Heartbeats by Orna Portugaly, Daphna Talithman and Sharon Younger uses the partipants’ pulse to create virtual life. When someone connects to one of the four touch screen, a figure comes to life on a round table in the centre of the installation, it moves and progresses one step for each heatbeat of the user, captured by ECG via the touch screen. Each station features a different figure with a characteristic movement of its own and their way of moving changes according to the user’s pulse.
When several users connect simultaneously, the figure walk toward each other. To make their paths cross, they have to get to the crossing point at the same time. To achieve that, some of the users have to accelerate their pulse by moving or breathing rapidly. Others have to slow down their pulse by taking slow breaths and trying to relax. When figures meet they are released from the control of the participant’s pulse and start interacting with each other, their awkward movements becoming beautifully choreographed body conversations. After that brief encounter, they resume their mechanical movements.
The installation creates virtual life in a virtual human mini-lab. The existence of the small community depends on the will and cooperation of the participants who must be emotionally and physically involved with all their heart.