Going beyond vital and physical functions of the heart, HEART IS THE ONLY WAY investigates a critical understanding of the heart (philosophical awareness) and its artistic presence. This interactive artwork stays in a space where the audience is given an opportunity to speak out. Using this interactive installation as a vehicle to explore different modes of engagement, the audience would experience the overlap between performance (the presentation of prepared scenarios) and performativity (the constitution of understanding through interactivity). The installation combines thousands of threads as a cylinder “screen” which carries physical aesthetics and embodied interaction to present multiple evocative moments latent in natural landscapes. The interactive experience offered is unfolding the layers of the artwork with movement and auditory input. It enables the audience to become a part of the happenings. The artist records her own sighs, whispers, laughing, singing, and humming as auditory reactions to the audience. By speaking and moving in the space, the audience transforms the floor into a dark sea, thousands of wires into a flowing sea wave, and the tunnel into his/her connections to the heart. The pace of the artwork is much more stable and slower than the audience normally experiences in interactive arts which leads to a “frozen/mystical” visual sense and a “cold/calm” emotional load. In this installation, knowing one’s heart intendment is recognized in the integration of self-experience.

The sculpture part has eight rings (1m-diameter each) that are hung from the ceiling. The rings are spaced one meter from each other spanning a total of seven meters. This ring structure is covered by thousands of white, highly reflective plastic wires (each 7m-long, 4mm-diameter). A stage microphone stands in the front of the ring structure as audio-input. An interactive stage is created for visitors here. One Kinect is used to detect the movements of visitors and shift different scenarios. This is the second layer of the interactive stage. Four projectors connected as a system (using OOCSI) point up from different angles and their projection area covers the entire surface of the sculpture.

Demo videos.

Installation view. HEART IS THE ONLY WAY was exhibited and experimented in Pavilion U54 at TU/e (Eindhoven, the Netherlands) from 1 January to 29 February in 2016 and exhibited in 1st “In the front” Digital Media Summit Forum (Nanjing, China) in 2016.

Schematic overview of the installation configuration with four projector-laptop pairs, an OOCSI server, and two inputs for audience sensing.