Part storytelling, original research and rare sound archive, artist Dario Robleto’s The Pulse Armed With a Pen: An Unknown History of the Human Heartbeat will weave together topics as diverse as the earliest attempts to record the heartbeat as sound and image, the heartbeat and brainwave recordings currently on a probe heading for the edge of the Solar System, pre-Edison sound recordings, and recent developments in the history of the artificial heart. The result is a creative intertwining of multiple histories of human exploration, in both outer and inner space.
Dario Robleto's work is on view in the Block Museum exhibition If You Remember, I'll Remember. Robleto has been exhibiting his work extensively since 1997 at museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver. In 2008 a 10-year survey exhibition, Alloy of Love, was organized by the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College. Robleto has been visiting artist and lecturer at many colleges and universities including Bard College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and New York University. His awards have included the 2007 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant and the 2009 USA Rasmuson Fellowship. In 2011 he was selected as a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow at the National Museum of American History. Recent exhibitions include The Boundary of Life Is Quietly Crossed at the Menil Collection, Houston and Setlists For a Setting Sun at the Baltimore Museum of Art. He was the 2016 Texas State Artist Laureate, and serves as Artist in Residence in Neuroaesthetics at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering.
Image: The Pulse Armed With a Pen (An Unknown History of the Human Heartbeat) (2014), detail, 28 custom cut 5-inch vinyl records, audio recordings, archival digital prints (record sleeves, liner notes, labels, slides), three centuries of various human pulse and heartbeat tracings, glass slides, custom bound book, oak, silk, engraved gold mirror, brass, headphones, media players 18” x 14 ½” x 21” (box overall, open); installed in variable dimensions