Mettāmatics

Mettāmatics III is the third work in a series of interactive artworks exploring ways that heart rate patterns can be influenced by feelings of compassion, gratitude and equanimity.

Participants wear a pulse-sensor on their finger-tip or ear lobe, and watch at a realtime visualisation of changes in their heart-rate patterning, accompanied by interactive soundscape and guided meditation. They interact with the work, using their breathing and the quality of their attention to subtly alter the patterning of their heart rate. After a few minutes they see and hear how these shifts in breath and being, alter the appearance and sound of the artwork.

The work aims to enable participants sense and perceive these feelings as ways of being that are clearly embodied – in an objectively measurable way – within our physiology – akin to the different physical postures and coordinated movements we engage in everyday life, and a quality of being and orientation-to-others that can be voluntarily applied – outside the context of this art experience.

Mettāmatics requires its to audience slow down. Because the works in the Mettāmatics series measure very low frequency changes in heart rate, the interaction requires a lot more time and attention than is usual for interactive artworks. Many of the wave-like variations in heart rate that are measured in Mattāmatics, take place over several minutes. To assist participants to enter into the work and the slower timeframes it works with, Mettāmatics III includes a ten-minute long recorded introduction and ‘body-scan’ guided meditation.