George Khut’s Heart Library Project

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George Khut’s Heart Library Project is an interactive arts-in-health project designed for presentation in large hospital waiting areas. Recent exhibitions include St. Vincent’s Public Hospital Darlinghurst (2009) and The Royal Institution Australia (RiAus, 2009). The project invites visitors to explore interactions between their thoughts, emotions and bodily responses, using a combination of biofeedback technologies, with interviews and hand-drawn descriptions offered by people who have spent time with the work.

Visitors explore how to influence the colour and sound of a virtual mirror video projection that floats above them inside a specially built booth. The projected reflection creates a sensation of floating in a sea of dappled light, and responds to changes in their heart rate. When your heart rate increases the video blushes red, and when your heart slows down, the video cools down to a deep blue colour.

This gentle but uncanny interactive experience provides a catalyst for a wide variety of personal insights, reflections and explorations that participants are invited to share with other visitors in the form of a hand-illustrated ‘map’ of their experience and a short interview: its these drawings and interviews that make up the ‘library’ in the heart Library Project.

The Heart Library Project has been developed by George in collaboration with a diverse team of computer programmers, interaction designers and ‘live-art’ producers – with a vision for ongoing presentations in hospitals and health promotion centres around the world.

George is currently working on the next version of The Heart Library Project for presentation at The Children’s Hospital Westmead (NSW) in 2011-2012 (currently fund-raising, donations to CHW welcome!). Please contact George Khut directly if you would like to support a presentation of this inspiring work at a hospital near you.