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<eyebeam><blast> beats

Walking through the streets of central London in February, you might
have come across the large LED sign in a shop window.  'Simon Tegala's
heart beat is 110 bpm', reads the sign. The number of beats per minute

And as is so often the case with statistical information, it is
compelling to watch and monitor this person's heart rate get higher and
higher and then suddenly get lower.  But what does this information
actually tell you? What does it mean to have a heart rate of 110 beats
per minute?  Is that healthy or cause for concern?

And who is Simon Tegala anyway?  Does he really exist or is he the
figment of someone else's imagination? Is he someone moving about the
city at this very moment that we are gazing at his heart rate?  Every
minute shift in his heart rate, his most intimate bodily changes, are on
public display and yet we know nothing about this person and where they

This site-specific artwork (and related website www.iniva.org/anabiosis)
made by the artist Simon Tegala earlier this year has its beginnings
during the Gulf War when the artist reflected upon the impact of new
technology and, in particular, the relay of events and images 'live'
into our homes from different parts of he globe, virtually as soon as
they occur.

For a period of two weeks, the artist was wired to a personal heart rate
monitor for 24 hours a day.  The signal from the heart rate monitor was
then transmitted digitally, via mobile phone, to the electronic sign.

The piece was an eloquent investigation of some of the issues which have
been discussed on this list over the past few weeks, addressing as it
did the relationship between individual experience and public
communication systems.  The most important question posed by this
artwork, in my opinion, was the thorny issue of collective
responsibility and critical interrogation of new media.  When the images
of 'precise' target bombings were beamed into our homes, how many of us
questioned the precision of this new technology or considered the
effects of this anonymous technology on individual (and invisible)

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