Your Beating Heart

Your Beating Heart was an interactive digital-letterpress collaboration with Matt Fawkes, Richard Matthews and Tom Denley, who make websites for companies who have businesses, shops and warehouses in the local area of Stroud, but who also trade internationally online.

For the SVA festival Site 15 we looked at what is meaningful in the interplay between local activity and digital communication. How can the culture of something rooted in a specific place be relevant to people far and wide? How can personal expression found throughout the internet find a focus in a particular location?

The Your Beating Heart app asked questions, ranging from matter-of-fact to personal, thought-provoking or absurd. An evolving real-time visualisation of data results was published online, and letterpress prints were displayed in the studio during the festival open studios weekends.

I endeavoured to answer the question by collecting tweets, internet messages and poetry online to make letterpress prints. There are several letterpress print workshops in the Stroud area and this seems a particular local flavour. I also enjoyed translating the ephemeral and throoughly contemporary nature of the internet and its new forms of expression, with the traditional and almost defunct concreteness of printing with lead type.

With many thanks to Dennis Gould, Whittington Press, and Evergreen Press for providing access and materials for printing. And to Corinna Mainberger for support and nutrition. You can see more photos from the print workshops on my photography site spidershooter.com