Why the heartbeat in public space?

“…She may again make herself visible by bringing back the power of perceptibility.”

 -The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, 3.21, as translated by BKS Iyengar


It is not the seeking of information, the seeking of products, the seeking of prolonged life, the seeking of nourishment, the seeking of comfort, the seeking of the right-of-way, the seeking of validation, power nor speed, that this exhibit will satisfy.

This project is an act of making something that is dimly perceived perceivable, because doing so is useful, applicable to many spheres, and an experience complete unto itself.

The heart is a common and unique denominator that transcends so many other differentiable signifiers—color, gender, age, nationality, language, experience, socio-economic status, intellectual acuteness, deaf, dumb, blind, limbless, -ness.  To perceive the heart—to feel it beat, to hear it beat, to have your rhythm literally sync with another by being with another’s— is to perceive without question what Paolo Virno deems a relation between “the highest possible degree of communality or generality and the highest possible degree of singularity.” This is one intent of this public space.

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To Retire Old Ideas: Relevance of Embodied Public Spaces

In a recent post on Washington Post’s Know More blog, they sited a video that edge.com made asking prominent scientists “What scientific ideas should be abandoned?” While the video introduced some intriguing subjects on big data, microbes & the Big Bang, I found it’s underlying point most impactful: abandoning long held beliefs is an important part of progress—it’s just as important in fact as the embrace of the cutting edge. It’s from this place that I write today about public body knowledge, or what we term ‘BODY LITERACY.’

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Embodied public spaces offer direct experiences of: Physiological Safety, Using Body Literacy as a Critical Lens, Live Sound, Living Spaces, Expanding Boundaries, Environmental psychology, Spaces of Belonging, Spaces of Beauty, Spaces of Agency. Each experience prompts us to consider how public spaces and trends effect us physically & physiologically–how they direct our physical habits, choices and attention.This kind of awareness is an important part of body-literacy. Below I postulate on the above list as they pertain to the heartbeat soundscapes.

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Modern public spaces are considered an essential component of sustainable cities, the goals of which focus on uniting a diverse public in social, civic, political, economic and biodiversity activities. “When we think of public space in terms of our embodied presence, 

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Embodiment | Heart

The heartbeat is universal beyond nationality, gender, race; it needs—and has—no direct translation. Hearing music, the intonation of a human voice, the lyrics of song or the words of debate can provoke a deeply personal response, making us ‘feel’ ourselves and others more; hearing the heartbeat does the same in a profoundly tangible way. 

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Mary Bond reflects on Embodied Public Spaces

I recently reached out to Mary Bond, author of the New Rules of Posture, to let her know what an astounding influence she has been in my work and practice, as well as an inspiration to bring this kind of embodied knowledge into the public sphere.  She has since written a blog post about the Soundscapes and MOBL.           Read it here, then explore her own site for further learning and inspiration.

Our Heartbeat Predecessors : Artists & exhibits

The heartbeat and it’s rhythm has been a source for artistic expression through varied media and time. Below are just a few exhibits and performances that explore the heartbeat toward similar and different aims:

A confession–our inspiration isn’t really with the heartbeat, but with the broader question of why people recognize their cities’ rhythms (for instance), but not their own. It’s a bit of a paradox, our aim is to set the conditions for self-awareness, not feed self-fascination. That’s why we are so excited for the public to be prompted to engage with their own heartbeat by engaging first with other people’s heartbeats.  Self-projection and self-promotion are alive and well in our culture.  We bump up against examples of both while walking down the street and even when having a private experience.  We’re playing with those ideas by consciously not satisfying people’s desire to project themselves (while being  comfortable with the fact that our performers are!) Instead we’re prompting people to notice inward, and be in-formed by the outward.  And to listen outward and be in-formed by the inward.

What is an Embodied Public Space?

Embodied Public Spaces

are spaces that intentionally heighten curiosity about our physical circumstances, and prompt us to explore our own agency in our physical circumstances.  We’re excited to incorporate current body-knowledge into our landscape to see how the undeterminable capacity of people and spaces to change each other plays out.

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