“I have constantly stressed the pulsative function as it were of the subconscious”—Jacques Lacan

The Pulse is a force sewn into the fabric of private and public space. From neon hoardings to video games to the ticking of a clock, from car windows to the dancefloor, the pulse is both liberating and threatening. At the same time, the pulse is intimate, inside of our ticking bodies, measuring longing and desire. We depend on the pulse to keep us going, we absorb it both consciously and subconsciously.

Curated by Priscilla Howe and commissioned by CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand with the support of Creative New Zealand and The Audio Foundation, PULSE/REPEAT brings together four artists whose work addresses the relationship between technology and the body. Using digital video, stone and wool, the works in PULSE/REPEAT move between rapid-fire cut, paste and dissemination to an extended sense of time and bodily awareness. The video of Magdalena Hoult and Diva Blair addresses the pulse in the machine and the mechanised, while Willow McCarthy’s sculptures explore the unnoticed patterns in the everyday. Canadian artist Alexandre Larose was CIRCUIT’s 2017 International Artist-in-Residence. Howe says the physicality of Larose’s 16mm film flicker contrasts with his imagery which she describes as “soft, mundane, beautiful…”

Priscilla Howe is an artist and designer currently based in Lyttelton, New Zealand. She is CIRCUIT’s 2017 Curatorial Intern. Priscilla describes PULSE/REPEAT as arising from research into “what defines being human in the object obsessed human condition that we are currently living in.” Howe’s installation takes place in an epoch where we drawn into Pulse cycles both abject and celebratory; from social media auto-updates, to new digital tools on ubiquitous personal devices at cost-price affordability to the club sound system. For some the pulse is thrilling, signalling a rush of possibilities and liberation, for others it presents a closed system; does the Pulse reinforce or reject/dismantle? Does it define structure or threaten it? How does the human body negotiate and occupy this space? Does the Pulse bring us together or maintain distance?

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