Initially developed in 2012 for San Francisco`s Urban Prototyping Festival—an event that encourages artists to explore ways to improve cities through art, design, and technology—Pulse of the City was adopted by the city of Boston as part of a health and fitness initiative. Shaped like a cartoon heart, Pulse of the City is a solar-powered device with copper-plated handles that were placed at five points throughout the city. The public art installation was designed by interactive artist George Zisiadis to encourage pedestrians to slow down and take a moment during their busy day to connect with their bodies. Passersby can grip the handles and the device will translate their heartbeat into music using an algorithm. Unlike traditional heart monitors and charts, Pulse of the City generates an individualized melody that is unique to that person in that particular moment in time, resulting in an intimate and enjoyable experience. The hearts stayed up for about nine months and were used 16,575 times in total.

Installed, 2013