Heart Calligraphy

In traditional Chinese culture calligraphy is seen as a silent reflection of the mind. A Chinese calligrapher believes that the mind leads the brush, and his goal is to vividly and honestly convey his mind on paper. \Heart Calligraphy is inspired by this philosophy.
It researches how biodata can be translated into a sensitive visual language in order to enhance self-awareness. In this biofeedback installation, the heart leads the brush. When the participant places his or her hands on the sensor, the heartbeat is read. This data directs a drawing machine that converts every beat into a pen movement that leaves a trail on the paper. The participant follows his or her heartbeat by observing the image that gradually appears. Within this regular pattern, one discovers shifts caused by the fluctuating heart frequency. In this way the participant explores the physical, cognitive and emotional influences on his or her physiology. The resulting print is an abstract portrait depicting the subconscious processes of the human body.

Year: 2015
Dimensions: various dimensions
Technique: interactive multi-media installation
Photography: Jos Arents
Exhibited: Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, NL (2015);   International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI), Eindhoven, NL (2016);   Next Up, Kazerne, Eindhoven, NL (2016);   Wanted Design, New York, USA (2016);   Maand van de grafiek, TU/e, Eindhoven NL (2017);
Publications: Yu, B., Arents, R. Biofeedback Painting: Let the Heart Lead the Brush. Leonardo, In Press (2019); Yu, B., Arents, R., Funk, M., Hu, J., & Feijs, L.,. Heart Calligraphy: an Abstract Portrait Inside the Body In Proc. International Conference on Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interaction (TEI 2016 ), Eindhoven, The Netherlands;   Ik maakte een kunstwerk met mijn eigen hartritme, Vice Magazine, link   Dezeen.com, 2016 link)   Irenebrination.com, 2016 (link);   TLmagazine.com, 2016 (link);   Wanteddesignnyc.com, 2016 (link)
Credits: Heart Calligraphy is a collaboration with Bin Yu and is supported by the DI Group, Industrial Design, TU/e (Loe Feijs, Jun Hu, Mathias Funk) and Creative Industries Fund NL