New Public Art Installed at TTUHSC Campus

"Pulse" displayed in new building

Visitors to the new Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) University Center will “collaborate” with the newest addition to the collection of the Texas Tech University System (TTUS) Public Art Program, “PULSE,” created by artist Adam Frank.
 
“I am very excited to install ‘PULSE’ in the lobby of the new University Center,” Frank said. “This interactive installation welcomes people to the new facility with a living symbol of health, compassion and scientific inquiry. ‘PULSE’ replaces the systems normally found inside spaces—plumbing, data conduit, electrical—with a monumental, living, luminous human circulatory system.”
 
The piece is an 11-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide LED screen which features an accurate simulation of the human circulatory system in the visual style of an MRI in the lobby of the TTUHSC University Center. As people enter the building, the heartbeat quickens. As the number of occupants increases, the faster the beats and the blood flow. As people leave, the heart begins to slow and eventually settles to an average sleeping rate overnight.
 

Each member of the TTUHSC community helps to drive the heartbeat.
 
“The rate of the heartbeat and breathing changes with how many people are occupying the building at the moment,” Frank said. “The installation pairs the ancient symbol of divine care for humanity, a luminous heart, with an anatomically accurate simulation. ‘PULSE’ activates the lobby with an ‘MRI’ of the beating heart of the new facility at TTUHSC.”
 

Public Art

This is the first digital artwork commissioned by the TTUS Public Art Committee.
 
“We are excited to add our first fully digital artwork to the public art collection, ‘PULSE,’ by Adam Frank,” said Emily Wilkinson, TTU System Public Art Director. “This interactive artwork is a symbol to visitors, students, faculty and staff that they have entered a top-notch medical facility that comes to life with a vibrant environment. This piece is not only aesthetically beautiful, but also replicates an accurate heart rate that interacts with the building. We are excited to add this eighth public art piece to the TTUHSC Lubbock campus.”
 

The Public Art Program was initiated by the TTUS Board of Regents in 1998 to enrich the campus environments and extend the educational mission at all of its universities. Since then, more than 100 items created by some of today’s leading artists have been added to the TTU System’s multiple campuses.
 

Ted Mitchell, M.D., and artist stand in front of "Pulse."

The University Center building is part of TTUHSC’s $99.375 million project which will create two new buildings to increase productivity in academic, professional and research affairs. The University Center will have 62,2000 GSF to support institutional initiatives, program growth and academic changes. The building will house state-of-the-art research laboratories, translational research facilities classrooms, offices, new technology and equipment and other infrastructure upgrades.
 
The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents Facilities Committee approved the project Oct. 13, 2017. Tuition Revenue Bond approved by the 84th Legislature funds covers all construction costs.
 
TTUHSC is celebrating its 50thanniversary. Gov. Preston Smith on May 27, 1969, signed House Bill 498 creating the Texas Tech University School of Medicine as a multi-campus institution. At that time professionals and hospitals were scarce: 19 of the counties surrounding Lubbock had no physicians; the area had only one-third of the national physicians-to-patients ratio and 23 of the surrounding counties had no hospital.
 
Today, TTUHSC has graduated more than 28,000 health care professionals. Of those, 24 percent remain in the 108-county service area.
 
Editor’s note: ‘PULSE’ was unveiled at a media preview in March. The new University Center Building will open later this year.

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