Video Photo Info
Technology has changed how we perform and measure athletic activity. Fully-automatic timing systems, photocells, laser guns and high-speed video are implemented to monitor professional athletes. Wearable sensor technology has expanded to the general population to gain information about heart rate, distance, pace and speed of exercise routines. This phenomenon is a manifestation of how data has filtered into so many aspects of our daily lives. As an artist, I am interested in exploring this new algorithmic reality that has profoundly changed our societies in the last two decades. I am also interested in using data to make art, a new creative tool for new times.

Instead of resorting to a marble or bronze effigy of a world-known tennis player, Pulsation attempts to capture the spirit of the athlete and her sport via her online presence. Four monolithic LED screens emerge from the ground at different angles. The semi-abstract animations featured on the screens are generative and never repeat themselves, often incorporating real-time online data so as to give the artwork a life of its own.

Pulsation cycles through four different modes, each one with its own particular aesthetic and algorithmic rules. The first mode use videos found online that capture the athlete playing at Grand Slam tournaments. The videos shoot up the screen leaving a rippling trail behind. Each one of the four screens is dedicated to a different tournament: Wimbledon, Roland Garros, US Open and Australian Open. The colors of the different courts – lawn, clay and acrylic – influence the color palette visible on each of the screens. The second mode similarly grabs videos of the athlete in action at major tournaments, but mixes these videos into a liquid-like abstraction. The third and totally abstract mode is created with particles that respond to how active tennis-specific terms are on the internet, including “Nike,” “WTA”, “Grand Slam”, “match point”, “umpire”, “racket”, etc. The fourth and final mode features the top sports-related topics that show up on Google Trends, a service that compiles the most popular queries that are being entered into the search engine. These words vertically scroll up and down the screens, leaving behind a powdery contrail in their wake. If the terms are very active, they take on red and orange tones. As they cool off, the words (and the trails they leave behind) take on cooler tones with green and blue hues.

Pulsation greets visitors and employees as they enter and exit the building. The 4 totem-like screens have been strategically positioned close to the main entrance so as to privilege the different approaches to the building. Their ever-changing animations invite viewers to come back for repeated visits, and experience a new set of values and combinations. During daylight hours, the artwork has a sharp and bold presence; evening hours give the artwork a soft glow that illuminates the surrounding space. In its protean nature, Pulsation attempts to capture the dynamic and versatile energy of one of the most extraordinary athletes of all times.
6 x 1.5 meters
Flexible LED screen, computer, generative custom software, real-time data, metal structure