“Connected Heartbeats” Visualizes Physical Synchronization Between Humans

July 2, 2013 | Julia Dawidowicz

Brooklyn-based artist and sound designer Phan V came out of a 5-day long Vipassana meditation retreat with a burning hypothesis in mind: Human beings are so connected that our heartbeats synchronize during shared experiences. Part New Age science experiment, part interactive art installation, Connected Heartbeats confirmed his suspicions — and then some. By hooking two people up to stethoscopes connected to an audio interface that collects sound waves, and then visualizing those soundwaves as projected glowing bars, Phan V noticed that not only did the heartbeats harmonize — they also seemed to alternate, or engage in “dialogue.” It’s pretty, too.

Interestingly, similar past studies proved this cardio-synching to be more common when subjects knew each other. Though Phan V’s subjects’ heartbeats only synchronized about half the time, which he blames on stethoscope misreadings, he’s already planning his next heart synchronization project. According to Creator’s Project:

In the future, he’d like to multiply Connected Heartbeats by visualizing thirty people’s heartbeats—in a quiet place, of course. They would all meditate and the results would be filmed as they sat surrounded by the cardio-synching projections.