Final proposal

White Box, Tablet, Earphone

White Box, Tablet, Earphone

The box will be painted in white. Inside the white box, there is a tablet to play the rhythm that combines the sound of heartbeat and electrocardiography (EGG). Earphones will be connected to the tablet, so that visitors can hear the sound. As sound is invisible and immaterial wave, so it is not an object. Moreover, white is a kind of colors and colors are produced when electromagnetic radiation is emitted. Electromagnetic radiation is immaterial. Therefore, it is not an object. I believe using sound and color to make an artwork can represent the key-phrase “not an art object”.


Besides representing the key-phrase, I hope people can think about their lives. According to the statistics of World Health Organization, more than 800,000 people die from suicide every year. It is quite a shocking news. I hope visitors can think about how precious their lives are while they are listening to the heartbeat and the sound of EGG.

True self

Sometimes, people may lose their real selves. There are many standards in the world. For example, many people think a fashionable guy is more popular. If a person get a bachelor degree and a high pay job, he/she is successful. When people is seeking recognition from others, they may try to reach the standards and lose their real selves. In the artwork, heartbeat represents the real thoughts and the color white represents pureness. Through this artwork, I want to encourage viewers to forget those standards temporarily and think purely about what kinds of people they are and what they actually want.

The dimensions of artwork:
Width: 21.5 cm
Length: 29 cm
Height: 16 cm


Further researches

There is a sidewalk art installation called “Pulse Of The City” by George Zisiadis. The installation is about heartbeat, similar to my idea. It transforms viewers’ heartbeats into music.

Pulse of the City

Pulse of the City

I got some inspiration from “Pulse Of The City” and have considered to combine the heartbeat and EGG sound with music. However, one of the messages that I want to express is think purely about our real selves. If I combine the heartbeat with music, music will become an obstacle. Sometimes, when there is other sound, we could not meditate. Therefore, I decided to play the heartbeat and ECG sound only.

As I have decided the topic, so I do some researches on the materials that I can use in my ISP.

Heart Picture

Heartbeat Sound:

Heartbeat Picture

Electrocardiography Sound:

My project proposal

Acoustic wave

Acoustic wave

I’ll put a tablet in the box and use it to play the sound of heartbeat and Electrocardiography. Sound is acoustic wave. Although this is an artwork, it isn’t an art object since sound isn’t an object. Moreover, I want to express my view on our lives and understanding of ourselves.

My researches on ISP

In an interview, Marina Abramović, the grandmother of performance art, had expressed her view on the future art – “I believe that the art of the future will be an art without objects, because in the communication of pure energy, the object appears as an obstacle.” Marina Abramović thought that the artists could communicate with the viewers directly by using “pure energy”. Her view made me interested in “pure energy” and inspired me to do my ISP about it in order to represent the key-phrase “not an art object”.

Marina Abramović

Marina Abramović

Goy (interviewer): As people are supposed to participate physically in your shows, can colors and materials express an immediate meaning, beyond cultural limits?

Abramovic: Well, that’s possible. But the basic idea in that participation comes from the fact that the public has always been passive in its relationships to works of art. Galleries and museums are some holy places where you can look at works that you’re not supposed to touch. I’m very interested in a sentence by Duchamp, saying that the artist is not the only one who should be creative: the public should be creative too. Art has changed a lot, but the public didn’t change that much, and the artists are preparing, by the way they live and transform themselves, an art which could be completely mentally developed. I believe that the art of the future will be an art without objects, because in the communication of pure energy, the object appears as an obstacle.
The only way for me to transmit my experience from the Chinese Wall was to build those “transient objects,” which are not sculptures but tools that help to make a work. During my walk I realized that my state of mind was different according to the metals in the ground. This relates to legends which describe the Chinese Wall as a dragon of energy. We all know that quartz is used to convey energy: this is not culturally limited. (Extract from an interview with Marina Abramović)

I started to do some researches on “pure energy”. After my researching, I found that it was impossible to use “pure energy” to do an artwork because there seemed to be no such thing in the world. “Pure energy” means energy without quantity. Every form of energy has its quantity so that we can measure each of them. If energy does not have a quantity, it does not exist.

Physicist: Unfortunately, “pure energy” isn’t really a thing.  Whenever you hear someone talking about something or other being “turned into pure energy”, you’re listening to someone who could stand to be a little more specific about what kind of energy. And whenever you hear someone talking about something being “made of pure energy”, you’re probably listening to someone who’s mistaken.

There’s this quantity, that takes a lot of forms (physical movement, electromagnetic fields, being physically high in a gravitational well, chemical potential, etc., etc.).  We can measure each of them, and we know that the total value between all of the various forms stays constant, and with every constant, measurable thing it gets a name; energy. (Extract from Ask a Mathematician / Ask a Physicist)

Therefore, I gave up this idea and tried to find another inspiration.

In the interview, Marina Abramović had also mentioned that “Art has changed a lot, but the public didn’t change that much, and the artists are preparing, by the way they live and transform themselves, an art which could be completely mentally developed.” (See the upper extract) Marina believed that an art could be mentally developed, but I am not interested in mentally developing an artwork. I want to do my ISP about mentality instead of that.

The mentality is our feelings, attitudes and ways of thinking. These three things are immaterial and not objects. People always use the word “heart” to express their feelings and thoughts. For example, we have an idiom “bleeding heart” to describe someone who feels too much sympathy for people such as poor people or criminals. “After one’ s own heart” means to be liked for agreeing with one’ s own feelings or interests or ideas.

This discovery inspired me to do my ISP about “heart” in order to represent mentality and the key-phrase “not an art object”.