"The Heart Machine is a collaborative art project that combines sculptural structures, flame effects and modern mechanics to create a compelling interactive experience that invites and thrives on it participation.
The piece features a 6-foot by 10-foot industrial heart as its center, surrounded by four 16 foot “arteries”. When touched or stroked by passersby, participants control the rhythm and size of the fireballs, shooting flames up to 25-feet into the sky. The exhibit also features technology originally created for the Ontario Car Industry, re-purposed to run the interactive elements of the sculpture.
It is also the first art project by a Canadian woman, Irving, to receive official honorarium status by Burning Man’s art team, as well as the first project from Eastern Canada to receive the competitive bursary. This year, in addition to Scotiabank Nuit Blanche’s support, the project has also been granted a special award from the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF) to support its first Canadian presentation.
The sheer scale of the project, spanning 80ft x 80ft, has brought together makers from all walks of life, including an architect, welders, electricians, product and interaction designers, an anthropologist, a lawyer, students, a couple of engineers – one retired, and software experts, to name a few, from across the Greater Toronto Area. The piece will be located in “Zone B” at Scotiabank’s Nuit Blanche, near Bay & Edward Street in downtown Toronto. The piece will be engulfed in sand to emulate the conditions of the desert, where the piece was first displayed one year ago...."