Pimp my heart

Pimp my Heart is a performance/vehicle intervention that uses a HBBB (HeartBeat Bass Booster) system to amplify the heartbeat of a car driver in real time through an interface with a beefed up car audio aftermarket system.
The project turns the body/vehicle relationship inside-out, addressing the vulnerability of human body and emotion and aims to understand our obsession on automobiles and its modification.

HB_driver_type_400.jpgHBBB (HeartBest Bass Booster) System: a Pulse oximeter heart beat sensor is clipped to the ear lobe of the driver and the heartbeat of the person is interfaced by Pic microcontroller and Max/MSP software on a PowerBook. At each heartbeat, a patch on Max/MSP triggers the audio file of a single heartbeat and outputs it to the car audio which amplifies the sound. Transducers under the driver’s seat shake the seat to maximize the haptic sensation at each heartbeat. Lights inside and under the car blink simultaneously with the heartbeats. Computer LCD monitor on the car displays the visualization of the heartbeat sound in real-time.


HBBB system also has a disco mode: BPM of music files being played changes in real-time according to the heart rate of the user. As the heartbeat of the user/dancer rises, the BPM of the music also increases.

The aesthetic of the vehicle and the interface, accessories are done in mixture of various car enthusiasts’ cultures with some reference to body and a hint of spirituality. The heartbeat sensor clip on ear lobe is iced-out with fake diamonds. The heart shaped interface box is also made to resemble the large pendant with silver, gold, and diamonds.

Videos on the website.

A work by Takehito Etani in collaboration with David Tinapple.
Pimp My Heart is part of ISEA 2006, San José.