Jonathan Borofsky

Heart Light

Jonathan Borofsky, »Heart Light«, 1991, resin, aluminum pedestal with pulsating neon lamp synchronized to the artist's digitally recorded heartbeat
Jonathan Borofsky
Heart Light
Medium / Material / Technic
Aluminum and resin sculpture with electronic sound and neon light

»Heart Light« embodies a problem of the modern era: Humankind is experiencing the physical limitations of the human body, while at the same time being intellectually programmed for constant expansion. 164 centimeters tall, the sculpture is representative of the average human form, while its shape resembles that of a model spacecraft. The pulsating heartbeat of the artist, resonating as a digitalized signal from the rocket-shaped cone at the base of the tripod, forms the sound of the engine and determines the rhythm of the light’s red glow. The sculpture’s luminescence becomes a stand-in for the thermodynamic foundations of human existence, which relies on movement, exchange, energy input, and reconfiguration.

Numerical series are a recurring element in Jonathan Borofsky’s work: “The numbers give me a feeling that life goes on; they’re an energy and force, and that’s all one needs to know,” the artist, who has been writing down a continuous series of numbers since 1969, states. In this sense, the “Borofsky Numbers” written on the three electronic cases at the base of the tripod bear symbolic meaning. The counting never ends, it represents infinite progress and expansion.

Borofsky’s original plan of implementing the vitality sculpture as a 15-meter-tall outdoor installation emphasizes the artist’s intention: Today’s representation of the human body cannot be conceived without technological possibilities of extending life.