[June 24 – 25] REFLEXION – In Sync/out of Sync by Claudia Robles

An interactive installation based on research showing that our heartbeats can be synchronized by deepening the perception of others. Two visitors are invited to sit in front of each other surrounded by a light structure made of EL wires. This light structure is steered by their heartbeats measured with finger pulse sensors. 

Dates and Times:

Saturday June 24th and Sunday June 25, 2023

Open to the public from 11 am to 5 pm

Artist Talk on Saturday June 24th at 2 pm in Building 10a Nolan Park, Governors Island.

Harvestworks Art and Technology Program Building 10a, Nolan Park, Governors Island 

When the two participants do not share the same frequency of their heartbeats, the installation is in an Out-of Sync state and the sound becomes dissonant; when their heart frequencies are synchronized, the installation reacts in an In-Sync state, with agreeable and non-dissonant sound in the octophonic soundscape.

fotocourtesy MM Gerdau Museum Belo horizonte- PhotoLucas D’Ambrosioy

Inspired by Polytopes by Iannis Xenakis (composer and architect), this installation explores connecting sound, light, colour and architecture with a further element, i.e. the interaction between individuals with their own emotional and physiological reactions which impacts on the sound and light of the installation. As with the Polytopes, the space is fully integrated with the musical part, in which two visitors at a time sitting next to each other are invited to create together a musical and visual environment of sound and light with their own inner biological rhythms (e.g. heartbeat). 

Sound and light structures are created according to the structural/architectural properties of the space. 

The entire project’s intention lies therefore in the interaction between individuals and its impact on their physiological responses, a subject close to my recent research and interests, based on concepts by psychologist Michael Richardson such as: 

“We like to think, as we move through our world, we’re this isolated being”… ”but as well as a decade of laboratory work, has demonstrated this is not the case.” 

“…It shows that being connected to someone is not just in the mind. There are these fundamental physiological behavioral moments that are occurring continuously with other people that we’re not aware of”.  

In the installation the sound and light structure is based on the Out-of-Sync/In-Sync concept: when the two participants do not share the same rhythm of their heartbeats, the installation/performance is in an Out-of Sync state; however, if the frequency of the heartbeats of the two participants runs synchronously, the work is in an In-Sync state and the sound and light events of the project will change accordingly. The main concept is based on research showing that our heartbeats can be synchronised by deepening the perception of others.

Artist Bio:

Claudia Robles-Angel was born in Bogotá (Colombia), living in Cologne (Germany). Composer, sound and new media artist, her work covers different aspects of visual and sound art, extending from acoustic and audio-visual compositions to interactive performances/installations using biomedical signals and Artificial Intelligence.

She has been Artist-in-residence in several outstanding institutions around the globe.  In 2022 was awarded with an honorary mention by the GIGA Hertz award at ZKM Center.

Her work has been performed and exhibited worldwide e.g. at ZKM, ISEA; KIBLA Centre Maribor, CAMP Festival – 55 Venice Biennale Salon Suisse, ICMC; New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival; NIME; STEIM; Harvestworks Digital Arts Center NYC,  Heroines of Sound Berlin; Audio Art Festival Cracow; MADATAC Madrid; Athens Digital Art Festival ADAF, CMMAS Morelia; Beast FEaST Birmingham; ICST ZHdK Zurich; RE:SOUND Aalborg; Electric Spring Festival Huddersfield; AI Biennal Essen; and more recently at the Centre for International Light Art Unna.


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