Two Damien Hirst paintings were hung on the wall at the Hilger Modern Contemporary when I stepped into Pulse this year and a red dot sat right beside each one. At the very least a good sign that the economy is improving. Pulse has always had an established reputation for being one of the most engaging satellite fairs and this year is no different.

Beginning with the archeological/architectural work of Alyssa Dennis at the Kesting/Ray Gallery; a fantastic series of draft paper on panel that manipulate time a space on an intriguing way. These are not work of extravagant architecture but seem to be grounded on a domestic plane of existence. She had explained her process as a, “set of child’s building blocks, always vulnerable to rearrangement, the action of breaking down and building up are repeated from one composition to the next.”

Miami’s Dorsch Gallery presented the geometric sculptures of Brookhart Jonquil. It’s exciting to witness his use of everyday materials used in an elegant and cerebral way. His use of mirrors, wood, and electrified luminous tubes of light as they are interwoven and structured within its self is simply eye candy. Dorsch explained that the intent is to create a form that is a hybrid of the physical and the immaterial.

Patricia Piccinini’s work of the grotesque with her “Prone” sculpture at the Conner Connor Contemporary offered a different intrigue. Many Pulse enthusiasts took a serious look at it and with good reason. It was silicone sculpture of a small child designed in a realistic way but its face is misshapen. She wants to “ emotional lives of the new creatures that might emerge, along with questions about the kinds of relationships that might come to light along side them.” The reaction of the viewers were a good indication that her work had people curious.

There is a popular frustration that Alex Schaefer has captured in his work. He as series of burning corporate buildings and one was provided by the Charlie James Gallery with great delight. The gallery curator was,”very excited to have his work”, which came to national attention on Yahoo earlier this year when police kept questioning him. He would sit in front of a Chase bank with his canvas, easel, and proceed to paint it with flames dancing on it. Naturally in this post 911 country his behavior was cause for concern to local law enforcement over terrorism actions. Schaefer’s processes may easily be interpreted as a performance piece as well.

There is a quiet and surreal sensibility in the paintings of Andrew Hem who made the cover of last issue’s Hi Fructose magazine. The LeBasse Projects Gallery has his work hung on there walls and it was very nice to see them on display. His figures are both alien and familiar where his asks questions such as, “What if spirits walked among us, trying to find their path? What if there were no racism, and even the most outlandish people were accepted? What if the children of Andrew’s native land had been allowed to live in peace and thrive?”