James: install 1

Performance, 23rd October 2017.

In this performative piece, the real-time sound of my heart beat was broadcast through the PA I was stood facing. There was no start or end point and viewers were able to engage as much or little as desired with the scene in front of them.

The sound of the heartbeat was barely audible when at it was at rest but as the speed and intensity picked up, it became clear through the scratchy connections of the technical apparatus. Viewers could become aware of their own influence on the work i.e. my own state of mind. A heightened anxiety or trepidation would result in a more audible rendering of the heartbeat.

The work was inspired with this notion in mind. I was very interested in how situational events affect our experience and to try and explore how two different people’s experience of the same event could be so different.

This work hands over to the viewer (although they may not realise it) a subtle sense of power or control. This relinquishing of control brings to mind the infamous performance by Marina Abramovich, Rhythm 0, 1974.

It also follows on a conceptual path from journal-jpg.net – which was a piece of work I made in 2016 where every time a viewer visits the website, they cause the image to be de-graded. In both cases it is impossible to view the work without having an effect on it, without changing it.