HEART-DONOR by BELOFF & BERGER with MITRUNEN (2007), is a wearable art work addressing our life in a hybrid space. It is addressing issues about physical and global/technological presence, social networks and collected mementos in our everyday life.

The vest is created to be borrowed by the audience for an individual long term use. -You can "wear" the hearts of your close network of selected persons on you, and observe the presence of these people in physical and virtual space.

The concept for Heart-Donor was developed as an idea about one’s social network within "hybrid space"*. The hybrid space is a space, which we –humans- inhabit in increasing measures via various devices like mobile phones and pdas used in our everyday lives. The work takes its point of departure by rejecting the (common) concept about differentiation of virtual (digital) and physical ("real") layers of the world. This work is specifically constructed for the hybrid space. The work attempts to make this fairly new concept of space we live in, visible and materially concrete, in contrast to common unnoticeability influenced by the ordinariness of mass-produced devices.

The work Heart-Donor is a physical instantiation of the concept about personal social networks and life in a hybrid space. It is thought out as one’s personal apparel for long term everyday usage. It is created in a form of a vest. One can collect 30 recordings of heartbeats of friends and family -or other ideas for personal networks- into the HDvest. These heartbeats will be stored into 30 small lamps embedded into the front of the HDvest. The blinking heartbeats function as personal mementos of close people and friends. The heartbeats are combined with another concept relating to the technological world. The default color of a recorded heartbeat is green, but it changes to blink in red-color when the person (whose heartbeat is stored into the HDvest) goes online (with Skype). The "owner" of the HDvest can follow his/her selected social network of people shifting their presence between the physical and the virtual layers of the world wherever he/she and the people in the network may geographically be. The HDvest and its wearer exist continuously in the hybrid space.

The form and design for the HDvest is inspired by a traditional life-vest. This technological version of a life-vest is referring to a fragility of life through the heartbeats. The heartbeat is used as a sign of physical, organic life/presence, which is combined with another sign for a global presence within a technological sphere of the world.
The work is not thought out as a tool or function aimed at specific task. It is created as a wearable apparel to enable one’s everyday existence in a hybrid space. One becomes an observer of the hybrid world, the one who is simply existing within it.

By creating the HDvest aesthetically noticeable, the work draws public attention and addresses questions about our relation to technology and to our future.

*"A hybrid space, thus, is a conceptual space created by the merging of borders between physical and digital spaces, because of the use of mobile technologies as social devices. Nevertheless, a hybrid space is not constructed by technology. It is built by the connection of mobility and communication and materialized by social networks developed simultaneously in physical and digital spaces."
DE SOUZA E SILVA, A. (2006) From Cyber to Hybrid: Mobile Technologies as Interfaces of Hybrid Spaces. Space and Culture, Sage Publications.

In practice; The recording of a heartbeat can be done anywhere. The vest is equipped with a simple recording interface in a form of a glove. The HDvest is online everywhere and all the time, it uses the mobile phone network for the connection between the server and the vest to follow the online/Skype status of the persons.

Recording: Record your heartbeat by wearing the offered glove and pressing both hands together. You will see your own heart making all the lamps blinking in the vest, afterwards your heartbeat is stored into one of the lamps.
Skype name: After the recording a mobilephone (which belongs to the HDvest) asks you to type in your possible skype name. Now the HDvest will know when you are offline or online (on Skype), your status will be shown as a color of the blinking heartbeat-lamp (green: offline, red: online).
Identify your heart: You can write your name to a small paper-slip and place it into a pocket corresponding the lamp with your recorded heart, then the wearer can identify all the stored hearts.