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PULSE

Interactive Installation
October 2020

Pulse is an interactive installation representing the pulse rate of a female’s hand during different times of the day. It consists of a moving hand in a pointing gesture, driven by a servo motor, with integrated LED lights and a light sensor. The hand is made of a rubber glove stuffed with pink cotton, and the blinking LED lights stuffed in the tip of each finger represents the pulse of the hand. There are three different modes of blinking/pulse rates, responding to the brightness of the light during the day, the sunset, and the night.

When the installation is situated on the sidewalk, the light sensor detects the brightness of the sunlight as it changes throughout the day, the pulse rate becomes faster when it gets darker. As the installation is situated in a domestic space, the accessible natural light is influenced by the architectural enclosure and artificial lights. The shift of ambient lighting no longer has a great impact on the pulse. On the other hand, the pulse rate also responds to the proximity of people, as one walks around it and casts a shadow on the light sensor, the pulse rate becomes faster as well.

This installation is a reflection of the social problem of gender inequality, especially harassment. In the US, 49% of the women are fearful of walking alone on the street at night according to Gallup’s poll research. When a person is scared, their heart tends to beat faster, and this transition of pulse rate, or heartbeat rate, is what Pulse aims to capture. By translating the information of lighting conditions to a visual response related to an emotional experience, this installation focuses on feminism with an exploration of the artificial body part mechanism. The pointing gesture of the hand and its constant movement indicate the awareness of staying alert and looking out for safety hazards. on a pedestal in the museum setup.