Owner of a Lonely Heart: (Danio rerio) Embryonic Heartbeats


Session Title:

  • Bio-Art

Presentation Title:

  • Owner of a Lonely Heart: (Danio rerio) Embryonic Heartbeats



  • (Short paper)

    Keywords: Art and Science, Data Sonification, Problem of Measurement in Quantum Mechanics, Observer-observation relations in Quantum Mechanics, Heart Beating Patterns of Zebrafish Embryo.

    The work presented here was developed in collaboration between the media artist Clarissa Ribeiro and the scientist Huanqi Zhu, by the time they worked together as researchers at James Gimzewki lab, UCLA. The 8 (eight) screenshots and the derived (sonified) environmental sound that integrate the piece “Owner of a Lonely Heart”(2014), were traces of an observation – a scientist measuring the heartbeat of a zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo’s lonely heart. After recording the data, using a microelectrode precisely prepared for the experiment, the scientist generated a series of graphs using the software OriginPro 8.1 and started zooming in different regions, looking for specific points where the patterns fit his expectations according to the main purposes of the research. Despite the procedures were initially part of a bigger project involving several labs and researchers, the actual collaboration was developed as a parallel experiment were the scientist joined the artist in a poetic reflection about the scientific procedures that became part of the artwork itself. Integrating the artist solo show at the Art|Sci Gallery, UCLA (June/July 2014), the work invites the audience to reflect critically about the importance of observation in the creation of ‘truth’ in science, what plays a crucial role in the creation of ‘reality’, having radical influence in the ways we behave, in our survival strategies, in who we are.

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