HEART TUBE is an interactive installation which transmits the heartbeats of four individuals simultaneously into artistic space in real time. This sculpture is an exploration of human communication and interconnectedness based on a simple biological process, focusing on the heart as an organ that is extremely susceptible both to outside stimuli and inner processes (thoughts, emotions, etc.). The heart functioning makes all the physiological and psychological changes momentarily, directly and subconsciously visible via deviations of rhythm. These deviations are emphasized and made visible through transformations of the sounds of the heart and its rhythm into light and intense tactile vibrations. The intensity and rhythm of light and sound again affect the heart functioning of the people connected to the sculpture, which creates a “communication loop” and a sort of interconnectedness in the cybernetic sense. By experimenting with the interface between technology and the biological, the work examines the possibilities of creating new and different ways of communication and perception – based on direct and uncontrolled biological processes.
In technical terms, the work consists of 4 DIY electronic stethoscopes. Each stethoscope is connected to a separate preamplifier, mixing console, amplifier, low-frequency speaker, power source and Arduino microcontroller that transforms sound into light impulses of different intensity. All the devices are embedded into the structure of the sculpture while the speakers are lined up vertically and activated independently of each other by pressing a button. This creates a specific dynamics of movement within the sculpture, visible through the structure made of transparent plexiglass. The rhythms of the four human hearts activate LED lamps placed underneath each speaker, converging into one dynamic rhythm loudly resonating throughout the exhibition space. The people participating in the sculpture are turned to face each other and, thanks to the power of the low-frequency speakers, they also experience the collective heartbeats as intense vibrations in their bodies.
Technical associate: Igor Brkić
The production of the artwork is supported by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia.