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The Waking Heart

An interactive drawing machine triggered by human emotions creates a cross-platform collective artwork – or Heartwork.

The Waking Heart


April 27th, 2011

Sydney’s Based On Birds have created an interactive public art project to accompany The Gradual Demise of Phillipa Finch, an animated TV series based on the work of author Emma Magenta.


Design trio Based On Birds

Currently on display in the front window of Paddington’s Berkelouw Books, the Waking Heart machine creates Heartworks, or visual representations of the emotions of people with which the machine interacts.


Users record their sound and movement and answer a series of questions via the Phillipa Finch website or iPhone application. The information is sent to the Waking Heart machine, where it is processed and printed on a large continuous paper roll, streamed live on The Waking Heart website.


Heartworks are physical manifestations of users’ emotions and present an ever-changing visual story of a collective state of being.


“In creating a public platform for the sharing of emotion, The Waking Heart Machine connects people with the simple ideals of the Phillipa Finch story: an appreciation of life’s ups and downs, and an awareness of our fellow human,” said Based on Birds creative director David Kaldor.



Visit Berkelouw Books in Paddington, Sydney to see the machine in action, or create your own Heartwork with the iPhone app or via the Phillipa Finch website. The exhibition is open until Friday 13 May.

The Waking Heart

Based On Birds

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