Complex Made Simple

Pulse Corniche, an interactive installation by Raphael Lozano Hemmer, to light up the capital

Abu Dhabi Corniche’s East Plaza will be transformed into a canvas with an interactive public art performance by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer at Pulse Corniche from the 8th – 17th January 2015.

A display of an interactive canopy of powerful light beams projected into to the sky by some of the world’s strongest robotic searchlights will be part of this participatory installation, the brightness and orientation of which is controlled by the heart-rate of visitors to the Abu Dhabi’s Corniche. Free to participate, the public is invited to participate by holding a sensor placed in the centre of the plaza that converts the electrical activity of their heart into a unique lighting sequence. The intensity and direction of the lights makes visual the different biometric rhythms of each participant. Pulse Corniche is the culmination of a series of interactive public art-works that Hemmer debuted at the 2007 Venice Biennale with Pulse Room.

This performance is an extension of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority’s inauguration of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s pre-opening exhibition, Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island. The exhibition features artworks by 19 international artists from the 1960s to today, all of which explore the theme of ‘light’. The show which was originally scheduled to run until 19th January, 2015, has now been extended until the 26th of March, 2015 due to popular demand.

“Pulse Corniche is an installation already displayed through video as part of Activated Light, one of the sections of Seeing Through Light exhibition. Visitors now will be able to experience this installation first-hand on the Corniche. Seeing Through Light has received a very positive response thus far, not only by art enthusiasts but also by students, families and the general public alike. Designed to offer a first glimpse of what the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will offer, the exhibition has now been extended to allow more visitors to be able to see the artworks and learn more about Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and its collection.” Commented Maisa Al Qassimi, Programmes Manager, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority

Pulse Corniche (2014-2015) is inspired by Roberto Gavaldón’s film “Macario” (Mexico, 1960), in which the protagonist has a hunger-induced hallucination wherein individuals are represented by flickering candles in a cave, Pulse Corniche is expected to draw constant, personal participation to create an immersive, intimate experience of glimmering light along the Abu Dhabi waterfront. Although the strength and reach of the searchlights ensures that the illuminated rhythms of peoples’ hearts will be visible at night from across the city, the cumulative effect is a poetic representation of vital signs, arguably the most symbolic human biometric, in an urban scale, transforming the public space into a fleeting architecture of light and movement.

Maitha Al Mazrooei , Public Engagement programmer at TCA Abu Dhabi said: “We are extending our public engagement activities to the city with Pulse Corniche. This interactive installation will be in one of the iconic landmarks of Abu Dhabi, and will make Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and its initiatives more accessible to the public.”

In addition to Pulse Corniche and the Seeing through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection exhibition held at Manarat Al Saadiyat, there have been a variety of enlightening, engaging, and educational hands-on workshops and short courses designed for children (aged 6 to 8), juniors (aged 9 to 12), teens (aged 13 to 16) and adults (aged 17 and over) exploring the themes and concepts of Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection which will be on show at Manarat Al Saadiyat until 26 of March, 2015.

Pulse Corniche will run at the Abu Dhabi Corniche, East Plaza, from the 8th till the 17th of January, 2015, from 18:45 until 23:00 from Sunday to Wednesday and from 18:45 until 01:00 from Thursday to Saturday.

For more information, please contact:
TCA Abu Dhabi:
Reem El Tal
Email: [email protected]
Number: +971 50 708 0232