1995 beating heart

beating heart


the encounter | at night

Walking up the street you notice in the distance a dim red glow coming from the surface of the sidewalk. It seems quite strange; perhaps otherworldly. As you approach you realize the glow is pulsing, as if alive. Because it is red it could be an opening into a place, fire, hot.  You continue to approach curious to know what it is or where it comes from.  Now there is the sound, the echo of the beat coming up from the glowing ground. You do not realize until you are standing directly in front of and looking down that it is a window; a window looking into a cavity, a fiery pit, red hot, a view into the inferno. It is a surprise to recognize it as the interior of the body; that the pulsing glow is in fact the image of a beating, larger than life size human heart.  You walk on but this encounter has changed your experience for the evening, it dwells in your memory, colors the rest of the evening’s events.

Over time you relize that there are in fact others, each installed in a similar way at a different place. All inextricably strange. The anticipation of encounter becomes familiar as you walk down the streets night after night; at times you go out of your way just to stare at the pulsing image in the ground.


a technical description

Installed flush into the sidewalk is a monitor screen. On the screen is the image of an exposed and beating human heart, it is larger than life size (perhaps double), the entire image is colorized a rich dark red, pulsing and cave like. The screen is covered with very thick protective glass. It can be walked on and can withstand an extensive amount of being tampered with. The entire mechanism, playing device and screen, is encased beneath the sidewalk leaving only visible the image on the screen. Speakers are installed flush into the sidewalk to broadcast the pulse. The technology employed is durable enough to play continuously anticipating little if any maintenance over time.


July 1995