updating – February 2017
[Sound is best appreciated with headphones]
Commissioned by artist Sarah Harvey and funded by the Arts Council.
Brighton-based artist Sarah Harvey previously worked as a nurse on a cardiothoracic unit, spending all day surrounded by the sounds of other people’s heartbeats. This experience has helped to shape and guide her artistic practice, the latest outcome of which is currently installed at London’s Soundfjord gallery. Created in collaboration with composers Tim Yates and Simon C. Russell, with advice and support from medical researchers Professor Peter MacFarlane and Richard Whale, “Opus Pericardium” brings the sound of a human heart out of the medical lab and into the gallery space, making it available to be heard and responded to in new ways. A recording of a heartbeat, selected from a MIT database of electrocardiogram readings from the 1970s, plays in a continual loop inside a dimly-lit white chamber; every now and then, the rhythm of the heartbeat skips a little, indicating the presence of the medical condition arrhythmia.