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Heart Bloom is a participatory live-art installation, which offers the audience a biofeedback experience through mechanical movement, sound, and artistic visualization. Only when you experience excitement or fear you actually feel your heart beat fast inside our chest. However, without you being aware of it, the heart is continually changing its frequency. Biofeedback is a technique that measures physiological processes and rapidly gives back the data to the users, helping them to be aware of their physiological conditions. Each heartbeat triggers one movement, creating a line or a dot. The variation of the heart rate is demonstrated by the pen’s behavior in real time. The overall heart rate variability is reflected by the visual characteristics of the generated drawing on paper. Let the heart lead the brush!

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Credits: Heart Bloom is a collaboration with Bin Yu and is supported by the DI Group, Industrial Design, TU/e (Loe Feijs, Jun Hu, Mathias Funk) and Creative Industries Fund NL.

Support: State Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia, Riga City Council, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, EU program "Creative Europe", EU cooperation project "Risk Change".

The identity of Riga Photography Biennial 2018 – ‘I Like Your Face’

In the post-internet era when the prospect of becoming a unicorn, cardinal, gourmet, mythical being or Instagram hipster is just a few clicks away, self-awareness and the continuous redefining of who we are in different contexts, how others perceive us, and who we wish to be, has become imperative. The performance of looking and the image have become integral parts in self-representation and communication. On social media we often ‘like’ something – but what does it really mean? What do we see and what is imagined? And what exactly is it that we ‘like’? Just as in physical reality we encounter many ‘faces’ daily, our digital reality is also populated by countless faces that enter our consciousness. Thus the metaphor of face becomes an important part of identity. ‘Face’ as a mask/role we put on every day to communicate ourselves to the rest of the world and ‘face’ as a reality/image we see when we look at the face of the other, which according to a French philosopher Emanuel Levinas is most fragile and vulnerable, and thereby invites us into a relationship with the other. However, is it possible to interact with the other without categorizing and thematizing – simply by candidly liking? The biennial examines these relationship issues by looking at how human expressions such as emotions, pain, and empathy survive in the modern context of technologies, and how imagined belonging to some other reality co-exists with social identities.


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