Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Pulse Index


Does our blood make us individual or connect us as one?

Pulse Index is a biometric installation that records participants’ fingerprints and heart rates at the same time. The piece displays data for the last 10,925 participants in a stepped display, that creates a spiral room of skin.

To participate, visitors place their finger into a custom made sensor equipped with a digital microscope and a pulsimeter. Their fingerprint immediately appears on the largest cell of the display, pulsating to their heartbeat alongside the heartbeats and fingerprints of others. As more visitors try the piece, one’s own recording travels sideways and is reduced in size until it disappears altogether — a kind of memento mori.

This work was displayed as part of Blood: Not for the faint-hearted at Science Gallery Dublin.

Installation, 2010
Image: Science Gallery Dublin; Mark Stedman, Photocall Ireland


What do you bloody think?

Select an emoji...

The Artist: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer is a Mexican-Canadian electronic artist who works with ideas from architecture, technological theatre and performance. Pulse Index is an architectural rendering of our similarities and differences. By assembling a vast number of individual biometric portraits to create a crowd sourced exhibit, Pulse Index aggregates a single biometric reading typically used for identification purposes into a massive array.