Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

Zone B Exhibition - (Curated by: Shirley Madill)

Christine Irving & Interactive Art, The Heart Machine, 2010, Interactive Fire Sculpture
Photo: Ian Grindall

Parking Lot, 640 Bay Street
(Between Elm Street and Edward Street)
View Location

The Heart Machine, 2010

Christine Irving - Toronto, Canada
Interactive Art - Toronto, Canada

Interactive Fire Sculpture

Premiered at Burning Man 2010 in Nevada, The Heart Machine is a collaborative project that combines sculptural structures, flame effects and technology to create a compelling interactive art experience that welcomes and needs participants.  Citizens must tend to The Heart Machine, as the machine and city coexist in a symbiotic relationship.  Protruding from a large central heart are four "arteries" each connected to sensors that, when touched, will cause flames to shoot up to 25 feet into the air from 16 foot tall columns. How we perceive technology guides our interactivity with the machine.  Do we watch passively for the machine to react to our presence or do we take active control?  Do we reach out and explore without fear or do we wait to take the lead from others?  Inspired by Fritz Lang’s film, Metropolis, The Heart Machine serves as an interactive metaphor between citizen and city, citizens and technology. Citizens being the arteries and blood, have a choice to exist silently or be active participants in a city’s future. The work questions people’s symbiotic relationship with technology. At the heart of the city, the heart of our Metropolis, exists a machine: the heart machine.

Christine Irving is a management consultant, artist and project manager in the technology industry. She is the first Canadian female artist to be commissioned by Burning Man. Irving is the concept artist, financer, and driver behind The Heart Machine, but the artwork would not exist without her team members. Christine and her team won the Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2010 People’s Choice Award for their Independen Project Flux & Fire; a collaborative adaption of Interpretive Arsons’ 2PiR for Canada.

Suitable for all ages

In association with Black Rock Arts Foundation