"empathetic heartbeat"
ANDO Hideyuki + WATANABE Junji + SATO Masahiko

photo: KIOKU Keizo

A video starts playing as soon as a visitor holds a stethoscope to his or her chest. It shows people in a state of tension under various conditions. Watching the images while listening to the sound of their own heartbeat, visitors gradually develop a feeling as if their heartbeat was in fact the heartbeat of the persons in the video.

Body organs are recognized as intrinsic things that belong inseparably to their owner, whereas the heart certainly plays the most important role in terms of life maintenance. As one can understand from the fact that words for "heart" in different languages contain also notions of "sentiment" and "character," the heart is not only an essential organ for humans as living beings, but it has certainly been understood also as an embodiment of human mental activity.

However, we cannot see or touch our own hearts. Our ideas about the heart are defined indirectly through the pulse we feel when concentrating or stressed, or when measuring our pulse or using a stethoscope.

This work indicates that there exists an ambiguous quality that may be identified as something belonging to someone else, even in something as individual as the beat of one's heart. On the other hand, it is perhaps that ambiguity that enables us to empathize and harmonize with others.

This work was made for the exhibition "'The Definition of Self' directed by Masahiko Sato."
Film cooperation: Sekiguchidaimachi Elementary School, Tokyo University of Foreign Studies Kendo Club, KONDO Daisuke

ANDO Hideyuki Profile
Born 1974. Pursues studies of "human interfaces based on perceptual illusion," "virtual reality," "sensation-perception-motion interfaces" and "bioengineering." In addition to such research into interface development, creates works of art inspired by an interest in social contributions of leading-edge science and technology as a form of artistic expression. Received an Excellence Award (together with WATANABE Junji) in the Art division of the 12th Japan Media Arts Festival, and a Honorary Mention in the Interactive Art category at Ars Electronica in 2009 and 2011 (for this work). Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Information Science and Technology, Osaka University.

WATANABE Junji Profile
Born 1976. His main areas of research are the senses of touch and vision, and their expression in onomatopoeia, as well as the development of information presentation devices using human sensory property. Focuses on the connection between human perception and environments from both theoretical and practical points of view, while applying (and exhibiting) results of his research in the realm of interface technology. Has been exhibiting works at the Japan Media Arts Festival, the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation (Miraikan), the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo, Ars Electronica Center, and other places.
Researcher at the NTT Communication Science Laboratories.
Past Exhibition / Event

SATO Masahiko Profile
Born 1954. Conducts various unique activities in the realms of imagery, expression, education, research presentation and others with the creative group "EUPHRATES" made up of alumni of his own laboratory, in the form of scientific experiments and research into expression based on the knowledge of brain science. Has been involved in the production of numerous advertisements, TV programs and computer games, and gained international acclaim for creating easily conveyable and understandable works of art born from simple ideas.
Professor at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts.
Past Exhibition / Event