MUSEUM MY HEART, PERSONAL MUSEUM CONNECTIONS PROJECT
Shared Connections through Heartbeats in a Museum
About the Project:
- Role: Developer
- Institutions: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Cantor Center at Stanford, Academy of Science, Oakland Museum of California
- Technology: Processing
This project was a personal museum tech project where I wanted to explore how one might share a museum visit with a loved one or friend even if that person is not physically with you. Generally, when visiting a museum not only are you are able to converse, but subtle information, that which lies just under the line of consciousness, is also communicated through facial expressions, gestures, changes in the other person’s breath and even heart rate, all with the potential to heighten the shared museum experience. In this physical/digital project, I created a small pillow that was able to beat in tandem with the heart of someone wearing a heart rate monitor. By having people in different museums hold their partner’s heart beat pillow in front of a favorite object the two visitors are able to remain connected to one another. The hope is to create an invisible bond between pairs of people for a deeper and more meaningful museum connection.
How I did it
Museum my Heart is built in Processing using Dan Julio’s Heart Rate Monitor Interface (HRMI). The heart rate is taken from a chest strap monitor and transmitted wirelessly to a USB HRMI. Processing reconstructs the heart rate in audio form and outputs it to a low-frequency speaker embedded in a pillow.