 14, 2021

The Bentway and Exhibition Place present the Canadian premiere of Pulse Topology, a stunning interactive light and sound art installation by Mexican-Canadian media artist, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer (running October 2 to 31). The artwork will take over a massive, enclosed storage chamber nestled beneath the Gardiner Expressway, inviting the public to discover a striking, industrial part of the city for the first time.

An array of 3,000 lights will create a landscape of upside-down mountains and valleys suspended from the interior of the space and, using touchless biometric technology, will react in real-time to the pulse of visitors’ heartbeats. The artwork will change and evolve with every visit, offering a unique sensory experience.

Pre-registration is required. Booking for October 2-16 will be available Tuesday, September 14. Booking for October 17-31 will be available Tuesday, October 5.

Please note: 

  • The installation requires dim lighting and includes pulsating lights – please keep this in mind if you are sensitive to light fluctuations.
  • COVID-19 protocols will be in effect, including mandatory face coverings, physical distancing, and limited group sizes, to ensure a safe experience.
  • In accordance with the Provincial mandate and The Bentway’s policies, attendees of Pulse Topology, aged 12 years or older before the end of 2021, will need to be fully vaccinated (i.e. one dose of a single vaccine series or two doses of a double vaccine series approved by Health Canada, plus 14 days) and provide their proof of vaccination along with photo ID, unless deemed exempt for a medical reason.
  • Unvaccinated attendees with a valid medical exemption will be required to provide printed proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen or PCR test taken within 48 hours of arriving at the venue, as well as a doctor’s note indicating the medical exemption, prior to entering the venue.
  • Children under 12 who are ineligible for vaccination are able to come to the event.  

The Bentway has put measures in place to ensure the safety of our visitors and staff and to help reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. However, there is still an inherent risk of COVID-19 exposure in places where people gather. By attending Pulse Topology, you voluntarily assume all risks related to possible exposure to COVID-19 and release the Bentway from all liability relating to exposure to COVID-19. Failure to adhere to the event health and safety guidelines will result in removal from the venue.

The Bentway aims to ensure that our art and public programs are as accessible as possible. If you require accessibility accommodations please contact us directly by email or phone.

About Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is a media artist who resides in Montreal and works at the intersection of architecture and performance art. As audiences interact with his work, their participation is recorded and added to a collection that plays back in real-time, creating a collective portrait of a community. Pulse Topology is the culmination of his series of interactive installations that have been presented around the World, including the Venice Biennale, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, MONA Museum in Australia, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal and MUAC Museum in Mexico City.

Mental health and wellbeing has been top of mind over the past year. Through a partnership with CAMH (the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health), The Bentway and Exhibition Place will invite health care workers from across the city to experience Pulse Topology, honouring their work by adding their heartbeats to this collective project, and celebrating the ways public art can improve overall health and wellbeing. Read about the Heart of the City Champions and fill out the survey.

Throughout the centuries and across innovations in audiovisual and bio-technologies, artists have explored new ways to record, replicate, and magnify the human heartbeat. In this brief timeline of artworks, chosen by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, we are offered a glimpse into the collaboration between art and technology and the various meanings revealed in the intimate measure of a pulse.

Do you have questions about Pulse Topology? Read through our Frequently Asked Questions document to learn more about the event, including the artwork, how to attend, and COVID-19 protocols.