Madison Square Park in Manhattan (not to be confused with Madison Square Garden, the stadium about eight blocks north) is for many New Yorkers an essential downtown refuge. But apart from its lush greenery, quaint dog run, and greasy fare at the perpetually crowded Shake Shack, the park has another, more whimsical allure - art installations that subtly transform the 6.2-acre site into a permanent open air gallery.
Pulse Park by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Photo: James Ewing
The latest project is Pulse Park by prolific Mexican-born conceptual artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, whose vast digital installations utilize technology, architecture and social interaction to create dazzlingly inventive public spectacles.


See more images of the installation
Shocks of narrow-beam light pulse along the perimeter of the park’s main lawn in rhythm with the heartbeats of participating viewers, measured via two sensor sculptures at either side. The result is a stunningly alive evening event, disarmingly simple and quietly consuming. (For video, click the play button above.)
The artist himself, by contrast, has been anything but quiet. Another work, Frequency and Volume, where participants’ bodies become surrogate radio antennae, is running concurrently at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, along with a solo exhibition, Arrays, at Haunch of Venison. And in November, a major public work, Under Scan, will be staged in London’s Trafalgar Square.