Siren Heart: detail

(Shown in detail: Thermometer, timer's watch, 3 hairdryers, portion of lower left lobe of Electronic Heart circuit board containing NAND Gate Snakes and open mouth rubber stamp.)

With the electronic logic of this circuit board heart, Siren Heart counts, adds, remembers, shifts, times, compares and directs this sensory data to operate its three hair dryers, electric knife, and siren.

The hair dryers are the most active components, frequently blowing warm air at visitors. The electric knife comes on much less frequently, two or three times an average day. The loud siren wails for three minutes approximately once a year depending on the amount of sounds the artwork has heard over the year. A switch on the sculpture makes it possible to silence these three functions (dryers, knife, and siren). For the implacably curious visitor, another switch allows the siren to be activated. A third switch shuts off the whole sculpture. This is not recommended because the memory and the logic of the heart must then start over again. With no interruption of the electrical power, the sculpture is capable of tracking events for over a hundred years. The sculpture also senses ambient temperature and will not function if its surroundings are too cold (below 40 degrees Fahrenheit) or too hot above 110).

Jim Pallas, 1995


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