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April 21, 2007

Turbulence Commission: Pulse Pool


Connects Boston and Oklahoma City via Human Pulse

For the first time, two cities will be connected via the human pulse. From April 23 through April 29 during the Cambridge Science Festival and the Boston Cyberarts Festival, the Museum of Science and New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc., Boston present Pulse Pool, an interactive installation that uses internet and radio-frequency identification (RFID) technologies to allow people in two different cities to experience one another’s pulse. Pulse Pool bridges art and human biology via technology—as well as two capital cities: Boston and Oklahoma City.

Designed and engineered by the Symbiotic Media Group at the University of Oklahoma, Pulse Pool consists of two ten-foot, round pools of water—one located at the Museum of Science and the other at the University of Oklahoma. Visitors stand by the pool and wear computing devices that track their pulse. The pool detects the transmission from the wearable devices, and each individual's pulse is then represented in real time as a series of water drops released into the pool by a disk suspended directly above. By synchronizing the rhythms of the pulses and water droplets, the pool will enable visitors to detect the drips that correspond to their pulse. By watching the ripples from the droplets, visitors can see their “pulse” meet and interact with the “pulse” of others surrounding the pool. In addition, the two installations will relay information to one another, causing LED lights under the water in each location to flash corresponding to the pulses in the other city. Visitors will also be able to track the connections via a web interface from April 23 through April 30 on http://turbulence.org/Works/PulsePool/.


"Pulse Pool will offer Museum visitors a chance to experience a basic wonder of human biology: their own pulse and the pulse of others,” says Mike Alexander, director of public programs at the Museum of Science. “And through cutting-edge technology and the art of installation, participants will experience the pulse in a completely new way that is both visual and interactive."

"Imagine if you could see and experience another human's pulse just as intimately as you know your own. How would access to this otherwise unavailable information change the way you interact with one another?" asks Adam Brown, director of the Symbiotic Media Group. He adds, “Through cutting-edge technology, Pulse Pool explores these questions by connecting participants with each other through their pulses in real time.”

Pulse Pool is a 2006 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. for its Turbulence web site made possible with funding from mediaThe Foundation. with funds from mediaThe Foundation. Additional funds from the Museum of Science, Boston; the National Endowment for the Arts; Rhizome.org; and the University of Oklahoma Symbiotic Media Center, Lester Wilkinson Chair, College of Engineering, School of Computer Science, Symbiotic Computing Laboratory, and School of Art.

Admission to Pulse Pool is included with regular Exhibit Halls admission: $16 for adults, $14 for seniors (60+), and $13 for children (3-11). For more information, the public can call 617/723-2500, (TTY) 617/589-0417, or visit mos.org. See Fred Jones Museum of Art for more information.

Posted by jo at April 21, 2007 11:48 AM