Exhibition will explain oscillation in a heartbeat

Artist Helen Pynor with The Body is a Big Place, which launches the new exhibition at the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin today. photograph: dara mac dónaill

Artist Helen Pynor with The Body is a Big Place, which launches the new exhibition at the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin today. photograph: dara mac dónaill

Fri, Feb 8, 2013, 00:00

Good vibrations are promised this morning as the latest exhibition at the Science Gallery in Trinity College Dublin opens. Called Oscillations, it offers the sound of an earthquake, a way to tune up brain waves and two freshly dissected pig hearts.

This may sound an improbable mix but they are all part of the rich tapestry of life, says co-curator Dr Stefan Hutzler.

All of the highly interactive exhibits in some way reverberate with sounds, motion and vibrations that point to the wave patterns of life.

The pig hearts were harvested yesterday evening, put on ice and brought to the gallery for the exhibition preview. Developed by a team in Australia, the hearts were encouraged to beat spontaneously, sustained by a warm fluid full of nutrients and oxygenated to keep the hearts “alive”. A video of the exhibition will run as part of the exhibition. Their beating represented the ultimate oscillation, suggested Helen Pynor, who brought The Body is a Big Place exhibit to the gallery.

Oscillation

Human oscillation is also the subject of Telephone Rewired, where a combination of flashing lights and synchronised sounds assails the senses. It was all to the good, however, because their oscillations matched the wave patterns made by the human brain.

Visitors were invited to join in a real experiment to see whether matching sights and sounds to brain waves was a help or hindrance to memory and reaction time.

Viewers should be sure to climb into the “mouth tank” for an up-close experience of what it is like to be in a human mouth.

Oscillations will run for two months. The gallery is open 12-8pm Tuesday-Friday, 12-6pm Saturday-Sunday and is closed Mondays.